I work for a news organization. So I like to think that people spend a lot of their time online staying on top of local, national and international news. Certainly, they do. But according to this infographic, people spend more time on Facebook Newsfeed than six major news sites — ABC, MSNBC, Yahoo News, CNN, New York Times and Huffington Post — combined.
Yes, I said combined. I also said Newsfeed, as in only what you see when you’re signed in at facebook.com, not including facebook.com-slash-anything because that would mean straying from your Newsfeed. That’s why it’s important to know what Edgerank is and how it works. Basically, Facebook measures what kind of content you’ve shared (photo vs. link vs. text), how long it’s been up and your relationship with other users and brands based on engagement. And then the result of that formula determines whose Newsfeeds your content graces and for how long.
Ideally, you want to hit every piece of the Edgerank algorithm. On AL.com’s Facebook page, our social team shares photos when we have really good ones and always shares at least a link. We ask questions or post extra information with the links that we hope will generate conversation, both because we want to hear from our fans and because we know comments equal better Edgerank. We update our Facebook page several times a day. We aim to always have fresh content to rank, while not posting so much that we stack up in our fans’ Newsfeeds. We want to be a part of that 20 percent of content that makes it into our fans’ “customized newspaper,” as Facebook has stated is its goal for the user experience.
How many minutes (or hours) a day would you estimate your spend on your Newsfeed? How does that compare to your times spent on other Facebook pages or profiles?
AL.com is also active on Google+, although after this week’s readings, I am thinking we’re not active enough. Google+ is actually just Google. It’s the search giant’s way of integrating all of its products, Google Docs and Gmail for example, into one big product; Everything else is just a feature of Google+ now. Even when you’re using plain, old Google to search for something, you’ll see what those in your circles have +1’d or shared. Social search and personalized search have been merged. That’s why it’s so critical for brands to have a good Google+ presence. As people circle you and as you share content on Google+, you’re increasing the likelihood that those people will see your content, either on Google+ or in their integrated Google search results.
AL.com also takes advantage of Google+ Authorship, which basically verifies content creators. Verified authors have their photo plopped beside the content they created when listed in search results, which attracts the eye and introduces an element of trust. There are so many bogus things on the internet that it can be hard sometimes to discern the real stuff from the fake. But if you see content from a Google-verified writer, whose photo you could even click on to get background information from their Google+ profile, you know you can probably trust that content.
Do you or your brand maintain a Google+ profile? How active are you on the network? If you’re a content creator, have you completed the Authorship steps?