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October 30, 2012

Understanding Facebook EdgeRank

Understanding Facebook EdgeRank

EdgeRank is essentially the “formula” that decides if your posts are important to their users.  When a Facebook user is scrolling down their newsfeed, EdgeRank determines what is or is not displayed.   It learns what is important to that user, what they like and what they don’t like.  It is as simple as that.

Knowing how EdgeRank works is a very important part of growing and engaging your audience on Facebook. If no one is seeing your posts and updates, then you might as well be using Myspace for your social marketing.  It will probably have the same end result……wasted time.

Unlike Google’s secret search algorithms, Facebook has made their EdgeRank formula open to the public. Let’s break down the three pieces of the EdgeRank forumla.

1. Affinity

This is the measure of previous interaction a user has had with a fan or brand page. These interactions might be comments, likes or shares.  The Affinity rule is pretty simple.  The more interaction you have from a user, the more your content will show up on their news feed.

2. Weight

This is the measure of the amount of engagement a specific post has.  This might be an update, picture or anything else that you post on your fan or brand page.   The more likes, comments, and shares you have, the  more weight that post has.  Weight tells Facebook that what you are saying is important and should be displayed more users.  Like affinity it is pretty simple in theory.   You want to watch what you are posting and see how your audience is reacting.  Posts that are only getting a few likes and comments can be considered “bad marketing” that is not helping your EdgeRank, in fact it might be hurting your social efforts.

"Understanding EdgeRank"

3. Decay

This is the the amount of time from when you created a new post and its exposure in the News Feed.  Basically this is exposure over time for any post. The  newer a post is, the more exposure it has.  You can slow down the time decay effect by ensuring that your weight is increasing over time.  The more engagement a post has the longer it will be available in a users news feed.

Summary

Facebook has created an extremely complex formula that determines if your posts are showing up on users news feeds.  However on a basic level this formula is really easy to understand.

If you are creating fresh content that is generating likes, comments and shares you will stay visible to fans.  On the other hand if you are just posting non-relavant content to make your facebook page look active you are probably wasting your time.  The most important thing you can do is make sure you are watching the engagement of your posts.  Discover what type of posts generate the most engagement for your page and forget about everything else.

Checking Engagement

Facebook has created a very simple way for you to check how “engaging” your posts are.  By looking at your page insights you can get good understanding of what is working and tailor your future posts accordingly.

In the example picture below I have highlighted successful posts with better than average engagement.   These are the types of posts I would focus on in the future. More importantly I would make sure that I am not duplicating the types of posts that are low performers   By watching the page insights overtime I can ensure I am creating relevant and engaging topics for my users which will increase my EdgeRank score.

Facebook Insights

Posting Frequency

The last thing I want to talk about is how often you should post. Do not listen to the “experts” telling you to post an update every hour.  This usually leads to several non-relevant posts a day that can decrease your EdgeRank score.  Focus on just one high quality post a day. If you do that and really focus on increasing your post engagement, your social reach will grow quickly.

3 Things You Can Do Right Now To Triple Your EdgeRank Score

  1. Always use pictures or links with every post.  This makes your posts more engaging and will encourage more interaction.
  2. Use calls to action on every post.  This keeps the three EdgeRank factors working for you.  Start your posts with clear actions like:  *LIKE* this if you….  *QUESTION* what do you think is the….  *TELL US* how do you…..
  3. Post consistently every day.  Focus on one quality post everyday that is relavant to your fans.

Checking your EdgeRank Score

To see how you’re doing visit www.edgerankchecker.com and keep on top of your score.

 

author

by Kevin Smith

Managing partner at SmashBrand. We’re a group of experienced brand owners, thinkers and world-class designers united by an obsession for creating category disrupting brand experiences.


Purposefully selective, we work with brands that want to stand out and also stand for something.


Understanding Facebook EdgeRank

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