Monday, June 3, 2013

EdgeRank - Facebook's algorithm to decide what will appear in newsfeed

EdgeRank is the algorithm used by Facebook to determine what will be displayed in the user's news feed. The algorithm is based on three factors: affinity, weight and time. For brands, it is essential to understand what shows up in your news feed and why. Understanding the EdgeRank algorithm is the foremost step for brands to improve their content strategy. 

So now let's discuss what these EdgeRank algorithm factors are:

Affinity: Affinity is based on the relationship between the user and the creator of the post, i.e. either a brand or an individual user. It depends on how often a fan/friend engaged with the content creator in the past, including page visits, likes, comments and shares. More the interactions, higher the affinity score.

Weight: Weight (or popularity) is based on two elements, type of post and quantity of engagements received by the post (i.e. likes and comments). The order of priority of the types of posts are as under:

1. Photos/Videos
2. Links
3. Text

The overall weight depends on the combination of the two elements. Plain text update with more likes and comments may have more weight than a photo post with no engagement.

Time: Time and decay of the post matters a lot. As the post ages, its value continuously drops. The factor is also dependent on the log in interval of the Facebook user. If the user occasionally logs in, posts that are a bit older still have a chance to show up in the news feed.

Just knowing about EdgeRank is not enough to improve the brand's content strategy, the real deal is how to implement it to improve the page's EdgeRank. Here are few tips to help:

Eye catching: Posting of photos and videos draws more user attention as compared to links and plain text updates. 

Short and quality: Small but meaningful posts get more likes and comments. Quality content is the key factor to expand Facebook reach.

Related: Always post stuff that is somehow relevant to the brand but not directly about it. While posting one should always keep the brand and target audience in the mind.

Engaging: Asking questions is the best way to encourage fans to comment on the post. User action driven posts are more engaging and help keep the posts visible for a longer period.

Timely and daily: Find out the best time when the posts get maximum user attention and keep posting at that time. Most users don't come back to the page, posting regularly is essential to stay connected with the fans.

Follow the guidelines to help Facebook's EdgeRank serve your page in the best possible way.