Do you ever log into Facebook and wonder why new posts are underneath older ones? Or why a post you commented on yesterday is still at the top of your home page? The answer is Facebook EdgeRank.
What is Facebook EdgeRank?
EdgeRank is the “secret sauce” that Facebook uses to determine how interesting your posts and content are to your fans.
Now, since the majority of Facebook users don’t change the default sort setting on their home page, their newsfeeds are sorted by “Top Stories.” What is a “top story” is determined by EdgeRank – and that’s why you need to know about it.
Below is the formula for EdgeRank. Despite how it looks, it’s not terribly hard to understand. In a nutshell, every post you make can earn points in three categories: Affinity, Weight, and Time Decay. The more points your posts get, the higher they appear in your follower’s newsfeeds, and the longer they stay there.
So let’s talk about how to earn points.
Affinity is defined as “the quality of the relationship an individual has with your page.” This means that for a fan who visits your page frequently and interacts a lot with your posts (i.e. clicks, likes, comments, and shares them), your posts will show up more often in their feeds. For your fans who rarely visit and rarely interact, your posts won’t show up as often, nor stay in their feed as long. This category is fan-specific, meaning the Affinity points for each of your posts will be different for every fan you have.
Weight is actually a combination of two factors: the type of post, and the type of actions ON the post. Weight is not fan-specific, so these points will be the same for all of your fans regardless of their actions.
First, different types of posts receive different points off the bat. In order from most to least points.
- Videos and photos
- Posts that link to other Facebook pages
- Posts that link to other websites
- A plain old post gets the least number of points.
So think about the type of post and try to stack the deck in your favor. Whenever possible, post a photo or video, or at the very least, a link of some kind.
The second factor that earns points in the Weight category is the type of actions your followers take on the post. In order from most to least points:
This means that a post with a handful of shares and/or comments will float higher in newsfeeds than posts with lots of likes, everything else being equal.
Finally, posts earn points based on how much interaction they receive. The age of the post isn’t necessarily critical, although for a short period of time a newer post will rank higher than an older one (again, all things being equal). You’ll see old posts that suddenly pop to the top of the newsfeed because they were revived by comments.
Let’s look a little closer at a default newsfeed. A few key things to note… First, as you can see, posts are not organized by most recent. You can see that the Rolling Stones video – which should have more points because it’s a video – has much more interaction – which also gives it more points – but it is below the Marketo post that has very little interaction. Why? This is key… Because of Affinity.
I visit the Marketo Facebook page a lot, and I interact with their posts a lot. Therefore, FB assumes I am more interested in Marketo than the Rolling Stones, and they are right! So it floats to the top and stays there longer.
Affinity is Key
So, the take home from this article is that Affinity is CRITICAL to making sure your posts are seen by your fans. This means you must somehow get them to visit your wall and take actions on your posts. You do this by making sure every post you make is interesting, relevant, and timely, and every post needs to include a call to action. Ask your fans to share, click, comment, or like. In fact, asking for action improves engagement by 50%!
Do you want to see how you’re doing? One of my favorite free tools – Edgerank Checker gives you a score. Give it a try and let us know how your Facebook page stacks up!
Want to make sure you’re maximizing the traffic your page gets? Read my post Best Practices for Setting Up a Facebook Page.
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