10 Ways to Improve EdgeRank on your Facebook Page
With over a billion users spread across the globe, Facebook is increasingly becoming the “home page from home” for millions of people, who likely include your customers.
A Facebook user has an average of 234 friends and is connected to an average of 80 community pages, groups, and events. The 18-to-24 year-old Facebook user demographic is double this figure, as those users on average have a whopping 510 Facebook friends.
With this many connections, the newsfeed of Facebook users’ would lead to a mess of updates from the people and pages they are connected to if there were no mechanism for determining which page and friends’ activities appeared in their feed. This mechanism is EdgeRank.
The Basics of EdgeRank
EdgeRank is one of the most important ways Facebook sorts content in its users’ newsfeeds. EdgeRank ranks “Edges”; an Edge is anything anyone does on Facebook. It’s a generic term for a single piece of activity and it covers everything from liking a post to posting a status update to sharing a link. Every time you do something on Facebook you create an Edge. That Edge is then ranked according to three criteria: Affinity, Weight, and Recency (or Time Decay).
The “Affinity of an Edge” is a measure of the relationship between a Facebook user and an Edge. As an example, if you post status updates to your Facebook business page and your fans regularly comment, share, or like on your posts — referred to as “the Edge,” they have high “Affinity” and are more likely to see updates from your page. Alternatively, fans with little or no interaction see less of your status updates due to their low Affinity score.
Importantly, Affinity is measured by frequency of your fans interaction with your business page and not the frequency of your interaction with your fans.
The “Weight of an Edge” measures the value of the Edge to the user. This “value” or weight is determined by the type of interaction made by the user with the Edge.
Although Facebook does not explicitly reveal the precise details of its weighting system, as a general rule posts with photos, videos, and links attract more Weight than plain text updates. Thus, incorporating objects with higher Weight scores into your posts generally increases the likelihood of your posts turning up in your fans’ newsfeed. And if your fans like, share, or comment, your page gains Affinity.
Time Decay or Recency
The “Time Decay” of an Edge measures its age.
Simply put, the older an Edge, the less likely it is to appear in users’ newsfeeds, as it is old news.
New Edges naturally perform better than older ones. However old updates or Edges that have a continuous stream of comments behave a little bit differently — their Time Decay is typically calculated on the basis of the timing of the last comment. This could be deemed a signal of the relevance of the information in the update.
When marketing your business on Facebook, it is important that your updates and marketing messages get delivered to your fans’ feeds. The ten tactics below will help improve your page’s reach.
1. Post Videos to Improve Weight
Weight is EdgeRank’s way of assessing the degree of commitment required by an Edge. Think of it as a measure of how much the poster cared. Short, textual posts typically have low Weight, while large posts including links, pictures, or videos have far higher Weight.
2. Improve Affinity by Short, Tweet-like Posts
Affinity measures the degree of interaction between you and your fans. If your posts increase the Affinity between you and the people who like your page by generating likes, comments, or shares, your EdgeRank goes up. Generally, shorter posts create more interaction than longer ones.
3. Ask your Fans Questions
Improve your Affinity on EdgeRank by finding out what kind of posts your fans like by what gets the most responses. Ask questions and make provocative statements within your subject or niche. Get people talking.
4. Improve Affinity with Visual Posts
Posts with videos get twice the engagement of the average post. Posts with photos get a little more, and photo albums get nearly three times the engagement of the average post. If you have good Affinity with your fans, the other EdgeRank metrics work better.
5. Post Images with a Text Message to Increase Weight and Affinity
Long text articles attract some Weight but people don’t want to read them. So try posting the article as a picture, with the URL in the caption.
6. Post Frequently
The more often you post, the greater the chance of your fans catching sight of something that hooks their interest. As soon as that happens, Affinity kicks in. Post high-Weight content regularly.
7. Use Hashtags
Facebook’s recent introduction of hashtags makes content discovery much easier. This means your posts can potentially reach a wider audience if you utilize the right hashtags and more importantly publish posts that stimulate conversation and increase your Page’s Affinity with this wider audience.
8. Check your Insight Metrics
Don’t shoot in the dark. Experiment what your fans like by posting content and checking your EdgeRank score to see how they’re responding.
9. Post at Appropriate Times
While 18-to-24-year-olds are most active on Facebook between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. in the United States, if your fans are over 60 and Guatemalan, they might be up at a different time. The bigger the lag between your fans’ peak traffic time and your posts, the more Time Decay your Edges will accumulate and the less likely it is that they’ll appear in your fans’ newsfeeds. Figure out who likes your brand and when they’re on Facebook, looking for something to engage with — and post at that time.
10. Post at Times When your Competition Isn’t Posting
This works best for businesses with a broad appeal rather than small, highly specialized niche markets. But if your competitors are all posting the same time as you, your Time Decay may be low but your Weight and Affinity scores will need to be high to beat out the competition. Post off-schedule and the necessary scores can be lower, and you will still get onto a few people’s newsfeeds.
EdgeRank is increasingly important as Facebook both commercializes and attempts to retain its social model. EdgeRank is a metric of how much Facebook thinks your fans should care about your posts. Give them a reason to care. EdgeRank rewards interactions, but you can use it to figure out how to generate interactions too.