What is Facebook’s EdgeRank?

Most brands spend quite a lot of resources on Facebook, but are struggling to work out why their content is not being seen by many people.

Brand pages recently took a hit with Facebook slashing organic reach, however this is not the only reason why your content is being seen. The main reason is your EdgeRank with individual users is low.

Facebook's Edge Rank

What is EdgeRank?

Every action a users friends takes is a potential newsfeed story. Facebook calls these actions “Edges.” Whenever a friend posts a status update, tags a photo, likes a brand page, comments on another status update, or RSVP’s to an event it generates an “Edge,” and a story about that Edge might show up in the user’s personal newsfeed. 

Facebook would explode if the newsfeed showed all of the possible stories from users friends. So Facebook created an algorithm to predict how interesting each story will be to each user. Facebook calls this algorithm “EdgeRank” because it ranks the edges. Then they filter each user’s newsfeed to only show the top-ranked stories for that particular user.

Users have different EdgeRank scores with each page they have liked and each person they’re friends with. Facebook only wants to show the most relevant stories in their users NewsFeed as this is extremely important to the ongoing success of Facebook. Users would switch off if they didn’t like what was being shown in their NewsFeed.

Edge rank is made up of 3 aspects and once you know this your content strategy will change.

1. Decay of Post

As a story gets older, it loses points because it’s “old news.”

EdgeRank is a running score, not a one-time score. When a user logs into Facebook, their newsfeed is populated with posts (edges) that have the highest score at that very moment in time. Your status update will only hit the newsfeed if it has a higher score (at that moment in time) than the other possible newsfeed stories.

Understanding this, time of posting is crucial. You need to be posting when your community is most online. You can easily find this out by looking into your page insights under ‘Posts’. Hovering over each day will give you a specific insight into the best time on that particular day.

Facebook Best Time To Post

2. Weight of Post

Every action that a user takes creates an edge, and each of those edges, except for clicks, creates a potential story. By default, you are more likely to see a story in your newsfeed about me commenting on a fan page than a story about me liking a fan page.

Facebook changes the edge weights to reflect which type of stories they think user will find most engaging. For example, photos and videos have a higher weight than links. Conceivably, this could be adjusted on a per-user level.

Example: If Liam tends to comment on photos, and Jane comments on links, then Liam will have a higher Edge weight for photos and Jane will have a higher Edge weight for links. It’s not clear if Facebook does this or not, but I think this is the case through my personal findings.

Understanding this when creating posts they should all include:

  • Post copy
  • Image
  • Link

Having all of these will ensure your post has a heavy ‘weight’ giving it a better chance of being seen in users Newsfeed.

3. Affinity Score

Affinity Score means how “connected” a particular user is to the brand or friend.

For example, I’m friends with my sister on Facebook. In addition, I write frequently on her wall, and we have 175 mutual friends. I have a very high affinity score with my sister, so Facebook knows I’ll probably want to see her status updates. This is the same for brands, if users are engaging with your content, they’re more than likely to see your content over other stories on their Newsfeed.

Facebook calculates affinity score by looking at explicit actions that users take, and factoring in:

1) the strength of the action
2) how close the person who took the action was to you
3) how long ago they took the action. 

Explicit actions include clicking, liking, commenting, tagging, sharing, and friending. Each of these interactions has a different weight that reflects the effort required for the action, more effort from the user demonstrates more interest in the content. Commenting on something is worth more than merely liking it, which is worth more than merely clicking on it. Passively viewing a status update in your newsfeed does not count toward affinity score unless you interact with it (click on a photo or swipe through a album).

If users interact with a brand page a lot, but less so now, then their influence will start to decrease. It’s very important that your content remains relevant and timely.

Conclusion:

When posting your content needs to be timely and relevant. Your content needs to inspire users to engage with the post. The more of your community that engage with your post, the higher the reach will be for your post. If your post isn’t engaging and no one is creating stories from it (liking, commenting, sharing), then Facebook will deem this content as not relevant and your EdgeRank will drop with users as well as the overall post reach.

Don’t just put a post together and post it out cause you have too. Think about it, think about the objective of the post and execute it as best as possible.

 

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