Written By: Adam Dince
The other day, I decided to put my research cap on in hopes of figuring out how to measure my Facebook EdgeRank score, the algorithm that determines what Facebook posts users see.
For those hearing about EdgeRank for the first time—let me provide a quick explanation. As you might imagine, there are literally millions of Facebook interactions every day. According to KISSmetrics.com, on a daily basis:
– 35 million people update their Facebook statuses
– 55 million Facebook status updates are posted
Given the massive amount of activity on Facebook, the social media giant had to figure out a way to determine which posts are most deserved of prominence. This is where EdgeRank comes in. Essentially, the more engaged your network is with you, the higher your EdgeRank goes and the more likely your posts will be featured in your friends / fans feeds.
Now, back to the main purpose of this article. In my journey to learn how to measure my Facebook’s EdgeRank, I came across a Website that claimed to be able to tell me what my EdgeRank score was. Because I’m a nerd, I couldn’t resist and off to the races I went.
Shortly after reviewing my custom EdgeRank report, my EdgeRank bubble burst right in front of my eyes. “Why?” you may ask. I stumbled upon a site called EdgeRank.net, which is powered by PageLever (an extremely reputable and highly respected social analytics company). I thought this might be another EdgeRank scoring tool, however, to my surprise, the headline of the homepage read,
Alert! Anyone who says they can measure your EdgeRank score is lying to you. It is completely impossible because no general EdgeRank score exists.
Which was similar to Google’s warning about SEO consultants making unrealistic organic search ranking promises,
Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35291
A few moments later, I was nursing my burst EdgeRank bubble with a cup of coffee (Folgers by the way, because I’m old-school!) and pondering the reliability of social media influencer measurement tools. Those of us active in social media marketing have been programmed to check scores on a regular basis. Oh no, my Klout score dropped a point. How do I get it back up? How many more Tweets do I need to write to recover? How many Re-Tweets do I need to make my Tweets meaningful? What sorts of off-line Kred do I have to upload to stay ahead of my peers? Aye! Too much to think about?! And if these scores are unreliable, what’s the point anyway?
And then—whammo—epiphany! Scores don’t matter, relationships do.
That’s what social networking is all about. It’s about curating the right content to your audience. It’s about interacting with your network and adding value. It’s about being someone that other people trust for information. Whether you’re a brand or an individual, you shouldn’t be worrying about a score provided by a third-party site that has not been substantiated by the major social networks themselves. And you shouldn’t be trying to game your influence by inorganically tweeting and posting on Facebook.
Am I saying to not check your analytics? Absolutely not! You should be monitoring your Facebook Insights. You should be leveraging third party analytics tools that shows you how engaged your community is with your content.
However, at the end of the day, if you doing the right things in your communities, you will do well within your social networks, thus theoretically organically growing your influence scores (if you still care about them after reading this article).