Stop Whining about Edgerank and Do Something About it

worlds smallest violin

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Posted: June 11, 2013 | Social Media Marketing

It continues to happen each and every day. A self-proclaimed social media expert rails on Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm on a major social media website complaining that Facebook should change their ways. I get riled up when I see these types of posts as I believe it turns off businesses from going out there and trying new things–Facebook marketing being one of them.

It’s the same conversation over and over again “Edgerank only shows my posts to a small percentage of my business page’s following”–the average being 16%, and again that’s only an average, many pages do much better than that organically.

Somehow these folks missed the original memo sent out years ago; marketing is hard work.

In this case specifically, marketing is hard on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean that you go out and tell the world that it’s a waste of time. If you are a social media marketer it’s your job to figure out how to make it work. In many cases the problem is not Edgerank itself, but instead the lack of creativity, a shortage on good content and no budget assigned to this very important marketing channel.

Why Edgerank is a Good Thing

If Facebook decided to go the Twitter fire-hose route it would lead to a cluttered newsfeed disaster of crap content. The casual user would have a horrible experience of too much garbage flooding their newsfeed and have to painfully sift through it all for meaningful content. It’s a much different experience for us power users who can simply set up lists and follow them individually and not miss out on the content we specifically seek. The average user is not going to take the time to build these lists and Facebook knows that. So it’s Egderank’s job to keep these users engaged by awarding good content and penalizing the crap.

But Even Good Content Sometimes Goes Unnoticed

I know what you’re thinking; “Even my best content goes unnoticed on Facebook because of Edgerank.” You can’t see it, but I have in my hand the world’s small violin playing a song for you. This argument could be said about any individual marketing channel from email to PPC to blogging; it’s nothing new. Some of the best content in the world goes unnoticed by its target audience each and every day. Again, your job as a marketer is to find a way to get your message in front of buyers in the right place at the right time. It’s a challenge that all marketers face and it’s time to take responsibility for your campaigns and the results they deliver.

Ready to Do Something About it? Of Course You Are.

As I mentioned before, marketing is hard. But so is writing and coming up with original ideas. It’s this very content and the creativity behind it that becomes the catalyst for breaking through Edgerank and managing it effectively. B2B or B2C, it doesn’t matter when it comes to engagement. What works for one business will often work for the other, and what their fans engage with is often universally accepted. Don’t sell to them. Instead entertain them, tell them a story, give them something to share, and help them along the way. When it comes time for them to purchase, your company will likely be top of mind. A lot of the work has already been done for you as there are thousands of businesses managing Edgerank and getting their content in front of their fans and prospects.  Take someone else’s ideas, tactics and strategy and make it your own. This is where you as a marketer should be able to shine and if you can’t, then you probably shouldn’t be a marketer in the first place.

The View from the Cheap Seats is Just That, Cheap

It’s OK to fail at something, especially in the world of social media. But don’t preach your failure as a blanket statement that could potentially turn off other folks from ever trying. I can’t even begin to tell you how many of my “great” ideas have totally bombed, but I can tell you that I don’t jump up on pedestal and tell other not to try. That’s just reckless.

Edgerank is not going away. If anything, it will continue to evolve and get better at filtering and disseminating the massive influx of content. If you can’t figure out how to manage it effectively, that’s fine, simply move on. Facebook is just one channel of what should be a full on integrated marketing approach to lead generation that includes email, PPC, Twitter, Slideshare, events, webinars, and any other channels where you can reach your customers and prospects. Giving up on Facebook or any of these channels too early will only lead to missed opportunities.

Jason Miller is Senior Manager of Content Marketing at LinkedIn. Previously, Jason was Senior Manager of Social Media at Marketo and focused on optimizing social for lead generation and driving revenue. He is a regular contributor to leading marketing blogs such as Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, and Marketing Profs.

Read Jason's Blogs

Marketing is hard on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean you have to go out and tell the world it’s a waste of time.

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