Likes, Comments, & Shares: Who Cares? – Understanding Facebook’s EdgeRank
When I help people or companies with posting to Facebook, the first thing I always advise them to do is to be sure to post interesting and engaging content. Sadly, despite my pleadings, some people just don’t “get it” and they continue to post boring and lackluster content.
If you’re managing a Facebook page for either yourself or your company, and you truly want your social media marketing to reach your target audience and convert them into customers, you need to understand Facebook’s EdgeRank; there is no way around it, it is absolutely essential. EdgeRank is one of the most important algorithms in marketing. Despite this, very few people have heard of it and fewer still can claim that they fully understand it.
What is Facebook EdgeRank and Why Should I Care?
Facebook users have on average 130 freinds, and they “like” plenty of pages. If every single action of a friend and page showed up in a user’s news feed, that user would become completely overwhelmed with updates (not to mention those with more than 1,000 friends). In order to optimize a user’s News Feed, Facebook created an algorithm calledEdgeRank.
Facebook EdgeRank is an algorithm that decides what are the most important to display in someone’s news feed. If Facebook EdgeRank decides that a post is not important, then it gets dropped off the feed. This is extremely bad news for those pages that don’t “get it” and post only the boring and lackluster promotional posts to their Facebook page. Like I’ve said before, no one likes a broadcaster.
If your Facebook page and its posts aren’t getting much interaction from fans with likes, comments, and shares, I’m sorry to tell you that your brand isn’t going to stay in the forefront of people’s minds because it’s not going to even make it onto their news feeds. Your time spent posting will be naught.
How does Facebook EdgeRank Work?
There are three basic components to the Facebook EdgeRank algorithm: Affinity, Edge Weight, and Time Decay. When you add these three components together, this comprises your EdgeRank. While this does make the algorithm seem simple, there’s actually a huge amount of complexity behind these three factors.
“Affinity” refers to a user’s relationship with their friends and pages. For example, if you comment on someone’s photos, videos, and status updates, you’re likely to notice that they are appearing in your feed more often. This is Affinity in action and also applies to pages. The more that a Facebook user “interacts” with your page and its posts (i.e. going to the page itself, liking posts, commenting on them, and sharing them with their friends), the higher your affinity score becomes with that user.
“Edge Weight” measures two things; first it looks at what item the post is (video, photo, link, status update, etc.), and second it looks at how a user is interacting with said content.
Facebook uses Edge Weight to decide which pieces of content should more likely appear in news feeds over others. Videos, photos, and links are generally considered to have the highest weight, and things such as page info updates and plain, text-only status updates have significantly less weight. In other words, if a fan views a video on your page, this will score far more points in Facebook EdgeRank than if they simply visit your page.
Knowing this, you should alter the way you communicate with your Facebook page. Whenever you post an update, make sure that you incorporate objects with high weight scores such as videos, photos and links into your updates.
“Time decay” refers to how recent the item is. Regardless of how high your Affinity and Weight scores are, the older your post is, the less likely it becomes to appear on a Facebook user’s news feed.
The takeaway here is to make sure you post your updates, links, photos, and videos at times when your page’s fans are most likely to be logged into Facebook. This will ultimately help eliminate the Time Decay portion of your Edge Rank and will help your content stay on your fans’ news feeds in the future.
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 Facebook EdgeRank works, you can begin to make more intelligent decisions in your Facebook marketing campaign.