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Alex Schoeneberger

Alex Schoeneberger Product Manager

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10 Tips to Boost Your EdgeRank

Facebook is a topic that has been nearly beaten to death at industry events.  It seems every dealer not living under a rock has a Facebook page, but few are taking the actions necessary to build their Facebook EdgeRank to a point where messages the dealer posts are able to get through to a critical mass of users.  EdgeRank is an important Facebook search algorithm for dealers to understand because if it isn’t optimized, most of your fans will never see your posts.  The Power of Like, a study performed by comScore in conjunction with Facebook, found that “on average, 16 percent of fans are reached by branded content by a brand that posts five out of seven days.”  One of the key reasons for that low percentage is brands not putting a high enough priority on optimizing EdgeRank.  Without building your content strategy with EdgeRank in mind, your Facebook page could look like a tumbleweed-filled ghost town. 

What is it?

Similar to Google’s PageRank, which decides the ranking of Google search results, Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm exists to serve the newsfeed content that Facebook believes would be most relevant to each individual user.  This is determined by engagement metrics such as the number of comments, likes and shares an individual post receives, as well as the individual user’s historical interactions with the person or Facebook page posting.  Edgerank also takes into account other, less frequent engagement activities like tagged photos. 

If a Facebook user interacts with your page frequently, this increased amount of interactions make your posts more likely to appear in that particular user’s newsfeed.  When that same user interacts with your post, it also makes your post more likely to be visible to that user’s friends, whether those users Like your page or not.  On the other side of the coin, fans that never interact with you are much less likely to see your page’s posts.  EdgeRank also can increase and decrease over time, depending on how engaged an individual has been by your content recently.  This means that if you slack off, you will have to work harder to build your Edgerank back up again.

As with Google PageRank, there is a lot of speculation about Edgerank and exactly what actions have the most influence on the algorithm, but here are the basics:

  • Comments on a post are weighted heavier than liking a post.  If a user comments on your post, that user is more likely to see your future posts.  That user’s friends also are more likely to see that post appear in their newsfeed, compared to if the original user simply liked the post.  Post likes still have value; just not as much value as comments.
  • Photos and videos are rated a higher EdgeRank weight than links. 

For an EdgeRank explanation that goes a little deeper, check out this TechCrunch article.

What can I do about it?

Here are several tips you can leverage to build and maintain a stronger EdgeRank:

  1. If you haven't already been automatically converted to it, adopt the new Facebook Timeline and fill out your dealership timeline using photos of your store and vehicles that have been sold there.  For example, if your store has a lot of history, you could share photos of classic cars dated to when they were released or historical photos of your store.  If your store is newer, you could still highlight halo vehicles based on when they were first available at your store.  Not only will this make your page more interesting to your fans, but the fans who visit your page for the first time are more likely to interact with something on your page.  If that happens, you will have a higher EdgeRank with those fans from the start, instead of earning a fan and then effectively losing them soon after due to a low EdgeRank score with that individual.
  2. Also on the topic of engaging fans who visit your page, learn how to control the content on your Facebook page and make it more noticeable with recently released features such as cover photos, starred posts, pinned posts and changing post dates. 
  3. Keep the text in posts short and keep the language simple.
  4. Ask questions.  A study performed by Buddy Media found that questions starting with “where,” “when,” “would” and “should” generated more engagement.  Fill-in-the-blank style questions also work well. 
  5. When you want to share a link, try sharing a photo instead with the text and link as the caption to a photo.  The photo will catch more eyeballs and generate more engagement than just text and a link. 
  6. Along the same lines, make it a point to share photo and video content on a regular basis.
  7. Establish a series of weekly activities, which will encourage fans to interact with your content and create something to look forward to week after week.  Setting up a weekly trivia game is a great example of this.  To get even more comments out of a trivia question post, after several people have answered the first question, wade into the comments and ask a follow-up question.  Everyone who already commented will get a Facebook notification that your page responded and many will come back to check it out and respond again.  This extends the life of a post and increases the chance for both fans and friends of fans to see your post through the additional comments it will generate.
  8. Include content that is local and interesting to your audience in the mix of posts you publish on a monthly basis.
  9. Don’t post too much.  Find your sweet spot: for some dealers it will be one post per week and for others, one post per day.  It depends on how engaged your audience is and how interesting your content is, but for many Facebook users, fatigue from seeing the same page over and over again can set in - especially if your content is repetitive.  You can determine whether or not you are ‘fatiguing’ your audience with content overload by watching the ‘unsubscribe count’ in your page’s Facebook Insights. Keep your activity consistent, then look at your ‘Likes’ and ‘unsubscribes’ to see if you are at a net gain or at a net loss for that period of time.
  10. If you start trying some of these tips on your Facebook page and don’t see immediate results, don’t get discouraged.  It often takes a Facebook audience time to warm up to the new content. Keep a consistent level of activity up for two to three weeks. If you still don’t see the level of interaction you were working towards, you should start rethinking either your goals or your strategy.  Do you have a critical mass of local fans?  Don’t underestimate the value of an audience: the more fans you have, the greater opportunity for reach you have as well as a greater diversity of fans.

How do I measure EdgeRank?

Facebook both keeps the EdgeRank algorithm confidential and makes frequent updates.  Various online tools claim to offer the ability to measure your EdgeRank, but in reality, there is no way for them to know it and your EdgeRank differs with each individual fan – it is not one set number for all fans.  The best way to measure improvement as it relates to EdgeRank is to track your engagement over time and how many people you are able to reach, both of which are accessible in Facebook Insights and various third-party tools. 

By understanding EdgeRank and tracking your progress as you implement tactics designed to boost engagement in the form of likes, comments and other actions, your dealership brand and the message you want to convey will be much more likely get through to a wider audience on Facebook.

Jim Bell
Thanks for the info Alex. I have not heard of Edgerank before and now will be one more thing to look at.
Alex Schoeneberger
It's always one more thing, isn't it? ;-) The good news is that engagement is the key and there's a lot of info out there on generating engagement. A better understanding of EdgeRank will just allow you to employ better tactics to generate it and reach more of your audience.

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