Those of us who operate Facebook business pages get the delightful insight of seeing how many of our fans get to see our posts. We bang our heads against the wall, and scream along with death metal music to express our frustrations. We work our hardest trying to come up with awesome crap to post, only to have it seen by a mere percentage of the people who obviously want to see it since they clicked the “like” button.
Well, not necessarily.
When I first joined Facebook I added “Willow” in as one of my favorite movies. Action, romance, fantasy creatures, and an adorable baby – what’s not to like? I added it merely to populate a blank profile page with my personal interests. I wasn’t really aware that I was actually “liking” a business page that would start to populate my feed with pictures and quotes and trivia about the movie. Likewise, I am not interested in when Metallica is going to be playing in Tennessee (as much as I like the band), or that my favorite books are being re-leased for the Kindle.
Sometimes people “like” pages because they like a product or brand, and don’t initially realize that they are going to be receiving daily messages in their feeds from those pages. What Facebook does, in order to prevent people from seeing too much from pages they didn’t really intend to see updates from, is they only share content that those users frequently interact with. A post that receives more interaction from more people will be given a higher “edge rank” and be seen by even more people (unless of course, you pay Facebook money to up the rank without the interaction.)
Interaction on Facebook consists of comments, shares, and likes. Posts that receive more of these will be seen by more people. Hence, the temptation for pages to Edgerank Spam.
Edgerank Spam consists of posts that ask viewers to like, share, or comment for a reason that tugs at their heart strings. It usually has nothing to do with what the page is about. I know you’ve all seen them, they look like this:
“Like if you love Jesus! Comment if you’ve accepted Him into your heart!”
“Like to support our troops!”
“Share to save the polar bears!”
“Comment if you want Obama THROWN OUT!”
“Like for One Direction, comment for Justin Beiber.”
“Share this post and the image will transform! It really works!”
“Like if you HATE CANCER!”
You get the idea. The original creators of these posts often have no intention of spreading religion, preventing cancer, or providing support for injured soldiers. They simply want to up their rank on Facebook so they can get seen by more people and gather additional fans. In fact, building up business pages that are pre-loaded with fans and interaction is actually turning into a big business. Individuals are taking these pages, and selling them to businesses who don’t want to do the legwork building up their own fan base.
It’s pretty underhanded and sleazy, I know.
Please don’t feed the Edgerank Spammers. As much as this image tugs at your heart-strings, liking it will do nothing to help this child:
And please resist the temptation to create posts that spam their way to a higher rank by using this technique. It’s sneaky and icky. Instead, do the legwork. It’s harder, but it’s worth it in the end. If you write interesting updates and share valuable information via Facebook, your fans will naturally want to interact with you more. You want fans who really like you and your stuff, it does neither of you any favors to betray that trust.
Have some Facebook friends who are feeding the Edgerank Spammers and polluting your feed? Share this post to educate them!