Monthly Archives: June 2012

Recent Updates to Facebook’s EdgeRank Formula: Do You Know Your PTAT Score?

Recent updates to Facebook’s EdgeRank formula, and the way they calculate your People Talking About This score, could be putting your social efforts in jeopardy. Why is a behind-the-scenes math formula so important? It’s a simple answer with a lot of data behind it, so we’ll start with the easy facts first.

EdgeRank determines your success on Facebook.

That’s it. It’s that cut and dry. If your brand page has a high EdgeRank, your page will almost definitely be successful – depending, of course, on your definition of success. If success, to you, means user engagement, brand awareness, and viral growth, then we are on the same page.

How does EdgeRank work?

EdgeRank is an algorithm, essentially a complex mathematical formula that weighs several different factors to determine how relevant your content is to any given Facebook user. The formula looks like this:

Facebook EdgeRank Formula

Facebook has been notoriously silent on the exact numbers in this equation, but Jeff Widman, operator of EdgeRank.net, has broken down the basics of the system.

Facebook looks at all possible stories and says “Which story has the highest EdgeRank score? Let’s show it at the top of the user’s newsfeed…If EdgeRank predicts a particular user will find your status update boring, then your status update will never even be shown to that particular user…The numbers on this are frightening. In 2007, a Facebook engineer said in an interview that only about 0.2% of eligible stories make it into a user’s newsfeed…

The simplest possible explanation is that Facebook considers the amount of Likes, Comments, and Shares your posts receive, how many of your fans are friends with each other, the type of content you are posting, and what every single Facebook user thinks about those types of content. All of that gets added up into a total score, which is tallied on every single post your page makes.

How can I improve my page’s EdgeRank?

Short answer: you can’t. Long answer: you can’t, and you’re asking the wrong question. EdgeRank is a constantly-evolving formula, which takes in thousands of points of data to make by-the-second updates. Combine that complexity with the fact that Facebook also filters results through at least one other formula before they make it to a newsfeed, and you are facing a hopeless challenge.

The point that we keep making to clients is that it is much easier to improve your content than it is to try to game the system.

So, what’s new?

A recent update to Facebook’s algorithms has changed the way your page’s People Talking About This, or PTAT, score. This score is a combination of several forms of engagement, including shares, likes, and comments. Until now, that number related only to first-level engagement on a post. The tracking stopped, once you got beyond the original posting.

With this new update, the PTAT score includes engagement a post receives at the second level and beyond. Now, if a user shares George Takei’s latest cat pun, his PTAT score includes all of the likes, shares, and comments that post receives from its entire viral lifespan, even from users that never saw the original post.

Facebook People Talking About This PTAT Score

This update has led to some drastic jumps in PTAT for many highly-engaging pages. Takei’s PTAT has jumped by nearly 110,000 since the change, with similar numbers coming from several of the top pages on the platform. As we discussed earlier, your PTAT score is the most important aspect of your content’s EdgeRank, so higher PTAT scores ensure that your content is being seen. This means that activity on a cat photo George Takei posted three weeks ago could be boosting the EdgeRank on a post he makes today.

In social media, content is king, and that has never been truer than it is now. It is time for companies to make sure that what they’re putting out is something that users actually want to see. As the EdgeRank formula continues to evolve, content that belongs in corporate board rooms will become quieter and quieter. Eventually, those pages will have to wake up and realize they’re speaking to an empty room.

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Tim Howell

Tim Howell is a content manager for Make Me Social. He studied fine art, psychology, and international pop culture at Bowling Green State University. In his spare time, he is a blogger and social activist with a passion for cooking. You can find him at gplus.to/TimHowell

Recent Updates to Facebook’s EdgeRank Formula: Do You Know Your PTAT Score?

Recent updates to Facebook’s EdgeRank formula, and the way they calculate your People Talking About This score, could be putting your social efforts in jeopardy. Why is a behind-the-scenes math formula so important? It’s a simple answer with a lot of data behind it, so we’ll start with the easy facts first.

EdgeRank determines your success on Facebook.

That’s it. It’s that cut and dry. If your brand page has a high EdgeRank, your page will almost definitely be successful – depending, of course, on your definition of success. If success, to you, means user engagement, brand awareness, and viral growth, then we are on the same page.

How does EdgeRank work?

EdgeRank is an algorithm, essentially a complex mathematical formula that weighs several different factors to determine how relevant your content is to any given Facebook user. The formula looks like this:

Facebook EdgeRank Formula

Facebook has been notoriously silent on the exact numbers in this equation, but Jeff Widman, operator of EdgeRank.net, has broken down the basics of the system.

