Understanding EdgeRank to Optimise Your Facebook Strategy
Having a Facebook page with lots of fans is good, but engaging with your audience is better!
Did you know that on average, only 16% of your followers actually see your updates?
Yes, it seems unfair, and only a few people know that. If you can understand the reason for this, you can improve your page’s performance and make it an effective social media platform.
What is EdgeRank ?
EdgeRank is an algorithm created by Facebook to determine what each user will see in their newsfeed. This algorithm applies to personal profiles as well as business pages.
Whenever you log in to Facebook, what you see in your news feed is only a very small fraction of the content displayed by your friends or by the pages that you have liked. To determine which items should appear in your newsfeed, Facebook has created the EdgeRank algorithm which ranks all the posts content depending on your possible level of interest.
Basically, this algorithm is the sum of 3 factors: AFFINITY, WEIGHT and TIME DECAY.
Affinity refers to how close your followers are to you/your page. If someone engages with your content, he/she is more likely to see your future posts too. By engagement I mean commenting, liking, sharing, clicking, or even sending a private message.
The content on your social media is important. That’s why Facebook includes the weight of your content in its algorithm. In other words, the types of stories they think are most engaging are given more weight. Generally, pictures and videos are classified as more important, because they are used to be more expressive and friendly than text.
However, we have to qualify this ranking because some text can generate more engagement than bad pictures. Indeed, the weight will also depend on the number of interactions you get and each interaction has a different weighting. The rankings are shown below:
This simply refers to how long ago your content was posted on Facebook. The longer it has been, the less chance of it being seen by your followers, which is why it’s important to know when your followers are using Facebook so that you can post during these periods.
How to boost your strategy
Obviously, you want to make sure that your content will be seen by as many people as possible. There is no perfect recipe for this as each industry is different, however the following tips can help you improve your EdgeRank:
1. Analyse your page and use tools
Facebook provides users with statistics to analyse the efficiency of their posts. You can view statistics on reach, engagement, people “talking about this” and the virality of each post.
Also, try to define the best time to post your updates. Users are more active on some days and less on others. There are many articles about this topic on the web, but it actually depends on the profile of your fans. The best thing to do is to post at different days/times to start with and see which posts get the best responses. Once you have determined the best days and times to post, you can schedule your posts using tools like Hootsuite or Sproutsocial.
You can also use the EdgeRank Checker. It’s not an official EdgeRank score, but it allows you to check the compatibility of your Facebook page with the criteria of the algorithm, and also provides some suggestions on how to improve your page.
2. Post regularly
Ensure that you're posting regularly. Doing so will retain your audience, and also improve your Edge Rank position if your fans are receptive. The worst thing you can do is post lots of updates in a certain period and then forget about your page. Try to post frequently, maybe one post per day at first, and then adapt your strategy depending on the response you get.
3. Think quality, not quantity
As we saw before, the content in your post is important. For this reason, it’s better to spend time researching relevant topics which would interest your fans and a post few updates, rather than 4 or 5 posts a day that are irrelevant.
4. Don’t delete your post
Deleting posts has a negative impact on your EdgeRank. Unfortunately, you can’t edit a post once it has been published, so read over and check for mistakes before you post it!
5. Reply to comments
If someone takes the time to post a comment, the least you can do is reply. Your answer will be visible to the public and it may help them too. Try to personalise your message, again, quality is better than a flood of standard messages like “thanks!”.
6. Don’t forget the power of pictures
A post with pictures and/or videos can be more useful for increasing engagement than any other kinds of posts on Facebook. This doesn’t mean that you should only use this type of content in your posts, but don’t forget it in your strategy.
7. Ask questions
Another way to increase engagement is by asking simple questions. Try to ask questions which require short answers because your audience don’t want to spend too much time replying. A good way of making this easy for your audience is to use multiple-choice questions.
8. Don’t flood your page with commercial posts. Keep listening and be original!
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes; would you want to see a flood of commercial posts in your newsfeed? I’m sure not.
People go to Facebook to relax, so even if you post some products/special offers, it’s useful to diversify your content. For example, you can publish tips, advice, jokes, quotes, etc. but stick to a theme and be creative!
Don’t forget that social media is an interactive platform, so if you don’t get engagement, you have to reconsider your strategy. Follow this advice, try different content and see what works for you.