Though EdgeRank is widely discussed topic on Facebook, it can sometimes be misconstrued. We’ve decided to provide you a quick summary of all the facts and offer advice on how to optimize your posting strategy to maximize reach.
A General Overview of EdgeRank
An “Edge” is defined as any activity that occurs on Facebook that can potentially create a newsfeed story. This includes Likes, Comments, tags, RSVPs, or any public activity that a user undertakes. Facebook utilizes the EdgeRank algorithm to filter newsfeeds and show posts most relevant to the user.
While EdgeRank has its own unique formula, when applied to Facebook, it becomes simple. The algorithm bases it results on three logical components: Affinity, Weight, and Decay.
Edge Affinity – It´s all about Connections
The Affinity score is measured by the relationship you have with the user that created the “edge.” The more interconnected you are, the higher the Affinity score. If you have a large number of Friends that Like a similar Page, it is more likely that this content will arise in your newsfeed.
Edge Weight – Are Photos too Heavy for Newsfeeds?
There are two Weight types: post and interactions. EdgeRank takes the Weight of posts into account by determining whether the post is a photo, video, link, or text only status update. Regarding the Weight of interactions, Shares and Comments require more from a user than a simple “Like”, and therefore they are more heavily weighted and reach more users.
See how the reach of different post types has decreased in September 2012 and discover which one has surprisingly reached the most users in newsfeeds here.
Time Decay – Engagement Occurs Within Minutes
An old story is a dead story. Facebook does not chronologically order “edges”, however, it does factor in Time to the algorithm. When we collect engagement data in Analytics PRO, we see that the vast majority of engagement occurs within minutes after a post is published (see graph below).
EdgeRank Means Reach
Since EdgeRank is used to determine how many people the content will be displayed to, we can quantify these results as “Reach.” Socialbakers can provide an insightful estimation of the Reach of all brands by measuring aggregated engagement data. We have already established that there is a Return on Engagement (ROE) in social media as engagement directly correlates with Reach.
When your engagement reaches a certain level, a direct correlation between the total number of interactions and the number of Shares appears. The reach is approximately 100 times larger than the number of interactions a post receives. Therefore if a post generates 100 interactions, it is roughly reaching 10,000 people.
7 Good practices for making your Edgerank soar!
1. QUALITY CONTENT – Since EdgeRank directly relates to your Engagement Rates, the more engaging your posts are, the more people will see it, and your affinity will continue to increase.
2. FOLLOW THE RULES – Breaking the rules has only short-term benefits. The more people report your Page, the more Facebook will penalize your Page which can result in a rapid drop in future reach and cost you the reputation of your brand.
3. POST FORMAT – Photos and videos have proven to engage most users, but a link to a great story or a clever status can do the job as well. Use Facebook savvy by not creating too long posts, take advantage of questions and call to actions, play with words and fill in blanks,…
4. POST FREQUENCY – More than 90% of Fans never come back to visit the Facebook Page again after Liking it. You want to post enough to maintain fan relationships, but not so much that they are overwhelmed.
5. POST TIMING – You need to find out when your audience generates the most activity. With Analytics PRO, you can easily track your most engaging days of the week and hours of the day to optimize your posting strategy based on previous results.
6. RESPONDING TO FANS – Do not forget that social media is a two-way channel. Avoid overwhelming them with advertisements, and create open communication. Every time you respond to a fan, not only are you investing in an actual brand-customer relation but you are also investing in the affinity of his/her Friends.
7. KEEP AN OPEN MIND! Measure, analyze, and optimize your strategy, analyze your competitors’, and try different techniques that work for others. Understand that Fans’ behavior will change just as frequently as the Facebook algorithm does.
To find out more about EdgeRank, access the whole whitepaper here. And stay tuned to find out more about the impact of promoted posts, sponsored stories, standard Facebook advertisements, and much more!