I had a recent conversation with a client about Facebook and they were confused. Seems they had been following their niece for years on Facebook. Recently, they noticed they weren’t seeing any of their niece’s Facebook posts and didn’t know why.
This is where Facebook’s EdgeRank comes into play. In some regards, EdgeRank is more important than the number of “Likes”.
What is EdgeRank?
It is an algorithm to determine the order and which posts appear in your news feed and those of your Facebook friends and fans. It is Facebook’s way of prioritizing your news feed content.
So who gets in and who doesn’t?
The Facebook EdgeRank algorithm uses three factors to determine who gets into the news feed: Affinity, Weight and Decay. Let’s review each.
1. Affinity measures the “friendship” between you and the page or friend that created the item. Comment on someone’s photos and you’ll find them appearing in your news feed more often.
Affinity is dual edged. The upside is you will continue to see more of those you have interacted with. The downside is you won’t have as many opportunities to interact with those who don’t appear in your news feed. If you visit a profile or page of someone following you, it will have no impact on your ability to appear in their feed. But if you comment on a photo of theirs which then triggers them to comment back, it would lead to them having a greater affinity to you. So you need to think of ways to create that interaction in order to increase your affinity scores with those who you want to appear in your news feed.
2. Weight is measured by the type of post. Is it a photo or a comment on another person’s status? There is no cheat sheet on what gets what weight, but it is assumed that Facebook tends to favor media rich content (e.g. photos, videos, links, etc.). There are also some additional factors that can influence the weight score.
One factor is that weight can grow through a lot of post likes and comments. This is one reason why posts that are controversial, breaking news or requiring quick action seem to be more likely to appear in the news feeds.
Another contributor of weight is that each person’s edge weight is different. Some of your fans or friends may have a higher weight (or preference) for photos, while others may have higher weight with links or videos. This should encourage your to create a variety of different kinds of posts in order to reach more of your fan or friend base.
3. Decay is a simple measurement of how recent the action was taken. Simple put the newer the post, the more likely it will appear than an older post. It appears that this factor may override weight and affinity.
There are two implications of decay to consider. One is you should create posts at the times your audience is most likely to be viewing Facebook. If you are an internet marketing company, your best post days will probably be Tuesday through Thursday, between 1 and 3 p.m. EST, which is when most people are active on Facebook. If you manage a bar, a movie house or a retail store, your best post days may be Friday and Saturdays. You can determine the best days and times for your specific audience by analyzing your Facebook Insights.
The second implication of decay is you may be able to increase the visibility of your content by timing it when others are less likely to be creating competing content. This may increase your chances of showing up in the news feed over others with higher EdgeRanks. You’ll have to experiment to see if this works for you.
First, having a smaller and more engaged audience is a good thing. But if you want to reach more of your friends and fans you need a plan to positively impact your EdgeRank.
- First, you want to increase your affinity by getting them engaged. Some engagement techniques can be found in this recent post.
- Include a variety of rich media (videos, photos and links) posts since these types of posts carry heavier weightings and so you’ll have a greater chance of reaching more of your fans and friends’ news feeds.
- Analyze your Facebook Insights to determine the best days and time of day to reach your audience and don’t be afraid to experiment with different days and times. You might be surprised.
- Be consistent in your posts to increase your chances of sparking interaction.
What has your experience been with EdgeRank?
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