Pagemodo Understanding Facebook EdgeRank


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How to make Facebook's ranking system work for you

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Pagemodo Understanding Facebook EdgeRank

  1. 1. Understanding EdgeRank How to Make Facebook’s Ranking System Work for You E-Book
  2. 2. Understanding EdgeRank2 What is Facebook EdgeRank? When Did Ranking Become So Important? Why EdgeRank Matters How to Make EdgeRank Work for You 1 2 3 4 Contents
  3. 3. Understanding EdgeRank3 EdgeRank is an algorithm developed by Facebook to determine what is shown and how it is ranked in Facebook users’ News Feeds. EdgeRank is also used to refer to the rank of a brand/page, and to the specific ranking of a particular “edge” (see below). The formula that dictates an item, connection, or a brand’s EdgeRank is as follows, courtesy of EdgeRank Checker: Let’s break that formula down… Sum of “Edges”: An edge is an occurrence of some kind of Facebook; a status update, a posted photo, a like, share, etc. The sum of those is everything that anyone connected to a certain user does. Affinity (u): This is basically the quality of the connection between a brand or another user and the individual in question. For our purposes today, we’re going to focus on how this affects brands. The user and the brand’s relationship is affected by how often and in what ways the user engages with the “edges” generated by the brand. Weight (w): An edge’s weight is essentially Facebook’s determination of that story’s importance to Facebook users. Everything has a weight, whether it’s posted content – photo, video, link, status – or an action by a user such as a like or comment. Time Decay (d): How long it has been since the edge was originally generated. Newer actions or content are the most valuable, ensuring that the ‘news’ in your feed is as current as possible, while still being interesting to you. What is Facebook EdgeRank?
  4. 4. Understanding EdgeRank4 Shortly after Facebook’s mid-September update to its EdgeRank algorithm, marketers began to notice a disturbing trend: their reach numbers seems to be taking a nosedive. The same techniques that had yielded good reach numbers the previous week were suddenly showing lackluster analytics. What experts quickly figured out was that the tweaks made to Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm had caused the system to judge that fewer fans cared to see their posts than was previously thought. A company called EdgeRank Checker confirmed these suspicions by studying their clients’ pages, finding that pages in their database were seeing 26% reach on average before the September 20, 2012 update, and 19.5% after. For those keeping score, that’s a 6.5% decline in reach. Not long after these results were posted, a Facebook ad rep contacted the company with the following explanation: “While overall engagement should remain relatively consistent as a result of our most recent optimization, your organic reach may be impacted. The more engaging your content, the lower the impact this optimization should have on your reach going forward.” Before 9/20 26% 19.5% After 9/20 0% 10% 20% 15% 20% 25% 30% MEDIAN REACH CHANGE (9/20) When Did Ranking Become So Important?
  5. 5. Understanding EdgeRank5 Facebook’s EdgeRank plays a huge part in how visible a business can be on the social media site. Visibility is crucial not only to maintaining engagement with the followers you already have, but also to continuing to gain new likes every day. When you create a post – an image, a video, a status update – to share with your fans, the percentage of your total fan base that see it is determined by EdgeRank. If your post ranks highly based on the algorithm, then more people will see it. And only those who see your post will have the opportunity to engage with it – like it, share it, comment on it. An interesting feature of EdgeRank is that it’s dynamic. In other words, the algorithm continues to re-rank your post over time depending on how much engagement it is receiving. Beyond engagement with people who already like your page, EdgeRank is crucial because it also affects your possibilities for social discovery and amplification, which are key to building a brand on Facebook. Social discovery occurs when one of your fans shares your content and it is seen by someone who was not previously aware of your brand. Amplification is the phenomenon that happens when that Facebook user then shares your content with their network, and those connections share it with their own networks, and so on. Those extra sets of eyes translate into more likes, and eventually more leads for your business. Why EdgeRank Matters
  6. 6. Understanding EdgeRank6 So now that you understand what EdgeRank is, why it is important, and how recent changes have created new challenges, how can you take this apparent lemon and make lemonade? Perhaps the best and most sustainable way to ensure your posts get the most engagement from your fans is to make them as visual as possible. EdgeRank’s “weight” component is based on what types of content users tend to engage with the most. And this has by far turned out to be photos. The chart below shows 4 different content types and their rankings, as determined in a study by Wildfire. If you offer a product that can be photographed, or if you have a lot of events where you’re taking photos, then you are already ahead of the game. If your business is less visual by nature, however, there’s still plenty you can do. Whenever you start to create a post on Facebook, ask yourself ‘is there an image that could help to represent this?’ There probably is, and if you can think of it (or create it) you’ll have a much richer content that make your fans love you more, and make EdgeRank show your posts to more of them to begin with. Mashable even suggests taking this a step further to always use a photo when you post, even with non-image content you would’ve posted already. Not only should you be posing images instead of simply text statuses, think about how you can use an image to get users’ attention and put links to the content you were going to post in the image description instead. One example: instead of posting a video link, post a screen grab from the video as an image and link to the video in the description. Photo Video Status Link 0% .2% .4% 1.0% .6% .8% 1.2% 1.4% 1.6% FACEBOOK ENGAGEMENT/FAN How to Make EdgeRank Work for You
  7. 7. Understanding EdgeRank7 The good news to take away at the end of the day is that the intention of the EdgeRank algorithm update was for Facebook to ensure that the most engaging content from the most diligent brands is getting into Facebook users’ news feeds. And while you’ll definitely have to be more resourceful, even small businesses can make sure they stay in the mix by continually observing best practices and creatively posting in the most engaging ways possible. Conclusion
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