Facebook Edgerank could be your brand Page’s worst enemy or best friend. Facebook Edgerank is the top-secret algorithm that determines what you see on your News Feed, and it was designed with your best interests at heart: to serve up more of the content that you want to see and less of what you don’t want to see.
What does this mean for the everyday user (your brand’s fans)? You’ll see a lot more of your close friends, family, and favourite brands, restaurants, and artists on your News Feed. You’ll also see a lot less of your long-lost math tutor from Grade 11 and that random cereal brand you don’t remember Liking. Basically, it’s all going to get a lot more relevant. Sounds great!
What does this mean for you and your brand? Your job just got a little bit more tricky–or fun, depending on how much you like your job! You’ll have to work harder than ever before to make sure you’re posting the stuff that gets people talking back, and you have fewer chances to prove yourself since future post visibility is linked to prior engagement.
Facebook is pretty tight-lipped about the algorithm, but they have disclosed three variables that make up an Edgerank:
This score is based on the one-way relationship that the user has with the Page posting an item (these items are also known as “edges”). Facebook determines the closeness of this relationship based on history of interaction. The more the user has clicked on, Liked, commented on, and shared the Page’s edges before, the higher the Affinity score will be. It’s important for brands to know that Affinity is a one-way relationship; you can interact with your fans as much as you want but if they don’t engage back, you’re still at zero.
Edges are also analyzed and ranked based on their weight. You could probably guess that Facebook focuses more on rich media, so from an “edge-creation” standpoint, photos and videos are given higher weight than links and text-only status updates. As a brand, it’s important to post these higher weighted items more often (try pairing a photo with that status update instead of sending it out as plain text). From an “edge-interaction” standpoint, comments and shares from fans would be weighted higher than Likes. Although acquiring lots of both will raise Affinity, Likes won’t do as much for your weighting.
Time is the third dimension that is factored into Facebook Edgerank, because as great as a post may be, it doesn’t deserve a top spot in your News Feed if it’s old news. Although not officially confirmed by Facebook, time decay may be adjusted based on how often you log on to Facebook and how long it has been since your last log in. This makes sense–an item posted 2 days ago may be “old news” to somebody who logs on throughout the day, but welcomed news to the less active user.
How can you boost your Facebook Edgerank?
Strategize. Now more than ever, being a community manager is about strategizing. What can you talk about that is relevant and interesting to your Page’s specific audience? What were these fans hoping to get from you when they first Liked your Page? How can you spice up stale posts with rich media? Many Pages default to simply being informative, and in doing so, end up being overly self-promotional and engaging in monologue instead of dialogue. Ask questions, start conversations, and be active, humourous, charming, nostalgic, polarizing, and even controversial.