Seems like just a few years ago, people were debating whether or not to establish a “social presence” with their business.
Now the mere thought of a business not having social profiles is enough to put any internet marketer into anaphylactic shock. Well, maybe not.
Even though we’re “prepared” for it, it’s still staggering to see how social media has become part of life. Not a day goes by when you don’t at least hear the word “Facebook” once. And, if you’re like one of its nearly one billion active users, you probably check Facebook at least once a day.
Social media’s not going away, which is why you see virtually every major business with a social media profile. But it’s one thing to have a social profile – it’s quite another to get any value out of your profile.
There’s still a lot of confusion when it comes to social media. In today’s article, we’re going to clear up an issue many Facebook business page owners don’t know about – improving EdgeRank.
What is EdgeRank?
You’ve probably noticed: the Facebook news feed is fluid. It displays the most relevant content to you at any given moment. Often, you’ll see updates from people who aren’t your friends, but they’re sharing something related to one of your friends – something Facebook feels you’ll be interested in.
EdgeRank is an algorithm Facebook uses to “rank” content on your news feed.
An “edge” is something on Facebook that can be interacted with. Here are some examples of edges:
- Status Updates
- Picture Posts
- Trending News
Once an edge is displayed on the news feed, EdgeRank defines who will see it. EdgeRank is defined by interaction (among other things). In general, the more interaction an edge gets, the more people will see it.
So if you post a status that gets hundreds of likes and comments, lots of people are going to see it. On the other hand, if you post a status that doesn’t get any likes or comments, it’ll likely only stay in the news feed for a short time before dropping off.
And its highest points, edges that are not immediately relevant to you may be displayed on your news feed. This is because Facebook’s deemed them as potentially relevant due to their EdgeRank, so they display them to a massive network of people.
What Does This Have to Do With Business?
Well isn’t it obvious? With your Facebook page, you want to make sure every “edge” has a good chance of being interacted with.
This way, you can expose your business’s message to as many people as possible. Yes, this is a fantastic way to get new customers. But it does take some trial and error. You need to see what your immediate followers like. Remember, they’re the first people you need to interact with.
Your followers will see an edge and decide what to do. If they interact with it, its EdgeRank will increase, dramatically increasing the number of people who potentially see that edge.
Here are a few things you can do to increase the EdgeRank of your update:
1) Post Pictures – people don’t want to read paragraphs on Facebook. They want to be entertained. So posting relevant-yet-humorous pictures can go a long way towards increasing EdgeRank.
2) Link to Other Companies – When you post something, you can choose to tag another company in it (or an individual). Doing so ensures that a person or brand will be notified of it, increasing their chances of interacting with it. If you can connect with another business page, you expose your company to all of its customers.
3) Be Location Specific – Post updates specific to the location you’re in. Then, the status will be shown to other people in that particular location. Since it’s highly relevant to them, chances are they’ll interact with it, increasing edge rank.
What About Graph Search?
Well, it’s here. We’ve been talking about this for a while, and it’s finally here: Facebook’s “Graph Search”.
Now, I don’t know about you, but when “Graph Search” comes to mind, I really don’t think of anything. And this may be one of the main reasons why this announcement has come with so much confusion.
Confusion or not, though, this was still a massive announcement.
This is what the tech community had been waiting for, and what Google has (presumably) been afraid of.
Because now, Facebook is in a position to offer a search engine unlike any we have ever seen before. A search engine that was, until now, impossible to create. A search engine that could search an entire database of human beings, AND do what a conventional search engine does already.
A quick example before we move on.
Let’s say you want to host a party. Not just any party – a Green Tea party (hey! this happens all the time… right?!). And it’s not just a Green Tea party… it’s a green tea YOGA party.
So it’s a bit niche. How do we know who wants to come? Easy! Let’s head on over to Facebook Graph Search and search for all of our friends who like both green tea and yoga.
Now we have the perfect guestlist for our party.
It’s easy to see how graph search is useful for parties and social gatherings. But what other types of uses does it have? Well, that’s something that we don’t know immediately. Now, Facebook’s been cooking this up for a long time, and it certainly has potential. At this point, it depends on how the community reacts to it. Could graph search become something that in five years, we couldn’t picture life without? Very possibly!
But there’s another aspect to Graph Search that’s definitely worth exploring. For years now, Facebook has been working hard on monetization. It’s not easy to monetize a service like Facebook… put the wrong ads in the wrong places and your customers start leaving in droves.
Also, there’s always been a glaring flaw in Facebook’s advertising possibilities. Mainly – they don’t have access to the customer right at the point of purchase.
Think of Google. If you’re thinking about going on a trip to Paris, where do you start? Google! You start before you book the hotel and buy your plane ticket.
Therefore, Google can serve you highly relevant ads at the EXACT moment you’re looking to buy.
It’s no secret this has worked out very well for Google.
Facebook, on the other hand, has never had this option. Someone may make a status about just coming back from Paris, but what good is showing them a hotel ad then? It will have absolutely no effect!
This is almost certainly a MAJOR reason why Facebook has been working so hard on Graph Search. Because if they can create a search engine that’s valuable, people will use it. If people use their search engine, they’ll have the opportunity to serve up ads right at the point of purchase.
Lately, Facebook’s been getting a lot of flack about ads. So with this announcement, most people are thinking “what, more ads?” This is something Facebook will have to work hard to overcome. And the best way to do that is to make sure graph search is incredibly valuable. If people are gaining serious value from graph search – if it changes their life significantly, they’ll be much more willing to put up with advertisements.
Here at SEOSiteCheckUp.com, we’re not just interested in SEO – we’re interested in business! And it’s very interesting watching these social media companies work at monetizing. Social is a fickle beast… on one hand, you get MASSIVE numbers of users. On the other hand, these are all users that hate to buy while socializing!
Facebook’s Graph Search is something we’ll be watching closely. On top of the value, it could add, and on top of the revenue it can bring Facebook, it’s also a new search engine. What opportunities will it bring to marketers and business owners? Only time will tell!
But you can bet your bottom dollar that we’ll be watching things very closely, and as soon as anything major comes out, you’ll be getting an article on the subject!