To say that our heads are swimming in Facebook data, research, other people's opinions, and total nonsense would be an understatement!
As we announced yesterday we've been conducting our own private research study into Facebook. Our goal is to discover what would get people off Facebook and onto your website or into your jewelry store.
This has not been easy. Why? Simply because no one is talking about this topic at all, yet all of you seem to be asking us for this information.
To be honest, typically you guys in the jewelry industry are a little more grounded, and slower to adopt new technology. While many other industries and brand ran headlong into the wide open green fields of Facebook marketing, most jewelers held back wondering what was on the other side of that wide field. Many of those early adopters found themselves impaled with hidden pikes or fell into spike filled pits in that green field. (Yeah, we love our analogies.)
So what's in it for the everyday average local retail jewelry store? How can you use this social media monster to create sales or generate foot traffic into your store? We're going to attempt to answer this, but we have to warn you, the answer isn't easy to understand. Just like all things internet and technology related, there is no clear method or answer, but there's a lot of "potentials" and "needs for further testing on your own."
As we sit down to write this we realize this will be another Daily Golden Nugget Series, and probably be included in our 2012 Holiday Run-Up eBook.
To start, we have to cover a topic of Facebook EdgeRank. This is Facebook's way of determining how different status posts appear in someone's news feed. If you wanted to compare it to Google you could say that Google's SERP is akin to Facebook's News Feed; then you could say that Search Engine Optimization is akin to Facebooks EdgeRank methods.
All Facebook marketing guys should understand what EdgeRank is. As a test you could ask your Facebook marketing person to explain it to you. Please choose another Facebook consultant if they are unable to explain this, or worse, never heard of it. This would be like an SEO expert telling you they don't use, or have a need for, Google Webmaster Tools.
There are many white papers and blog posts online about EdgeRank. If you decide to research this on your own you will discover that Facebook ranking techniques are learned through trials and testing. Just like Google, Facebook doesn't officially publish their ranking methods, but some amazing reports have been published in the last 6 months to help the average local business owner understand all the theory behind it. The most notable we found came from WildFire, a Facebook marketing company.
Over the next few Daily Golden Nuggets we're going to attempt to illustrate what EdgeRank is and give you a grounded foundation so you can understand it in the future.
EdgeRank is a mathematical equation that calculates where every Facebook post should appear in a News Feed. The equation assigns values to how friendly you are with other people, gives a weighted numerical value to the type of post you make, and measures how long ago you posted your update. Somehow these 3 numbers are added or multiplied to create an on-the-fly value for everything you see.
When you read other explanations of EdgeRank you will hear words like "Affinity," "Edge Weight," and "Recency." If ever there were a conspiracy to confuse people about Facebook this certainly would qualify with words like that.
The "Affinity" is how friendly you are with people and how friendly they are back to you. If you Like someone's post you are considered to be a little friendly. If you comment on someone's post then you're really showing interest. You are somewhat friendly if you click on an image to view it larger, and even more friendly if you invest some time to watch a video.
Every time you are "friendly" with someone's posts Facebook assumes you want to be closer friends and will show you more stuff in your News Feed from that person. But friendship may be unrequited. In real life sometimes your friends hate you and never return your phone calls even though you call them every day.
Facebook knows when your friends do not reciprocate your friendship. How? Simply because your friend never Likes one of your posts, comments on your posts, or looks at one of your photos. If your friend doesn't interact with you at all then your stuff will never appear in their News Feed. So even though you see every one of their photos from the back yard BBQ, and the status post from their latest Dunkin Donuts acquisition, they will never see your Green Emerald birthstone of the month post because they've ignored you for several months.
So there you have it. That's the first part of understanding what Facebook's EdgeRank is all about. We'd like to call it the "Friendliness Factor" but I guess we need to be sheep and call it "Affinity." Baaah.
Join us tomorrow as our Facebook Daily Golden Nugget Series continues.