What is Facebook EdgeRank and How Can I Improve It?

What is the world is EdgeRank?

Do you ever wonder why your Facebook News Feed reveals only certain posts, even if your friends or fans number in the hundreds or thousands?

The answer is EdgeRank, Facebook’s algorithm that dictates “News Feed Optimization” and allows only a subset of the stories generated by your friend to keep users from getting overwhelmed. Everything published on Facebook is considered an “object.” These can be status updates, links, photos, video and anything else shared on Facebook. Every object posted receives a ranking. Objects with a high EdgeRank appear in your “Top News” feed. Objects with a low EdgeRank will not.According to a study by The Daily Beast, objects with a really low EdgeRank may not even show in your “Most Recent” news feed.

An object’s EdgeRank is based on three factors: affinity or the relationship between the creator and user, interaction with the object (likes, comments, etc.) and timeliness.  Let’s take a look in detail what those 3 things are.

Affinity

An object’s affinity score is based on the interactions you have with the friend or fan who published the object. Friends or fans with whom you regularly interact receive a higher affinity score. Each time you visit a fan page, click the “Like” button, comment on a user’s status or look at a picture, you increase the affinity score with that user.

As The Daily Beast study points out, this affinity score only works one way. I can’t increase my affinity score in another user’s feed by constantly clicking on their “Like” buttons or looking at their pictures. Although doing so will increase the likelihood that you’ll see their updates, your objects won’t do better in their news feed until they return the favor.

Level of Interaction

Different types of interactions are weighted differently on Facebook. Activities that require higher levels of user engagement get a higher score than those that don’t. For example, leaving a comment on a photo takes more effort on the user’s part than clicking the “Like” button. Objects that receive higher levels of interaction are more likely to show in a user’s newsfeed.

Timeliness

Most people don’t want to read yesterday’s news. Newer objects have a better chance of showing up in your news feed than older ones.

Now that you have a better understanding of these three major elements, here are six tips (taken from Jim Lodico’s informative post at the Social Media Examiner on Facebook EdgeRank) on how you can increase the likelihood that your content or objects will appear in your friends’ or fans’ “Top News” feed.

#1: Publish Objects That Encourage Interaction

Unless they’re interesting enough to draw comments, simple status updates aren’t going to move you into Top News feeds. Publish content that naturally encourages click-throughs or creates discussion. Objects such as creative games that require a response (i.e., trivia or caption contests) open up opportunities to add highly weighted interaction and build affinity with new users.

top news feed

Top News is Facebook’s default setting. Top News only shows objects with a higher EdgeRank.

#2: Create a Forum

Ever notice how political content on Facebook can generate a ton of comments? Although it doesn’t take long to realize that Facebook and politics don’t mix, people love to debate and discuss hot issues. Make your fan page a place for constructive discussion on the latest industry topics. Although this approach takes careful management, objects from a fan page filled with healthy discussion are more likely to receive a higher EdgeRank.

survey

Objects such as surveys require user interaction which can build EdgeRank.

#3: Make the Most of Photos and Videos

Photos and videos show up in the Facebook news feed as thumbnail images. Due to their size, they almost require interaction as users click on them to make them large enough to see. Be sure to add a comment that encourages users to open the photo and add comments of their own.

video

By their very nature, videos and pictures encourage interaction.

#4: Share Links

Links require interaction as users click on the link to view the object. While it’s good to share content from your own website, don’t be afraid to promote interesting content from other sources. Twitter users discovered long ago that the more content of value you share, the better chance you have of driving followers to your own content when the time comes. Again, a comment that encourages opening the link or leaving comments can go a long way.

comments

An object that receives comments is more likely to show in the Top News feed and also builds affinity with users who comment.

#5: Keep It Fresh

The Facebook stream moves quickly. If you’ve got objects that aren’t getting a response, don’t be afraid to let them go and move on to the next thing. If the object is good but didn’t get the response you desired, consider repurposing it or sending it out again at a different time of day.

#6: Ask Users to Share

Don’t be afraid to ask users to share objects or click on the Like button—especially if you’re new to Facebook. It can take a little while for a Facebook page to gain momentum. Anything you can do to help it along will only speed the process.

Although the introduction of EdgeRank may make it more difficult to share information on Facebook, ultimately it still comes down to content. Publishing content that users want to share and interact with has always been vital to any Facebook marketing campaign. With the recent Facebook changes, that content may now need a little extra push to get it the attention it deserves.

What have you done to get noticed on Facebook?

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About author

Jarrett Gucci
Jarrett Gucci 289 posts

Jarrett Gucci is the owner of Dynasty Web Solutions. A full service Internet presence provider specializing in WordPress development for business owners. Jarrett Gucci along with his team of professionals have designed over 400 WordPress websites. Jarrett Gucci believes strongly in creating websites that are unique, functional and generate referrals.

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