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Facebook EdgeRank Explained

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July 15, 2011
4 min read
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In last week’s article, we discussed the difference between Facebook and LinkedIn Ads, and which ones might be the best fit for your business. This week, let's continue the social media theme and discuss what other key indicators play a factor in getting noticed on Facebook.

Ok, so you took everyone’s advice and set up a Facebook page for your business. You’ve asked your friends, family and close associates to ‘like’ your page and you were excited about the prospects of promoting your company on the social media giant. But things have stagnated lately. Your page isn’t attracting new followers and your weekly summary shows that fewer and fewer people are visiting your page. Meanwhile, your friends tell you they rarely see any of your posts. However, they constantly see your competitor’s status updates on their News Feed.

What gives?

Welcome to the world of EdgeRank. Like Google’s PageRank, Facebook’s EdgeRank is an algorithm that decides what News Feed stories are displayed on the pages of your friends and fans. You may have not realized, but Faceboook only displays a portion of the possible stories created by your friends and fan pages like yours. It’s just not possible to post every story created, there’s just too much content for everyone to view. So EdgeRank decides what posts are seen by whom.

In other words, your recent post about your weekend discount most likely won’t be seen by all of the followers of your page. In fact it may be seen by very few if your EdgeRank is low. And if your followers aren’t seeing your posts in their Top News feed, then your page isn’t going to be generating sales or new leads.

The bad news is that you can’t fully control your EdgeRank score. The good news is there are some things you can do to influence it. But it’ll take time and dedication on your part, so the sooner you understand how EdgeRank works, the quicker you can start to affect certain factors that can lead to a better score, and most importantly, more Facebook exposure for your business.

First, let’s go over some terms that you’ll need to be aware of. Every item (like a status update or shared link) that gets published on Facebook is called an Object. When a Facebook user interacts with that Object, it creates an action (likes, tags, comments, etc.) called an Edge.

An Edge has three elements that factor into Facebook’s score. They are:

  • Affinity – This is the relationship between you (in this instance, your page) and the people (followers) who interact with your Objects.
  • Weight – The importance of an Object you create in terms of a resulting action, like a comment, share or like from your followers.
  • Time – The length of time since an Object was posted. As time passes, every Object will eventually fade away, no matter how strong the EdgeRank.

So these three elements make up each Edge’s score. And the combination of all the Edge scores for an Object makes up its EdgeRank. Exactly how it calculates all of this is anybody’s guess. Like Google (or Coca-Cola and Bushes Baked Beans for that matter), Facebook keeps their formula a secret. But after examining numerous high and low EdgeRanks from various Facebook pages, there are a few rules that that can be applied to help your score.

  1. If your page is new, give it some time: It’s going to take awhile to build up your EdgeRank score. Facebook seems to penalize new users, no matter how many ‘likes’ they have or the amount of posts that are published. Be patient and don’t give up.
  2. Mix up your content: If you just post simple status updates, you’re probably not going to improve your EdgeRank score. Try posting links and Youtube videos as well. A nice variety of Objects will help user engagement. A rule of thumb: links score better than status updates, and pictures and videos score better than links.
  3. Post items that attract comments: ‘Likes’ are nice, but if you really want to boost your visibility, comments have more clout. Getting people to regularly comment on your Objects is a great way to enhance your EdgeRank score. Asking questions or posting something topical can help get those comments started. And posting follow-up comments on your own Objects helps too.
  4. Stalking doesn’t work: ‘Liking’ someone else’s postings and commenting on their links isn’t going to affect your EdgeRank score or make your Objects show up on that person’s News Feed. You will be only helping their visibility, not yours. However, if someone stalks you and interacts on your page, then they will be helping to enhance your EdgeRank score.
  5. Share other content: You should definitely share links from your own website, but it’s also helpful to share interesting and helpful content from a variety of other sources too. The more you can keep your followers engaged, the more comments you’ll receive and the higher your EdgeRank.

How does your EdgeRank score compare with your competitor’s Facebook page? Are the majority of your followers seeing your posts? Please share your comments with our readers. We want to hear from you! Need assistance getting started? We can help! Contact us today to start leveraging the power of Facebook for your business!

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