I’m glad I waited with writing a post about Facebook’s Edgerank – the longer we live with this algorithm the more I see the way its introduction will change the way we use Facebook Pages and ultimately Social Media tools.
Let’s start with some basics though:
What is Edgerank?
Edgerank is used by Facebook to determine what posts a user gets to see.
A very good resource for the details is: whatisedgerank.com but here is a summary:
Affinity: The relationship between the user and the update
Weight: Facebook assigned different values to each action. For example:
- A “comment” is worth more than a “like”
- A “share” is worth more than a comment
Time Decay: The older the update is on Facebook the smaller the edgerank is. Another very good reason to know when your users are looking at Facebook! (Learn about scheduling Facebook updates)
Edgerank = Affinity + Weight + Time Decay
Why did Facebook introduce Edgerank?
The competition on the Internet is fierce – Search Engines and Social Media tools are gaining more importance every day. That is the main reason for the many changes we experience every day. The better the experience with the tool the more we will use it and the higher its value.
At the same time, misunderstood “Social Media Marketing” is spoiling our experience with a huge wave of marketing messages – threatening to drown out the conversations between us and our friends that are at the heart of Social Media. So there are two answers to the question:
- Edgerank is designed to help us filter out the important updates (I’m leaving my comments about this for a different
- Edgerank serves Facebook’s stock holders by pushing marketers to pay for more exposure
Band-Aid solutions to beat Edgerank
All of us Facebook users have seen page owners more or less desperately to “game” or circumvent Edgerank. For example:
Asking fans to select “Show in Newsfeed”
Asking fans to enter the page in an “Interest List”
Asking fans to select “Get Notifications”
I think this is brilliant, except that your fan has to actively go to that feed to see that interest. It doesn’t address that your updates won’t go into the news stream.
This option is fairly new and I think it’s pretty cool – however, it comes with a huge responsibility to only create very valuable updates. If you don’t, your angry fans will turn the notifications off faster than you can say “sorry”
Right now Facebook is introducing the “Page Feed” This is probably an answer to all those complaints about the effect Edgerank has on the visibility of page updates. It’s too early to see the impact of this. If the “Page Feed” is just one big “Interest List” it has as much potential and danger as those. I see our page updates getting forgotten in a corner of Facebook like the old “Discussion” or “Notes”.
I hope that Facebook leaves page updates in the regular stream because otherwise the effect on community or low-budget pages would be disastrous.
No matter what we try – all these tricks are just crutches and whining that only 10% of our fans see our updates won’t help in the long run.
How Edgerank can make us all better:
Let’s go back to the Edgerank math: Edgerank = Σ U W D
The User is Our chance! The key to be seen on more Facebook walls is our ability to engage our fans. We have to learn to listen to those who trusted us by subscribing to our updates. Rather than paying for disruptive push-advertising like in the old days we have to find out what resonates with our audiences. We have to serve those that clicked “like.” We have to entertain, listen and react. The days of scheduling weeks of updates and forgetting about the interactions are over.
The main Edgerank factor you have influence over is the Affinity score!
Make sure you engage your fans and you will be a regular feature on their Facebook feed!
I bet that someone like George Takai with his brilliant use of Facebook doesn’t have to worry about the fact that only 10% of his fans will see his updates. He is engaging, funny, serious, honest and uses his Facebook super powers wisely.
By the way – there is an easy way to see how many people actually saw your update: After a while Facebook displays to the page-owner the number of people that saw your post under the updates. Of course a thorough look into Facebook Insights is always the best!
What are you doing to be seen on Facebook?
Image license purchased at Photo Dune