Today’s post has been contributed by guest author, Eric Taylor of Qwaya. The ideas expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Page Progressive. By publishing this post, we are not endorsing the product with which the author is affiliated.

Oh, Facebook! It sure seems quite simple to look at it, an understated elegance if you will. But once you lift up the hood, it’s like a small engine mechanic looking at the electrical intricacies of a Mercury probe. Don’t fret, though; aspects of Facebook like EdgeRank and Graph Search only appear to be complicated. Once you get through some tech jargon, you’ll find that it’s really just a type of site-contained SEO.

And if there’s one thing any businessperson needs to know about when operating online, it’s SEO. Your social marketing will always depend on your implementation of optimization tactics, and it’s certainly no different with Facebook-specific advertising.

So if you’ve been having trouble understanding things like EdgeRank and Graph Search, let’s take a closer look and discuss how to leverage them to your advantage.

EdgeRank Improves Organic Reach

EdgeRank is an algorithm that’s quite easy to figure out, at least in terms of what it’s designed to do. You don’t need Sheldon Cooper’s brain to realize that EdgeRank is simply Facebook’s way to determine which content gets shown in a News Feed.

EdgeRank is a way to separate what people (your fans per se) really want to see vs. things that are just seemingly designed to be flung in their line of sight. And this is where EdgeRank differs from basic SEO. It uses a completely different set of metrics to really attune itself to what users want, via their clicks, likes, comments, shares, etc.

EdgeRank quite literally ranks an Edge, which can be described as any action or anything that happens within Facebook; the algorithm uses three important variables to determine the value of an Edge and subsequently how many News Feeds it’s going to appear on and for how long. Understanding these metrics allows you to leverage EdgeRank sufficiently and to optimize your advertising.

Leveraging the Three Variables

  • Weight: This is essentially a value system developed by Facebook in order to determine the value of actions taken by members on the site. For instance, any action has weight, but something like a comment, which stands out as more involved than a “Like” earns more weight. Determining which Edge has more weight is a crucial part of the algorithm, and it stands in a general sense that Edges taking more time to complete an action will have a higher weight value.
  • Affinity: The affinity factor of EdgeRank can be described as a one-way relationship a Facebook user has with an Edge (i.e. a follower and a brand). This relationship isn’t built through one lone action, but rather is constructed through repeat interactions between a user and a particular brand’s Edges. The more actions taken by a user, the stronger the affinity factor becomes.
  • Time Decay: In terms of a variable that’s easy to grasp, Time Decay is typically the easiest. It can be understood mathematically as 1/(Time Since Action), and it directly refers to how long an Edge has actually been “alive.” The longer the Edge has been in play, so to speak, the less value it’s going to have. The proverbial sweet spot for any Edge is typically around three hours for peak value, after which any Edge may begin to lose value.

Graph Search Tips

Graph Search is a Facebook tool with which you can search for people having interests related to your business and those who live near you (relevant for local businesses). For example: “people who like rock-climbing in Raleigh, NC.” Building a data bank of these contacts on Facebook can help you tremendously in your niche.

Provide specific and complete information on your Facebook business page. Thoroughness and accuracy give you a much better chance of showing up when Facebook users are searching for terms relevant to your business.

Stay true to the site’s purpose. Facebook is a social networking site, obviously, and it’s imperative that you play to the social context by sharing, liking, posting, commenting, and by having an overall engaging brand that builds connections and fosters relationships.

The fact here is that you don’t need to obtain any tech-specific information about EdgeRank or Graph Search. You only need to exercise good fundamental principles of social network marketing: release high-quality, engaging material and operate an open, interesting brand.

About the author: Eric Taylor works as a freelance writer and business developer for the Facebook ad  campaign tool Qwaya. The company provides extensive information, tools and up-to-date news about latest trends in social media marketing strategies, most specifically in Facebook.

The ideas expressed in this guest post do not necessarily represent those of Page Progressive, and we do not endorse the product with which the author is affiliated. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.