Facebook's EdgeRank: How To Make Sure You're in the News Feed
Table of Contents
Introduction …Page 2
Tip #1: Ask Questions…Page 3
Tip #2: Post Games and Trivia…Page 4
Tip #3: Interact with Fan Engagement…Page 5
Tip #4: Incorporate Wall Sapplets…Page 6
Tip #5: Incorporate Relevant Photos…Page 7
Tip #6: Relate to Current Events…Page 8
Tip #7: Incorporate Videos…Page 9
Tip #8: Post Content for Time-Sensitive Campaigns…Page 10
Tip #9: Include Links within Posts…Page 12
Tip #10: Be Explicit in Your Posts…Page 12
Conclusion …Page 13
The Facebook News Feed has become one of the most effective digital marketing tools for brands, both big
and small. It allows companies to post branded content to a live stream of information that is constantly being
interest in your products and services, yet it can be easy for messaging to get lost in an ever-expanding sea of
information. Understanding how the News Feed works is essential to ensuring your brand’s content is seen by
the right people.
The Facebook News Feed has two distinct parts: ‘Top News’ and ‘Most Recent.’ A user’s News Feed will
always default to the ‘Top News,’ which according to a blog post by Facebook “is based on an algorithm [that]
interesting. It displays stories based on their relevance rather than in chronological order.”1
The algorithm mentioned is called EdgeRank. It’s Facebook’s solution to determine the content that an individual
user will see in the ‘Top News’ portion of his or her News Feed. Any item that appears within the News Feed —
such as a status update or video — is called an object, and any action taken on the object — such as a ‘Like’
or Comment — is called an edge. Each edge carries a different weight value, as does the type of object it
have the ability to push your content to the News Feed’s ‘Top News,’ where fans will be able to see what your
update with a few ‘Likes.’ In addition, an object’s relevancy will help to determine how high it will appear within
the ‘Top News.’
In this white paper, we’ll give you ten tips along with relevant examples and suggestions to optimize your
presence within Facebook’s ‘Top News’ feed. Why does this matter? Here’s one reason: CNN recently
conducted a survey and found that 75% of respondents got their news from social networking sites like
has become increasingly important for your brand to implement a strategy for News Feed optimization that
will increase the chances that fans will see the content you post.
As in any publication like this, it’s important to include a disclaimer. We did not crack Facebook’s EdgeRank
algorithm. It remains a closely guarded secret — much like Google’s PageRank algorithm. However, what we
provide is much like the expertise that Search Engine Optimization specialists provide clients who want to see
a bump in their organic search rankings. What follows is a collection of pointers and best practices, which
when implemented should impact the visibility of your brand’s messaging within the top stories of Facebook’s
Quintana, Melody. “Facebook Tips: What’s the Difference between Top News and Most Recent?”. Facebook. 6 August
2010. 25 April 2011. <http://www.facebook.com/blog.php?post=414305122130>
Tip #1: Ask Questions
Perhaps one of the best and most effective ways to engage with people on Facebook via the News Feed and
to gather activity on your objects is by posting questions. Let’s face it, people love to talk about themselves
and offer their thoughts – even when you don’t ask for it! But what’s great is that the higher the number of
Comments and ‘Likes’ you can accumulate on an object, the higher the EdgeRank will be. So if you ask for
feedback, the amount of users that will see your content has the potential to skyrocket.
Brands can see great results when they ask for consumer opinions on new products or services. Don’t miss an
opportunity to learn what people want to see next from your company. If you’re considering a new product, a
special giveaway or you’re reintroducing an old item that has been discontinued, determine what will be a fan
favorite and ask people to get creative. Not only will you encourage interaction and engagements within the
News Feed, but you just might also surface a few valuable suggestions.
In addition, ask questions that encourage your fans to share personal stories related to your brand. People will
love to talk about themselves and boast about the great ways that they use your products and services. This
serves as an excellent tool to increase the interactions on the object, as the conversation will encourage your
fans to talk to each other. Your goal should be to publish questions that your fans will want to answer and share
for a viral effect.
STATISTICAL REVIEW: Research conducted by Buddy Media (http://forms.buddymedia.com/whitepaperform_review-strategies-for-effective-facebook-wall-posts.html) found that when a brand utilizes keywords
such as “where,” “when,” “would” and “should,” the objects will see a higher number of engagements from
fans. The word “would” drives the highest spike in ‘Likes’ due to fans using ‘like’ as a way to vote “yes” on
the question rather than posting “yes” to a Wall.
Gilt Group, a
popular online destination for
members-only specials on
high-end and luxury goods,
asked its fans what they
planned to wear this spring.
With an impressive amount
of feedback, the brand was
able to determine which items
would be the favorites among
consumers and successfully
prepare for the season.
