Whilst it’s true that businesses are cottoning on to the fact that social media sites such as Facebook are key platforms on which to market their products and services, many fail to truly understand how the process works. For this reason manyFacebook marketing efforts tend to fall by the wayside.

Fotolia_41259489_XS1-300x200The main issue is that when companies post on their business page, they are under the misconception that it is automatically seen by their fans. The reality is that this is not the case. Instead Edgerank determines the degree upon which your post is viewed.

So what exactly is Edgerank and how does it decide on what’s seen and by how many people?

Facebook Edgerank works in the same way as Google page rank operates in that it uses specifically crafted algorithms to sort results into best match scenarios for a fan’s search intentions. This way engagement is maximised and spam is minimised.

Some of the underlying factors are as follows…

Previous interaction

When it comes to Facebook marketing, interaction with your target audience is key. It’s always been at the heart of Facebook and it’s still as important now as it was back in the day. For this reason Edgerank will look to see if your target audience have interacted in any way with you before. It will also take into account similar interactions with other posts, polls and videos.

Engaging with social graphs

A fairly new concept by Facebook is that of social graphs. It has become a large part of Facebook Marketing and one which will continue to be so for many years to come. As a result if your content or post is engaged by the social graph of your target audience, then chances are that your post is going to be seen on their news feed. If it doesn’t connect or engage with a reader’s social graph then it won’t. It’s as simple as that!

Spam, Spam, Spam

Like Google, Facebook hates spam. Therefore if your pages have received complaints by other users, then Edgerank sees to it that your post isn’t going to be seen by them.

So what’s the most effective way of spreading the word?

Facebook has always said that it provides a platform in which people can connect and share with each other, and this has never changed. Despite this many businesses still look on it as a way to broadcast their products, messages or services, similar to a PR company.

Instead with over one billion people using the platform it’s all about building communities and (similarly to bricks and mortar communities) these are built on a foundation of trust, value, and to some extent friendship. For instance when someone ‘likes’ your post, product or service, that isn’t an ‘opt in’ and therefore isn’t a carte blanche excuse to spam them to death.

Alternatively if you build up trust by giving your audience something of value, sharing great content with them and make that content specifically relevant to them, then this is by far the most effective way of Facebook marketingand one in which Edgerank is inextricably linked.