One of the things we have said since the day we started Raidious: You can’t outsmart Google. The legions of genius-level engineers at Google have proven us right time and again, with the ongoing evolution of their search algorithm. We just wrote about this earlier this month – here is a handy infographic to help explain.
I think it’s now safe to say you can’t outsmart Facebook, either. With the introduction of EdgeRank, Facebook fired the first shot in what has become a war on bad content. Whether it’s one of your acquaintances posting pictures of every meal she eats, or some brand trying to push coupons, Facebook users made it clear through their behavior that they want remarkable, timely, relevant content from sources they choose, how and when and where they want it. EdgeRank was Facebook’s answer to this, and now Facebook has doubled down with the News Feed algorithm.
With more than 100,000 weighting factors, it will be nearly impossible to “game” the Facebook algorithm, which is a good thing for users. I think it’s also a good thing for marketers trying to grow their audience, because it will do exactly what Google’s algorithm shifts have done over the years … it will force brands to do the work – to earn the right to the attention of the user through high-quality, engaging, remarkable content.
The good news is, users are going to get a much more interesting newsfeed, and that is going to help Facebook stay relevant as a media platform for a long time. The bad news, for some brands, is they will no longer be able to fake the funk. Just posting content isn’t enough; brands have to work the full cycle to grow their audience – make the content, manage its distribution, monitor the audience reaction, moderate audience dialogue and measure the results to learn what content to make next.
Brands like CNN, ESPN, NPR and other broadcast news outlets have been doing it very effectively for years because they are not marketers … they are in the audience business. Now brands have to be in the audience business, too, and with platforms like Facebook and Google filtering out the good from the bad, it will help brands understand how to grow their audiences in other channels as well.
If you’re interested, we wrote a book on this topic. It will tell you everything you need to know about building audiences in real time using the same brand newsroom approach that CNN, ESPN, NPR and Raidious use every day. Until next time, keep it on the one – and don’t fake the funk!