Instead of blaming EdgeRank, focus on better content

 

 

 

Today’s post is by Andrew FoxwellHead of New Media and Marketing for iConstituent.

As Facebook continues toward further exponential growth, more and more passionate users claim the current platform does not fulfill their personal, business, or brand needs the way they originally expected the platform to perform. To a degree, these critics are correct – the site and its far-reaching impacts have vastly evolved throughout its short life. Knowing that some users have already sworn to protest the current platform, I believe it’s crucial to investigate, assess, and evaluate these changes with an open mind. After all, Facebook’s many evolutions always have justification.

 

Let us consider one example: Facebook’s latest platform changes to EdgeRank, the engine that determines what content is featured in one’s newsfeed. I believe these changes come with good rationale – and those reasons center around good content and a better experience for all users. It is my opinion that many of the recent negative articles encompass beliefs written by people who are in charge of brands but fundamentally misunderstand the platform.

 

Specific to this point, entrepreneur and NBA team owner Mark Cuban recently stated to ReadWrite, “The big negative for Facebook is that we will no longer push for likes or subscribers because we can’t reach them all. Why would we invest in extending our Facebook audience size if we have to pay to reach them? That’s crazy.” After he stated this and more, Cuban’s comments received a great deal of press (not all of it positive) in online forums and technology blogs. I think it’s important to take the emotion out of the equation and de-bunk Mark Cuban’s over-generalized claim with the following facts:

 

-       First, Facebook’s EdgeRank engine is constantly learning and improving what content the user sees based on what content the user personally interacts with. Like a great wine, it truly gets better with age. The more it’s nurtured and supported through personal interaction and attention, the better it will suit each user’s needs.

dallas mavericks facebook

Even the players aren’t too energized by posts like this.

-       Secondly, the entire experience with corporate brands on Facebook centers on robust, engaging content. Cuban’s Mavericks, along with many other brands, leave quite a bit to be desired on this front. Recently writer Ryan Tate wrote in Wired that, “Cuban wants to blast his ads into all his followers’ News Feeds — for free — even when Facebook’s software decides a follower isn’t particularly interested.” Tate’s comments further clarify my exact point: when you have a poor, repetitive, or even mismatched content strategy with your brand’s users on Facebook, it shows. The necessity for good content has arrived, and now you’re going to have to work for more engaged user interaction.

 

Gone are the good old days when a ‘like’ on your page equaled a delivered message such as an email. Now, similar to spam filters on a user’s email account, EdgeRank weeds out information the user will likely find uninteresting or useless to him/her personally. The software only shows users content it believes, based on previous engagement, he/she will like and will be inclined to personally interact with moving forward.

 

While some may argue that Facebook is purely trying to nickel-and-dime users for more revenue (and this is certainly part of their intention, as they are a multi-billion-dollar, publically traded company), it’s my belief that Facebook is genuinely attempting to reward those who take the time to learn, understand, and grow with their platform. The educated social media marketers win out.

 

So let’s #takethepledge and, as users, commit to creating more robust, thought-provoking, insightful content. Let’s dedicate ourselves as digital marketers to ensuring that creativity and originality continue to rise to the top, and as a result, that our online experiences with Facebook just keep getting better.

 

Andrew Foxwell iconstituent

Andrew Foxwell is the Head of New Media and Marketing for iConstituent, a Washington D.C.-based company that works with over half of the United States Congress, focusing on improved online strategy, outreach, and advocacy to constituents.  

Andrew Foxwell

About Andrew Foxwell

Andrew Foxwell grew up on a farm in western Wisconsin, where his Macintosh Quadra 610 with its lightning fast 28.8K dial-up connection first sparked his interest in digital marketing. After graduating from St. Olaf College, Andrew went to work as a digital director for a U.S. Congressional campaign, which led him to Washington, DC to work as a press secretary/new media director for a U.S. Congressman. Recognizing an opportunity for improved digital communications between members of Congress and their constituents, Andrew founded and managed the social media marketing agency within iConstituent, the leading online communications firm working with Congress. Andrew worked with members and staffs from both sides of the aisle to deepen much needed Congressional dialogue, improve constituent services, and create a more effective 21st century democracy. Andrew then took his diverse skillset to Silicon Valley where he directed the social media division of 3Q Digital, a full-service online marketing firm. There he tripled the agency’s social media client base, managed a team of account managers and production professionals, and oversaw an average monthly revenue growth of more than 20% while working with companies like Square, Fitbit, Eventbrite, 23andMe, Citrus Lane and more. Andrew is the CEO and Co-Founder of Foxwell Digital, a digital creative agency that works with clients as diverse as small-town cafes to multi-million dollar start-ups. Find him @andrewfoxwell and foxwelldigital.com.
This entry was posted in Most Read, Opinion. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Instead of blaming EdgeRank, focus on better content

  1. Douglas Thomas says:

    I wholeheartedly agree that the lesson isn’t “Facebook is evil” but “Facebook is hard, and getting harder.” While my response to the kerfuffle http://www.searchinfluence.com/2012/10/facebook-promoted-posts/ points out a number of completely FREE steps for Dangerous Minds and other fan pages to take, it’s rather unfair to think that everyone who owns a site either needs to delve deep into Facebook marketing or hire someone who does this stuff every day.

    But the other hand of the argument is that, like basic on-page SEO, doing the free stuff of Facebook (and Twitter and LinkedIn and now Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, and whatever else) is certainly within the realm of skills that a website designer should have, and certainly what the person posting to social media sites better have.

    The difficulty is always that Facebook is among the least clear of the major ad platforms as to the differences in their offerings – Promoted Posts are just the AdWords Express of Facebook, but through FB’s marketing, they’ve made it seem like a vastly different product.

    But should that mean that, like the NBA, advertisers should avoid Social Media and move towards something that is more easily controlled? Likely it’s another stunt like GM’s — they’ll be back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>