facebook advice part 5: EdgeRank

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Warning: this post may leave you feeling overburdened, overwhelmed and over the never-ending quest for social media results that meet expectations. Presuming you aren’t in that state already.  

Brett was training in Dalby, western Queensland this week when he heard a tragic tale from a father of two concerning Facebook. Let’s call him Martin. Martin; a recent immigrant from the UK is a keen Facebooker as it enables him to keep contact with the Poms back in the Motherland. 

A soccer or “football” lover; Martin recently penned a long and carefully crafted article about a football team of his youth. He was sure it’d be a hit with his Facebook pals, all of whom love the game, know the team concerned and enjoy a sporting debate. Many friends were specifically mentioned in the story. Martin posted his story and waited for the tsunami of response but received barely a comment; let alone a debate as he’d anticipated. Three interactions in total.  He was social; he was networked but he was confused. Anyone share this sort of experience on their organisation’s page?

Why? EdgeRank; that’s why. EdgeRank is how Facebook decides what links, images, status updates and photographs of yours get shown in other people’s Newsfeed. Without such a system we’d soon be overwhelmed by a torrent of content.

The Newsfeed is the first thing we see when we log on to Facebook and it’s probably the only thing. It’s likely to be set to Top News as in:

facebook navigation

EdgeRank rules. Respect it or Facebook to nobody fool.

So tell us Hootville; how does EdgeRank work?

EdgeRank measures every single piece of your Facebook content by three criteria: interaction, affinity and timeliness.

Interaction. Let’s say you post a link to a great story. If someone presses the Like button under that link, the links’ EdgeRank lifts. If someone writes a comment under that link it’s even better as a comment is considered a deeper interaction. Sadly most people do neither and thus that link gets a low EdgeRank and is be unlikely to be displayed on others’ Newsfeed. More interaction = higher EdgeRank = more displays on Newsfeeds.

Affinity: Facebook knows who interacts with you the most and shows them your content in their Newsfeeds more often. This is why so many of your interactions can come from the same people. It’s a vicious cycle. 

Timeliness: material that has just been posted is more likey to appear on others’ Newsfeeds.  

The sorry truth is that most of your content will have a low ranking and thus not be shown beyond your very bestest friends and fans’ Newsfeeds. To pull rank you must prioritise interactions at all costs. It is no different to being willing to tweak your website endlessly to get better search engine results. More on this to come.

(Yes – we know Martin’s parental and ethnic staus were irrelevant to the story but we felt they added depth to the narrative.)

2 Responses to facebook advice part 5: EdgeRank

  1. So,does it work to shamelessly “like” and comment on your *own* postings, to increase their ranking??

    • Brett says:

      You are clearly devious Heather. Shame on you. And more to the point no it doesn’t work. It will only mean that your personal Facebook page receives everything you post on your organisation’s Facebook page.
      Also – even if you were to post endless comments on the Hootville Facebook page it would only result in more of our content appearing on your Newsfeed. It woud not increase the percentage of your content that apears on our Newsfeed. It’s a pretty tough nut to crack. The only workaround is to have a core of hardcore supporters who alwats post pics, comments and likes. Then their friends will eventually be presented with your the content of yours with which they are interacting. That’s a slow process with little guarantee of success. Unfortunately FB is really skewing towards big brands with lots of friends.