Understanding Facebook’s EdgeRank

A week ago, I got home from attending Social Media Camp in beautiful Victoria, and my mind is still whirling with everything I learned! There were so many great speakers there – like Mari Smith, and C.C. Chapman, both amazing social media leaders, and both of whom I met and chatted with while they signed my copy of their respective books. There were so many fantastic sessions – I actually had a very difficult time choosing between some of the concurrent sessions, they were that good!

Me and C.C. Chapman

Me, C.C. Chapman and his newest book, Amazing Things Will Happen: A Real-World Guide on Achieving Success and Happiness (why, oh why, didn’t I get a photo of me and Mari too?!)

I’d like to write a few posts about my time at Social Media Camp so I can share what I learned with you guys, but the one for now that’s been sticking with me is Chad Wittman‘s talk on Facebook’s EdgeRank (Chad is from EdgeRank Checker).

You know how you see a lot of posts from some pages and none from others? Or how some of your own page’s posts get a lot of impressions and other posts get barely any? This all has to do with Facebook’s algorithm called EdgeRank, which determines what a user sees in their newsfeed. Apparently posts from a typical brand only reach 12% of their fans. Twelve per cent! Chad explained that EdgeRank has to do with affinity, weight and time decay, which I’ll define for you:

  • Affinity is the relationship between users. To increase affinity, you must increase your engagement.
  • Weight is the quality of the interactions on your page. Each type of action on Facebook is weighted differently. For example, shares are weighted the highest, next are comments, then likes and then clicks. The more time or effort it takes a person to do an action, the more weight it has.
  • Time decay is how long a post actually “lives” in the newsfeed before it isn’t seen anymore. The average post on FB lives about 3 hours in a newsfeed. Each page’s posts’ lifespan is a bit different, but you have to figure that out based on your fan group. Chad said that if yours have a lifespan of 5 hours, for example, and you post twice within that time period, that one of the posts won’t get seen. I have to argue this though, I’ve tested it on a couple of my pages and can’t see that to be true. Let me know if you find differently!

So now that you know what EdgeRank is, how the heck do you improve yours? Here are some basic tips from Chad:

  • Always provide a call to action in your posts. Tell them to do something (“Like this post if…” or “On a scale of 1 to 10, tell me how you’d rate…”).
  • Monitor your content and constantly test it. Become very familiar with your page’s Insights stats so you can do this. When’s the best time to post for the most engagement? What does your audience respond to the most?
  • Reduce negative feedback. This includes your fans hiding your content (all or a single post), unliking your page or reporting your page as spam – and this kills your EdgeRank. So make sure that you’re giving your audience what they want and what they expect so they don’t do this to you.

And if you’re still not sure about EdgeRank, or if you prefer visual things, I found this great infographic for you from PostRocket which provides a lot of the same info, but in a much prettier format :).

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