Cream of Wheat
asked fans to suggest a new
hot cereal flavor and was able to
gather 24 ‘Likes’ and 69 Comments from eager fans who added
helpful recommendations. People
were more likely to see the piece
of content in their ‘Top News’
because Cream of Wheat had
such an impressive amount of
Tip #2: Post Games and Trivia
Facebook users are inclined to provide answers as a way to show off their knowledge about a topic. This is a
great way to engage people in the News Feed and to get to know your fan base just as well as they know your
brand. A great implementation that will guarantee your games and trivia generate traction in the News Feed is by
posting them on a recurring schedule. Your fans will know when to check their News Feeds or your Wall for the
content that they want to see.
combined relevant content
with a trivia question unrelated
to its products. After a handful
of responses, Brooks Brothers
answered the question within
the thread, which prompted
even more responses
posts a series of jumbled
words on its custom tab
and encourages users to
unscramble them to uncover
the word of the week. To
encourage fan engagements,
Scrabble publishes call-outs
within the News Feed and
has people write
their guesses as
Tip #3: Interact with Fan Engagement
The ability to keep a conversation going should be a large part of your publishing strategy. This means that
when people write Comments on your objects or post their own content, your brand should contribute to the
discussion to maintain user engagement. Keep in mind that the longer a thread is for an object, the higher its
EdgeRank will be.
Interacting with fan engagement that appears on your Wall is the easiest way to draw attention to content
seen within the News Feed. Remember, the greater the number of edges on an object results in a higher
extremely effective way to boost an object’s EdgeRank. Let’s face it, not all content that is posted to Pages
engagements on an object. In some extreme cases, trolls who call out typos that appear in the News Feed
present the best-case scenarios. While they’re not necessarily putting down the brand, they are calling attention
to content that wouldn’t have been seen before. People love to see how brands interact with consumers, so
regardless of whether or not the content posted to the News Feed is positive, basic curiosity will draw Facebook
users into your objects.
A happy customer
expressed her gratitude
toward a product on Stila’s
Facebook Wall. When Stila
responded, a conversation began
and multiple fans joined the discussion. By encouraging Comments
and applying a personal touch on its
approach to user engagement,
Stila increased the amount of
interactions on the Post.
Tip #4: Incorporate Wall Sapplets
Static News Feed Posts do not always provide enough content to attract people to your objects. Rather than
simply posting items with text, vary the material and incorporate interactive components such as Wall sapplets.
These might include polls or coupons that prompt your fans to engage with your status updates directly in
the News Feed beyond the standard ‘Likes’ and Comments. The EdgeRank score will not be based on the
number of times a poll is taken or a coupon is downloaded, however the unique nature of the content will draw
more users into your brand and encourage people to visit your Page. News Feed and Wall features, such as
Wall sapplets, are available through the Buddy Media Platform, which can provide your brand with the tools
necessary to manage any Facebook campaign both long and short term.
Similar to games and trivia Posts, a great way to ensure that your fans will interact with Wall sapplet content in
the News Feed is by posting it more than just one isolated time. It is important to keep in mind that if people
News Feed Wall sapplets also have the ability to generate engagements when they are posted in conjunction
with questions. They are a great way for people to express their heartfelt opinions and to share results with their
friends and fellow Facebook fans.
posts coupons within the
News Feed every time it has
a major sales event. Not only does
the department store attract people
to its content and prompt ‘Likes’
and Comments, but it also
creates a trust in people that
they will be able to access
special promo codes when
the time comes.
The New England
Patriots use Wall sapplets
to get fans excited about
the season to come. The poll
question references a topic that
naturally arouses passion among
fans, creating a stream of votes,
Comments and ‘Likes’ to
improve the EdgeRank of a
Post that might not have
made it otherwise onto the
‘Top News’ playing field.
Tip #5: Incorporate Relevant Photos
Instead of telling your fans about your products and services, show them why you’re so proud of your brand.
Attract people to your Posts as soon as they access the News Feed by incorporating relevant photos and
reading through lengthy text updates and would prefer to be introduced to immediate content such as photos..
Facebook has assigned a higher weight value to photos than to other objects, and it’s this weight factor that
can also increase the EdgeRank.
Post images that introduce fans to your brand’s employees in order to relate to those who work behind the
Images are also a great way to get your fans excited about brand-new products or services being introduced
by your company. Post photos that will give people the inside scoop to your latest and most exciting news
When the spring
season arrived, Michaels
Stores published a picture of a
new décor and floral line.
The image’s high weight value
was paired with a question and
spurred hundreds of ‘Likes’
and dozens of
Diane von Furstenberg
posted an image of two
employees who came to work
wearing the same Diane von Furstenberg sweater. The luxury clothing
utilized this coincidence to introduce
people to its well-dressed employees
while also finding out if fans would
want to wear the item, too. People
flocked to the object and Diane von
Furstenberg gained insight to
what fans want to wear.
Tip #6: Relate to Current Events
important to keep this in mind as you post content to appeal to your fans. Find a way to relate your content to
current events, and post questions or state your stance on pertinent issues.
current issues. By asking people what they think about breaking news, celebrity gossip, sports or other topics,
Some brands have to get creative in order to make their
products and services relate to current events and recent
STATISTICAL REVIEW: Research conducted
by Buddy Media (http://forms.buddymedia.com/
whitepaper-form_review-strategies-for-effectivefacebook-wall-posts.html) found that fans are more
likely to engage with current events. According to a
study conducted by Buddy Media, engagement rates
peaked for holiday posts, such as Valentine’s Day
and St. Patrick’s Day. Wish your fans well during the
holidays (rather than just passively mentioning the holiday).
