Jul 21, 2010

Facebook’s EdgeRank Algorithm

Chris Sietsema, from Teach To Fish Digital, discusses the algorithm Facebook uses to determine what content to suggest to users:

Deconstructing Facebook’s EdgeRank

Facebook's EdgeRank, from Tech to Fish Digital

Facebook's EdgeRank algorithm, from Teach to Fish Digital

It’s an extremely interesting look behind the scenes of how Facebook "ranks" content for the purposes of sharing. Hint: the Facebook "Like" button is kind of important in this equation…

Here’s a sample from the article explaining affinity (u):

Those who comment and like your personal updates have a higher affinity (the relationship between object creator and recipient) than those that do not.

on how weight (w) is determined:

Each object is assigned a score based on the number of comments and likes it earns. An object with 15 comments and 20 likes has a much greater weight than an object with 0 comments and likes.

Mr. Sietsema also discusses what all this means to your company, and offers up some content strategy. It’s definitely worth reading, so here’s the link again: Deconstructing Facebook’s EdgeRank

What this means for MailChimp customers

Now I realize that it’s tempting to say, "Bah-humbug! It’s too early to care about all this Facebook Likey stuff, so let’s see how all this plays out before I start changing the way I do my email marketing."

Fundamentally though, this shouldn’t change the way you do your email marketing that much. It’s all about creating useful content (that people like to share) on a regular basis. In fact, you’re probably already placing "share with your network" links in all your campaigns.

But the Like button is different from the social sharing icons that you’re probably already including in your emails. This is all about Facebook learning what people Like, then Facebook suggesting new content to others (see: Facebook Seeks to Build the Semantic Search Engine).

What’s changing now is whether or not your emails help people "like" your content, and whether or not you want to track all that liking (to learn more about your customers, in order to create even better content).

Here’s how to put the Like button in your emails, and track your total Facebook likes, with MailChimp.  We made it as easy as pasting this merge tag: *| FACEBOOK:LIKE |*

Still want to wait and see if this is all just a fad? Nothing wrong with that. But be sure to check out the "d" in that equation above:

d = time decay factor