The Greatest Myth of Facebook Marketing

Frank Emanuele of Likeable wrote a great post this week called 3 Myths About Facebook Promoted Posts. The myths, according to Frank:

  1. “If you don’t pay extra, nobody sees your posts!”
  2. “Facebook is punishing pages that don’t advertise!”
  3. “Only big brands will be able to afford Facebook!”

Frank was on the money. I’m tired of reading and hearing all of the bickering about how there’s some Facebook conspiracy to prevent fans from seeing your posts in an effort to force you to buy advertising. It’s garbage.

The post got me to thinking: What’s the biggest myth about Facebook marketing, sparked by rumors and misinformation? It didn’t take much debate…

The #1 Myth About Facebook Marketing: EdgeRank is Bad for Brands

Whenever EdgeRank is mentioned, it is in a negative context:

  • My post didn’t reach some of my fans because of EdgeRank
  • I have to buy ads to reach more fans because of EdgeRank
  • I’m an annoying conspiracy theorist who likes to blame others for my failures because of EdgeRank

Okay, the third was thrown in there because I couldn’t think of another item that wasn’t related to the first two, and you really can’t create a list without at least three items. You get the point.

Here’s the thing: Facebook EdgeRank is as good for you as it is bad.

Overall, it’s a wash. If you are good at what you do, EdgeRank will actually benefit you.

Let’s think about this. The entire purpose of EdgeRank is to surface content to users that is important to them. Sure, it will knock down and hide bad content. If you routinely post content that Fan X never engages with, Facebook takes it as a sign that they don’t want to see your post. So even if they are online when you write it, they may not see it.

But there is actually a flip side to this: If you routinely create content that Fan X likes, comments on and shares, Facebook takes it as a sign that they want to see what you post. So if that fan missed a post that you wrote 10 hours ago, Facebook will surface it in Top News when they get online.

With Top News, Facebook is saying, Hey there! I know you dig this stuff! You’ve proven that you dig this stuff! Here is some awesome content that you missed while you were away!

Look at EdgeRank in this way. It doesn’t really “hurt” you if it prevents people who ignore your stuff from seeing your content. But it can certainly help by combatting your biggest enemy: Time Spent Online.

That’s right! You’re only reaching 16% of your fans because your fans are only on Facebook an average of 30 minutes per day. If they aren’t online, they don’t see your posts.

But if they aren’t online and you routinely write awesome stuff, EdgeRank will help you reach them anyway!

So, please… Stop looking at EdgeRank as your enemy. It is not evil. This is a myth! EdgeRank is your friend if used correctly.

What do you think is the greatest myth of Facebook marketing? Tell me in the comments below!