Ever wonder why you can have 548 friends on Facebook, yet only 15-20 show up in your news feed? It’s not that those other friends have stopped using Facebook; chances are they’re still there. It’s just that they aren’t showing up in your news feed.
For businesses, back in the day when you posted a status update on your Facebook Fanpage your fans saw it in their news feed. Yes, it was that easy. Now…sorry to say for many Facebook Fan page owners we now must compete and over come the Facebook EdgeRank formula.
Facebook EdgeRank is the sum of each Edge’s Affinity x Weight x Time Decay.
An Edge can range from Creating a Post to Sharing a Post. As an object within Facebook receives interactions it becomes more likely to show up in the news feed.
This relatively straight forward algorithm can lead to complicated results.
It determines which of your connections is the most important to you and thus appears most frequently, and which kinds of content should appear higher than others. For anyone seeking to market a product or service on Facebook it’s essential you understand how this algorithm works.
Many executives take a quick look at their fan count and cite that as their reason for success or failure. In reality, creating engagement (shares, comments, and likes) is much more important as it will create greater exposure and higher click through rates.
However, a typical post created by a page only reaches about 17% of their fans. Multiple Posts a day can help increase this number for the total each day.
In order to understand how this works, we must first understand the terminology:
Affinity is a score based on the proximity or how “friendly” you are with someone. You’ve probably seen this in action. Spy on an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, snoop on their profile and suddenly they’re in your news feed all the time.
Comment on someone’s photos and you’ll find them appearing in your feed more often. This is affinity in action. You’ve sent a proactive signal that you have a ‘closeness’ to that individual or organization. The algorithm acknowledges this and begins to order the results in your news feed accordingly.
Edge Weight is a basic formula which decides that certain pieces of content are more likely to appear in news feeds than others. Photos are more important than someone “liking” a business profile, etc.
There’s no definitive sequence of Edge Weight, but there are certain objects which acquire more EdgeRank than others. This can imply that they tend to have a higher Edge Weight than other types of content.
The three types of content which are widely understood to have the highest Edge Weight are Videos, Photos, and Links. Knowing that these are have the heaviest weighting should alter the way you communicate using Facebook. You should try and incorporate objects with high weight scores into any announcements that you want to reach as many of your followers as possible.
The final element of the EdgeRank is related to recency, which is actually known as time decay. For example, regardless of how much the EdgeRank is based on Affinity and Weight, if it’s old news it becomes less likely to appear. This is different to Twitter which relies only on chronological order;
Facebook is still very reliant on the temporal nature of content, which is again pretty self-evident. Put simply, recency is that something newer is more likely to appear than something older.
Things you can do to increase your EdgeRank
Now if you’re a regular user of Facebook, many of these ideas behind EdgeRank are obvious, but with a good appreciation and understanding of how EdgeRank works you will begin to make more intelligent decisions in your Facebook marketing campaign.
First of all, you want to do all you can to increase the affinity between your followers and you ahead of the announcement. Perhaps you could start a debate on one of your status updates which lots of your followers contribute to.
Not only will the number of comments increase the likelihood of that particular item appearing in the news feed , but also anyone who has made a contribution will have increased their affinity to you.
The more important the ‘object’ is, the higher the possibility of it being seen in the News Feed. Videos, photos, and links are considered the heaviest forms of edge. Apparently, a video post has a greater chance to be seen in the News Feed than a simple “like”. Always remember that friend’s photos are more significant to “like” rather than a business profile.
You want to post objects that will encourage interaction through comments. Just simply saying, ‘I’m tired’ does not encourage interaction but, saying ‘Who else has had an exhausting week and tell me why?’ creates a ‘buzz’ to answer and engage with that ‘object’.
You can even ask controversial questions or even post a controversial picture. People love to express their point of views and opinions. Bottom line is, this makes your update engaging and now your Facebook EdgeRank will be increasing with that user.
Post links because the link requires an action, click to get to the other side. You can also share good content from other resources too. Don’t just post the link, be sure to tell why you are posting the link and why your fans or friends should check it out. This will increase the engagement on that particular post.
Don’t be afraid to ask for your fans to share or to click ‘like’ especially if you are just starting out. Just know it takes some time for a page to gain momentum but if you stay consistent you will speed up the process.
Facebook EdgeRank basically comes down to content. You want to publish content that encourages engagement, through the users commenting, sharing and liking in order to have a killer Facebook Marketing system in place.