What are they talking about? - I hear your brains a pondering.
If you think about Facebook as a huge database (which it is) – then given the scale of Facebook, you can imagine that ordering the data so that updates and comments etc can be delivered to the relevant people is a significant task.
Instead of having a ‘everyone sees all’ activity schedule – (which would be totally unmanageable given the size of Facebook – and how frequently people use it) – then instead, Facebook has to determine who is going to see what.
And of course, it’s not people that decide who see’s what – but instead, the role is in the ‘chips’ of mathematical algorithms that are accessing a number of factors around the content – and then serving the output.
Historically, Facebook promoted Edgerank as their algorithm. An algorithm which considered 3 key factors (each in themselves a complex calculation):
- Affinity score – between viewing user and edge creator (translation – how engaged you are with specific connections)
- Weight for the edge – ie: the quality of the type of content – eg: a comment, a tag, a like, a share etc
- Time decay – factors based on how long ago the ‘edge’ was created
(See Page 102 in the book for more info).
Whilst these elements are still part of the algorithm that Facebook uses to determine who sees what – it is now widely published and accepted that there are significantly more factors now considered.
In fact – it’s rumoured that there are over 100 factors (and in some reports 100,000!).
Either way – the key element remains in that you need to be working hard on Facebook to generate engagement and then keep that engagement going.
Asking questions (getting people to engage with your Page), quality content and building an influential audience still count. I suspect as Facebook continues to be a noisy space – then more creativity in to how you corner the eyeballs and activity is going to be needed.