Is Facebook unfair to businesses?

Edgerank is a Facebook formula that decides which stories appear in your newsfeed. Learn about Edgerank and how it affects your business.

Recent changes in the Edgerank algorithm have resulted in a reduced reach for some business pages. A number of businesses feel shortchanged by the Edgerank changes, with Dangerous Minds being particularly vocal in their diatribe against this.

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So, has Facebook really treated businesses unfairly? Let’s take a look at both sides of the story.

 

Edgerank is an evil ploy by Facebook to gain world domination

 

The main arguments against the new Edgerank algorithm are:

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  • I’ve worked so hard to collect ‘likes’, now my fans don’t even get to see my posts –  Approximately 95% of Facebook activity happens on users’ newsfeeds (their wall), and not on timelines or business pages. This means that fans may click on your page update if it appears on their wall, but they will rarely come to your business page to see what you are posting. This makes it critical for your business’ posts and updates to appear regularly in fans’ newsfeeds. Out-of-sight here can mean out-of-mind.
  • FB has reduced our reach so that we are forced to pay for ‘promoted posts– Many businesses have already spent a lot of money advertising and running campaigns on Facebook in order to generate ‘likes’. They now feel that, in order to reach the same fans that they had before the Edgerank changes, they have to pay again.
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Facebook promoted post

There is, however, another way to look at what Edgerank seeks to accomplish.

As FB users started to ‘like’ more and more business pages, they started seeing a large number of posts from businesses in their newsfeed.

Most users come to Facebook for a social experience. They don’t necessarily want their feed to show multiple marketing messages from businesses. For Facebook, their users need to be their primary concern.

Edgerank, according to FB, seeks to ‘de-spamify’ user newsfeeds and show users the content most relevant to them.

 

Edgerank is manna from Heaven for users

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It could be argued that Edgerank offers the following benefits:

1. Allows for best possible user experience – as content is growing, information overload is becoming stupendous. People are getting bored by the content they see on their walls. Facebook introduced Edgerank to try to filter content, remove clutter and give users the best possible experience.

2. Encourages businesses to generate the most interesting content – The Edgerank changes do not necessarily mean your content won’t show. It simply means that content with highest engagement will show. By making posts more interesting, businesses can encourage more interaction with their content (clicks, likes and comments), driving up their Edgerank score. This will result in future posts by your business being viewed by more fans.

3. Ensures that the right people are viewing your content – Even if the percentage reach of posts has decreased, the people who do get to see your content are the ones who have been interacting with your content and are, therefor, the best target market for you.

Conclusion

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Like most thing, generating ‘likes’, too, takes time and resources. Eventually, it boils down to demand and supply. As more and more content is generated on Facebook, the competition for users’ attention grows and visibility becomes a scarce commodity – one which everyone is fighting for.

Facebook has the right to change its platform as it feels necessary. The Edgerank changes are evidence of this. However, even though the reach of ‘likes’ has been affected by the Edgerank changes, Facebook is still an important source of free traffic.

Our take – while ‘likes’ are great for your business page, it’s not a good ida to rely solely on these to leverage the social aspect of Facebook.

The real value of Facebook lies in building and nurturing personal relationships. And the best way to do this is by creating engaging content which encourage interaction and improve your brand’s Edgerank. See what to post on your business page to improve customer engagement.