Facebook looks at all possible stories and says “Which story has the highest EdgeRank score? Let’s show it at the top of the user’s newsfeed…If EdgeRank predicts a particular user will find your status update boring, then your status update will never even be shown to that particular user…The numbers on this are frightening. In 2007, a Facebook engineer said in an interview that only about 0.2% of eligible stories make it into a user’s newsfeed…

The simplest possible explanation is that Facebook considers the amount of Likes, Comments, and Shares your posts receive, how many of your fans are friends with each other, the type of content you are posting, and what every single Facebook user thinks about those types of content. All of that gets added up into a total score, which is tallied on every single post your page makes.

How can I improve my page’s EdgeRank?

Short answer: you can’t. Long answer: you can’t, and you’re asking the wrong question. EdgeRank is a constantly-evolving formula, which takes in thousands of points of data to make by-the-second updates. Combine that complexity with the fact that Facebook also filters results through at least one other formula before they make it to a newsfeed, and you are facing a hopeless challenge.

The point that we keep making to clients is that it is much easier to improve your content than it is to try to game the system.

So, what’s new?

A recent update to Facebook’s algorithms has changed the way your page’s People Talking About This, or PTAT, score. This score is a combination of several forms of engagement, including shares, likes, and comments. Until now, that number related only to first-level engagement on a post. The tracking stopped, once you got beyond the original posting.

With this new update, the PTAT score includes engagement a post receives at the second level and beyond. Now, if a user shares George Takei’s latest cat pun, his PTAT score includes all of the likes, shares, and comments that post receives from its entire viral lifespan, even from users that never saw the original post.

Facebook People Talking About This PTAT Score

This update has led to some drastic jumps in PTAT for many highly-engaging pages. Takei’s PTAT has jumped by nearly 110,000 since the change, with similar numbers coming from several of the top pages on the platform. As we discussed earlier, your PTAT score is the most important aspect of your content’s EdgeRank, so higher PTAT scores ensure that your content is being seen. This means that activity on a cat photo George Takei posted three weeks ago could be boosting the EdgeRank on a post he makes today.

In social media, content is king, and that has never been truer than it is now. It is time for companies to make sure that what they’re putting out is something that users actually want to see. As the EdgeRank formula continues to evolve, content that belongs in corporate board rooms will become quieter and quieter. Eventually, those pages will have to wake up and realize they’re speaking to an empty room.

______________________________________________________________

Tim Howell

Tim Howell is a content manager for Make Me Social. He studied fine art, psychology, and international pop culture at Bowling Green State University. In his spare time, he is a blogger and social activist with a passion for cooking. You can find him at gplus.to/TimHowell

Sources and Content Creation

“Don’t think so hard. You might hurt yourself.”

I can’t remember the name of the teacher who interrupted me during an exam with that message, but I’ve never forgotten their words.

Each month we host an internal training for all members of our content team. This month we focused on ways to find inspiration for content curation and creation, and the presentation was heavily inspired by the sentiment behind those words.

In the interest of sharing and all that is social, we’ve decided to make portions of that training available to the public. Enjoy!

[slideshare id=13312503&doc=contentinspiration-120613115615-phpapp01]

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When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman enjoys finding that her degree is relevant to her life. During her time studying at The University of Florida, Mandi became convinced in the power of learning through play. She has since committed herself to playing (and learning) all day, every day.

Three Things to Keep in Mind When Investing in New Ideas

As a specialized agency, we often find ourselves integrated into client teams in an advisory role. We live and breathe technology and communications; consuming information, creating experiences, and collaborating with vendors. We help clients and partners ask the questions that get them the solutions that they need.

If you want to advocate on behalf of your company, here are three things to keep in mind the next time that you’re looking to invest in new technology:

  1. Everyone is selling the next big idea. It’s important to understand your needs and be able to make those needs the focal point of any discussion.
  2. When you’re relying on the person pitching you for an education, the information that you’re given is most likely going to be delivered in a way that supports their agenda. Do your own research.
  3. Know what questions to ask.

The most important question that you can ask yourself when dealing with companies and vendors in the communications and technology space is:

Do I know enough about this to make an educated decision?

If the answer is no, find a trusted partner who can sit in and advocate on behalf of your brand. Investing in good advice upfront can you save you from a bad investment down the road.

Seem simple? The best advice usually is.

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When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman enjoys the simple things in life. During her time studying at The University of Florida, Mandi became convinced in the power of learning through play. She has since committed herself to playing (and learning) all day, every day.