Facebook has become a major part in any Internet Marketing strategy and for good reason too. With 1.06 Billion monthly active users, whom you can target directly, its a gold mine! Facebook offers many great advertising and engagement features from Facebook Ads to Facebook Offers, but not everyone can afford these. So, if you have a Facebook Business Page and wish to gain more engagement with your audience without having to pay, it’s best you understand something known as Facebook Edgerank.
What is Facebook Edgerank?
Edgerank is an algorithm created by Facebook, that decides which stories (or posts) appear in each user’s news feed.
The first thing you see when you log into Facebook, is your news feed. This is a summary of all the recent activity your friends & pages you’ve liked have been up to. Every action made on Facebook, is a potential news feed story, these actions are classified as “Edges”.
So whenever a friend posts a status, adds a photo, joins a group, tags a photo, or RSVP’s to an event, it generates an “Edge”. A story about that “Edge” may appear in your news feed. Facebook would be overwhelmed if they were to show each and every “Edge” on a person’s news feed, hence the Edgerank algorithm was created to predict how interesting each story will be to each user.
How does it work?
Think of Edgerank as much the same as a credit rating: Its important, its invisible, its unique to each user, and no one other than Facebook knows exactly how it works.
The Edgerank algorithm is made up of 3 ingredients as seen below:
The affinity score refers to how “connected” a particular user is to the Edge. For example, I am constantly writing on and interacting with my best friend’s profile, plus we have 264 mutual friends. Therefore I have a very high affinity score with my best friend, so Facebook knows i’ll probably want to see her status updates.
Facebook calculates affinity score by taking into consideration the explicit actions which users take, and factoring in; 1)the strength of the action, 2) how close the person who took the action is to you, and 3) how long ago they took the action.
The Affinity score is a one way street. My best friend has a different affinity score to me than I have to her. If I were to write on my best friend’s wall, Facebook knows I care about her, but doesn’t know if she cares about me.
What you need to remember here is that each category of edges has a different default weight, meaning comments are worth more than likes. By default, you are more likely to see a story about me commenting on a fan page, then you are if i were to like something on a fan page.
Facebook also goes as far as to change the weights to reflect which type of stories they think users will find most engaging. For example, photos and videos have a higher weight than links. New features on Facebook generally have a higher Edge weight in order to promote the feature to users. For example, when Facebook Places was first released, check-ins had a very high default weight at first, your news feed was most probably over run with things like “John Smith checked into John Dory’s”.
As posts get older they lose points because they are “old news.” You need to realise that Edgerank is a running score, not a once off score. When you log onto Facebook, your news feed is taken over by Edges which have the highest score at that time. Your status update will only show up on others news feeds if it has a higher score, at that specific time, than the other possible news feed items.
Facebook seems to be adjusting the time-decay factor based on 2 things, 1) how long the user last logged onto Facebook, and 2) how frequently the user logs onto Facebook.
Now that you have a greater understanding of how Facebook edgerank your posts, why not read up on How to optimize your Facebook Business Page, or if there is anything else you’d like to know in the social media world, drop us a comment and we will assist you in any way we can.
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