The “Friday Song”

Every Friday in the copywriter bullpen, the quest to come up with a “Friday Song” for our Director of Marketing, Erin Brennan, is a serious one. This isn’t just a music video to share on her Facebook timeline. This is an end-of-the-week trophy, a celebration of the week’s accomplishments, and a desperate call for the weekend’s arrival. It has to be upbeat and familiar- just mainstream enough to enjoy, but not annoyingly overplayed. We can’t just throw a song out there, we have rules around here… and Erin keeps banning our suggestions:

Gotta get down on Friday!

  • Anything by Katy Perry
  • “Friday” -Rebecca Black
  • Any song with the word “Friday” in it
  • Call Me ____ (you know…)

I trust that there’s a method to picking the right song, and it probably includes something about steering clear of things that will get her defriended or hidden from someone’s newsfeed. After all, the goal is to stay visible.

Visibility on the Facebook takes a bit of an effort. Although developers constantly change and improve features on Facebook, the one thing that will stay the same is its overall focus on social activity. The more interaction that a post is getting, the more favorable it is to the Facebook robots… also known as EdgeRank. *Sips coffee* Here we go…

Facebook’s EdgeRank

EdgeRank is the algorithm that Facebook uses to determine what stories will appear on your news feed. Each like, comment, share, and post is a potential “story” that could feature on a news feed. Every story is a candidate, but according to Facebook, less than one percent of that will actually be published. This means that you will only see about 60 out of 30,000 stories that will be posted in your network. EdgeRank has the ability to pick out the top stories for you based on your behavior because it knows who and what is important to you. It knows who you interact with, how you interact with them, how often you interact with them and what stories you would be interested in. In fact, according to Facebook, the developers had to find a way to randomize the news feed rankings a little bit, because users found it eerie that Facebook knew them so well. Here’s how it works:

Three factors that go into this ranking system are Affinity Score, Weight, and Time Decay.

Facebook’s EdgeRank

Affinity Score is how interconnected you are with the person who made the post. A post made by your brother would have a higher affinity score than a post made by some classmate from high school. Likewise, a post made by someone that you interact with often, would have a higher affinity score than the weirdo whose posts you regularly ignore.

Weight measures the value of each post according to the type of post and the interaction on it. In this weighting system, an uploaded photo or video is worth more than a shared link or a plain text status update, and a comment on a post is worth more than a like.

Time Decay simply measures how long ago a post was made. The majority of engagement happens within minutes after a post is published. So if you post something at 4am, when nobody is awake to care about your insomnia, it isn’t likely to show up on news feeds by the time your friends do wake up.

Friday Song v. EdgeRank

So, back to Erin’s quest for the Friday song. Having a marketing background in special events and music entertainment, her network is huge and wildly interconnected (Bam! Affinity Score). On top of this, the majority of her friends have a high opinion of her taste in music. So right away, these posts are relevant to the interests of her audience.

Every Friday, someone out there wakes up and says, “Hmm, I wonder what song Erin is going to choose today.” Okay maybe not, but the fact that her friends now expect a music video every Friday makes the posts that much more apt for engagement; be it likes, comments, or shares. (Bam! Weight.) As for Time Decay, well, she posts these songs during the work day, which means everyone is awake and probably has a Facebook tab open at work. Bam. Time Decay. Erin rules EdgeRank world every Friday.

Having a recurring post is a pretty sneaky method of keeping people coming back for more. Our Caption Contest on Facebook is a pretty good example. The gist: every two weeks, we post a picture on Facebook and award the most-liked commenter with a free custom-made cover photo. According to our insights, our caption contests have the most reach and activity out of all of our posts. It’s entertaining, engaging, and people like winning things. I like winning things.

I also like a good, solid Friday song. So since this isn’t Erin, and this isn’t Facebook, I’ve picked one out myself. Throwing back on a Friday here at Key Web, I give you,

Happy Friday, everyone!

-Maria (or Mini)