“TODAY” on NBC posts
program recaps every day
after it airs. Fans respond
to the Posts by adding their
opinions and having open
discussions directly within
the News Feed.
Tip #7: Incorporate Videos
People love interactive content that appears within the News Feed, and posting videos is one of the most
intriguing strategies a brand can use to draw attention to its Posts. Videos can play directly within the News
Feed so that users aren’t redirected away when they activate a clip. In addition, videos carry a weight score that
with videos in the News Feed. Be sure to limit the length of your videos in order to keep people’s attention, and
set expectations within the text to tell your fans what the clip is all about.
Videos are a great way to introduce your fans to new products or services by posting teaser content that will
build hype and excitement. Give people a sneak peak to items before they become available to the public and
ask for feedback within the News Feed.
Videos are also extremely useful to show people how to utilize your products and services. Provide people
with a brief tutorial directly within the News Feed as both an interactive Post as well as a helpful customer
relationship management tool.
publishes how-to videos
directly within the News Feed.
With a heaping of ‘Likes’ and
Comments, Omaha Steak fans
discuss what they love about
the food products and what
they want to see next from
Workshop posted a video
about its new website. The
brand built anticipation for
its new product, and in
the message, told fans
exactly what the video
Tip #8: Post Content for
Facebook provides an excellent arena to publish content for time-sensitive campaigns. A major component of
an object’s EdgeRank is timing and relevancy, therefore Posts that contain content relating to upcoming events
or short-term campaigns will have great success in the News Feed. The Facebook News Feed is updated in real
time, therefore the ‘Top News’ section pushes the more recent content to the top of the feed. Keeping this in
mind, your brand should consider posting content promoting your time-sensitive campaigns on a regular basis
in order to continuously remind your fans about special events and promotions. Beware, however if you post too
often, Facebook might take that under consideration and block your updates to work against you.
content that counts down to the occasion. This strategy will build anticipation for the promotion and will
potentially encourage people to express their excitement within the News Feed. Every time a person ‘Likes’ or
Comments on a piece of content, not only does it boost the EdgeRank, but also the user will post his or her
own story that advertises your objects.
word with the exact same content, your fans will become tired of what you have to say and may ignore your
Tory Burch displayed content
promoting its private online
sale by posting the same image
but with different language to
remind fans about the event. The
Posts generated an impressive
amount of traffic that boosted
the objects’ EdgeRanks with
affinity scores, item weights and
Carnival Cruise Lines
posted content to the
News Feed to count down the
days until its chosen couple was
married in its “Race to the Altar”
campaign. Not only did Carnival
keep its fans up-to-date on the
promotion, it generated a significant affinity score with dozens of
‘Likes’ and Comments to boost
Tip #9: Include Links within Posts
Facebook has evolved into a platform meant for sharing and spreading information using basic methods
such as links. Brands can take advantage of this by publishing links within Posts and encouraging users to
interact with them so that the content is pushed to the top of the News Feed. Links don’t carry as much weight
and interesting, they’re likely to pass it along to their Facebook friends who will send it to their friends, and so
on. Not only will you be spreading your own brand content, but the more users who engage with your links and
brand as Comments in the News Feed.
links fans to its website where
they can learn about top travel
deals and browse through additional content. Link clicks are considered engagements, so each user
who clicks through to the AMEX
website will influence the
EdgeRank on the linkembedded post.
Tip #10: Be Explicit in Your Posts
Utilize your Posts to tell people exactly what you want them to do within the News Feed. In many cases,
be explicit and publish call-outs that will explain to your users exactly what action you want them to take.
STATISTICAL REVIEW: Research conducted by Buddy Media (http://forms.buddymedia.com/whitepaperform_review-strategies-for-effective-facebook-wall-posts.html) found that fans follow instructions well. The
simpler, the better! In order to drive ‘Likes,’ be direct in asking for it. In order to drive Comments, ask direct
questions to solicit fan responses. Ask fans to post, comment or tell you something.
Company published a Post
asking fans a question within the
News Feed that directed them to
the exclusive content on its tab.
People flocked to the custom
tab to post additional content
on their own Walls and spread
the brand messaging throughout
Facebook with the object’s
high EdgeRank score.
Understanding the ins and outs of the Facebook News Feed can be confusing, but with the implementation of
an effective publishing strategy, your brand’s content can shoot to the top of people’s ‘Top News.’ Utilize these
best practices to propel your content and to gather a strong following of fans.
Any business can leverage the power of EdgeRank to have its content seen in the News Feed. Keep in mind
that the type of content your brand chooses to post and the methods you choose to implement will have a huge
and relevancy, and the rest will take care of itself.
To make Facebook work, contact Buddy Media today.
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