Most Facebook marketers try to optimize for EdgeRank to improve their exposure on the news feed. What happens when your competition is doing the same thing? Competitive EdgeRank should be understood as you battle for news feed exposure.
Each Facebook user’s news feed is custom tailored by EdgeRank. This means objects with high EdgeRank will have a higher likelihood of being presented as a “Top Story” (which will result in more exposure & a better chance of receiving engagement). Objects that have low EdgeRank will have a smaller likelihood of being marked a “Top Story”. Ultimately, you have objects competing to have higher EdgeRank to result in more exposure in the news feed.
What does competitive EdgeRank do to your Page?
During times that your Page’s update is dealing with a high level of competition, your update may struggle for exposure & engagement. This can result in a lower EdgeRank score for the day (if you only Post once), but may not necessarily indicate lower EdgeRank moving forward. This can cause small fluctuations in EdgeRank Scores.
Competitive EdgeRank Example
Let’s take a hypothetical situation. You manage a major news outlet’s Facebook Page. Your average Fan, is also a Fan of 2 other competing news outlets. Your typical fan has the potential of seeing:
- All of their friends’ content
- All of the content from Pages they Like
- Your brand
- 2 similar competitors
All of these updates must compete for space within your Fan’s Top Stories. On an average day when the Fan’s friends and Pages they Like, produce an average amount of content is your Competitive Noise.
For example: A Saturday in the Summer & an unusually high amount of people are attending weddings and publishing photos all day. Your brand’s average content on an unusual day (such as our example day), will result in low EdgeRank Scores due to the high Competitive Noise.
On an average day, your news outlet organization reports on a popular topic not covered by your competitors. However, your competitor was able to secure an exclusive interview, in regards to a different but equally as popular topic, which is resulting in a high level of engagement on their Post. This Post is receiving high EdgeRank for many of their fans (which in some cases are also your fans). When your typical Fan logs into to see their Top Stories, your competitor’s Post (different topic, same approximate time, exclusive insight, high EdgeRank) will not only receive more engagement, but could also keep your update out of the Top Stories.
What can you do about it?
The most important thing that can be done is to understand the concept of Competitive EdgeRank. In some situations, there is little you can do. If your competition succeeds in dominating a topic at the right time, their Post will simply beat your Post. In some situations, they are so large & have a unique advantage at creating highly interesting information. Be aware of their strength, and opt to move counter to their predictable patterns. Sometimes getting your content published a few hours ahead of theirs is enough to stay ahead of the Competitive Noise. Monitor their Posting tendencies, they may neglect weekend nights which could provide beneficial for your Page to capture some of their audience.
An alternative strategy is to Post about the same topic at the approximate same time as the larger Page. Facebook will sometimes take multiple updates with the same topic and create a sort of “catch all” Post in the news feed. In some situations, this may provide more Impressions & Engagement than you would have been able to create without this catch-all update.