Many Facebook admins in the BVI, and elsewhere, believe that constant posting of content regardless of its engagement is a powerful marketing tool with wide reach. But the reality is very different and it’s all down to EdgeRank.
EdgeRank is an algorithm developed by Facebook to govern what is displayed – and how high – on the News Feed. Getting your Facebook fan page posts seen in the News Feeds is one of the most important – and elusive – aspects of marketing on Facebook. Jeff Widman of BrandGlue.com discovered that some 88% of Facebook users never return to a fan page once they’ve clicked the Like button. Instead, they see and engage with your content in their News Feed.
Here’s how EdgeRank works, and why it’s important to post relevant and popular posts on Facebook:
The EdgeRank Algorithm
This algorithm can be understood as the sum of Edges; each Edge is made up of Affinity, Weight, and Time Decay.
An Edge is basically everything that “happens” in Facebook. Examples of Edges would be status updates, comments, likes, and shares. In fact, any action that happens within Facebook is an Edge.
EdgeRank ranks Edges in the News Feed. EdgeRank looks at all of the Edges that are connected to the User, then ranks each Edge based on importance to the User. Objects with the highest EdgeRank will typically go to the top of the News Feed (there is a small component of randomization).
What is Affinity?
Affinity is a one-way relationship between a User and an Edge. It could be understood as how close of a “relationship” a Brand and a Fan may have. Affinity is built by repeat interactions with a Brand’s Edges. Actions such as Commenting, Liking, Sharing, Clicking, and even Messaging can influence a User’s Affinity.
What is Weight?
Weight is a value system created by Facebook to increase/decrease the value of certain actions within Facebook. Commenting is more involved and therefore deemed more valuable than a Like. In the weighting system, Comments would have a higher value than a Like. In this system all Edges are assigned a value chosen by Facebook. As a general rule, it’s best to assume Edges that take the most time to accomplish tend to weigh more.
What is Time Decay?
Time Decay refers to how long the Edge has been alive; the older it is the less valuable it is. Time Decay is the easiest of the variables to understand. Mathematically it is understood as 1/(Time Since Action).
As an Edge ages, it loses value. This helps keep the News Feed fresh with interesting new content, as opposed to lingering old content.
Why is EdgeRank Important?
If a Brand generally has low EdgeRank objects, then the Brand’s updates will be seen by less people. This means that their Facebook marketing budget is less effective than it could be. Brands that are succeeding with high EdgeRank objects are leveraging their Facebook budget by multitudes. The difference between leveraging and being punished by EdgeRank is substantial. The difference can result in a 5x difference in exposure.
How Do I Optimize For EdgeRank?
Your Brand will ultimately be judged by your ability to engage your content. Some Brands have natural success due to their media rich content, and highly engaged audience.
Here’s a great infographic that explains EdgeRank very clearly: