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Healthcare Social Media: Understanding Facebook Edgerank

If you haven’t noticed yet, Facebook now sorts comments from your friends in two ways. You can either choose to sort by “recent stories first” or “highlighted stories first”.  Many find it a mystery as to why certain comments appear as highlighted and others don’t. Understanding Facebook Edgerank will answer that question.

For all of its fun and friends, Facebook is a business that wants to make money. Facebook accomplishes that goal by funneling readers to advertisers like any other content-driven enterprise. To reach that goal the social media giant identifies content that will be popular, relevant and timely to specific users.

Just as you have learned about SEO to improve your search engine results you also need to understand a bit about Facebook’s Edgerank. It is Facebook’s algorithm that determines what content is likely to be most interesting to you as a Facebook user. This algorithm measures three “edges”.

  • Affinity – the score between the viewer and the ‘edge’ creator. How closely you are tied to the person creating the content determines this score.
  • Weight – the value given to the comments and actions any given post receives from your Facebook community. As they “like” it, comment on it, and tag it, it gains in relevance to the community at large.
  • Time Decay – the decaying value of the content as time passes. Today’s news is news. Yesterday’s news is history; in days gone by, it lined the bottom of the bird cage or the litter box.

Improving Your Edgerank

The more often your followers like, comment, click, and tag content, the sharper your “edges” and as a result the more likely your content will appear in their news feeds. High Edgerank depends on creating the kind of content people consistently act on. Give them content they find interesting and they will predictably take some kind of Facebook action. Actions by followers on Facebook lead to an improved Edgerank which leads to more consistent exposure.

With all the changes in Facebook, it is more important than ever to get that coveted interaction because your post will be more prominently featured as a Top Story.  A Top Story shows more prominently even though it was posted an hour ago and there are 100 other more “Recent Stories”

Talking About This

One of Facebook’s newest measures of engagement is the “People are talking about this” statistic.  This number gives you a good picture of your interaction levels.  You can use Insights on your Business page to view a graph of the weekly numbers of “People are talking about this”.

Engage, Engage, Engage

It’s still best to just come out and ask for a response. Successful Facebook sites always ask for some type of input at the end. Do you agree? What do you think? How can we help you?  Using these questions will encourage a response from your audience.

TIP: A 3rd party tool to gauge your Edgerank can be found at www.Edgerankchecker.  This useful tool provides an estimate of how well you are engaging your audience.  It also tells you what days your page gets the best engagement.

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About Tim
Tim George is a regularly contributing author to the MDWebPro blog. Tim is passionate about web marketing for MDs expecially the latest trends and results in social media, SEO and inbound marketing. For more, please follow @MDWebPro on Twitter

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