What is EdgeRank and why does it matter? I’ll tell you, but first let me set the stage.
Most businesses are using Facebook, you’ll notice online that restaurants and movies and even some large brands are driving people to their Facebook page and not their URL. Facebook works as a lead generation source. If you understand how to make it work.
You need likes and shares and interaction but to get those, you need your posts to come up in other people’s news feed. That’s where EdgeRank comes in.
EdgeRank is Facebook’s algorithm which is used to determine what content users are shown in their news feed. The algorithm is pretty simple (yeah right!). It’s simply Rank = Affinity x Weight x Decay
Note: “Edges” are everything that happens on Facebook (comments, likes, shares).
Looking at each factor in detail they are defined as:
Affinity – this is a measure of how ‘close’ the viewing user (the potential customer) is to the Edge creator (the business). If a user makes a number of interactions (likes, comments etc) with the Edges of a particular page then their affinity will be greater.
Weight – each type of Edge (ie: photo, status update, a question etc) is given a weighting. Publishing content of a heavier weight may increase the EdgeRank. It is believed that a comment has more weight than a like, as the action is more involved, it requires more effort. Another consideration related to this is ‘accumulation’. When a post gains a number of comments or likes, this can give it more weight, creating a positive cycle.
Decay – the factor based on how long ago the edge was created. Broadly speaking, the older the Edge the less value it has, therefore the less impact it has on EdgeRank. Facebook’s news feeds can very quickly push down content, especially during peak times of posting, like in the evening.
Back in a September 2012 an update happened that stated EdgeRank just looks at how much engagement a post gets. In other words, the more comments, likes and shares a post gets, the better the chances it will get to the top of news feeds.
There are a couple other factors that contribute to a post’s EdgeRank, such as:
Complaints– If any one of your posts or your page receives lots of complaints, it will be much less likely to get to the top of news feeds.
User Behavior– If a user doesn’t usually like text posts, but rather videos, then he or she is more likely to get more videos in his/her news feed.
There is some element of randomness and no one knows exactly how the algorithm is going to treat any given pages or posts, but here are tips to help you increase your EdgeRank:
Post regularly/consistently. By posting more regularly, your page is kept fresh and you don’t to worry as much about the “decay” factor. Plus, regular posting can keeps people engaged and increases the likelihood that they will want to check your page regularly (without the prompt of seeing a post in the newsfeed).
Post at different times of the day and different days of the week. There have been many studies about what times people are most active on social media. Some of the findings: most people are on Facebook from 1 pm to 4 pm on weekdays and between 8 pm to 8 am and on weekends there is the least activity. That’s good to know, but it’s always best to test things for yourself and analyze the results to determine what works best for you. Keep in mind the scheduling feature on posts helps you get posts out at all different times, without having to actually be posting at that exact time.
Post all different types of content. A nice mixture of post-types is a good way to keep fans engaged. Some people prefer text, some people love video, stats show posts with images do very well.
Use Insights! Facebook has provided Facebook Insights to help you see exactly which posts and type of posts perform better. By checking this data regularly, you can tweak your posting and then measure again if this has an effect.
Make the most of any increases in fans. If you’ve paid for ads and gotten new fans out of it, or had something go viral and you’ve recently had an increase in fans, make sure you take advantage of that and try to get the new fans engaged, which will help your EdgeRank so they see more of your posts and can become even more engaged.
Try different approaches and see what people respond to. Try to be more controversial or ask questions that spark debates. Share something really fun. Share something heartwarming. Share something alarming that will really stop people in their tracks.
Yes, it’s going to take some work but the alternative is spending money on paid ads – but even that is not a “work-free” solution. With the major influx of ads on Facebook, you have to really use so many versions of different ads and keep things changed up so it’s fresh and attention getting. So either way, you need to be prepared to put some work into your Facebook campaign.