Facebook has made dramatic changes that can help your business Page reach more people. To understand those changes, and take advantage of them, you first need to learn how your Newsfeed works as well as something called “EdgeRank”. Don’t worry, it’s not complicated and it’s valuable information you should know.
The Newsfeed is the first thing a user sees when logging in to Facebook. The Newsfeed lists recent posts from friends, business Pages and targeted advertising.
Facebook does not list every single post from every one of your friends in your Newsfeed. Instead, a mathematical algorithm seeks to determine which friends and posts you most want to see. Called EdgeRank, this algorithm ranks posts in an attempt to filter out the “noise” and give content specifically targeted to each user.
How Edgerank functions is not only important for a business owner to know, it’s also very interesting! EdgeRank uses three primary metrics to determine what you see in your Newsfeed:
EdgeRank attempts to determine your relationship with the person who is posting. This is based on the assumption that you want to see more content from people and businesses that you have a closer relationship with. For example, you are more likely to see posts from your brother whom you interact with on Facebook frequently than an old high school acquaintance that you haven’t engaged with since you added them as a friend two years ago. The more you interact with a friend or business by liking, sharing, or commenting on their posts, the more likely you are to continue to see their future posts.
Each post has a certain “weight” or value in the EdgeRank algorithm. Photos and videos have more weight than links and links have a higher weight than simple text posts. Weight can also be determined by relevance because Facebook places a higher value on subjects that a lot of people are talking about at any given time. For example, your post about the Super Bowl may be given higher weight than one about what you had for lunch. Additionally, the more likes or comments a post receives, the greater your chances are of seeing it…especially if that interaction has come from people you know.
Every post on Facebook eventually disappears from your newsfeed. How long it continues to appear is determined in large part by its popularity, but the general rule is that you are more likely to see newer posts than older ones. In this way, logging into Facebook on a Friday isn’t likely to show you items that your friends posted on a Monday. Instead, EdgeRank attempts to balance out older content with high engagement with new content that may have higher relevance. And THIS is where the most recent changes to the Edgerank algorithm have taken place.
Facebook recently made major changes to the length of time certain posts appear. While the change behind the curtain is hugely important, you may only notice a slight change when you look at your Newsfeed. Now, posts that you may have missed the last time you logged in to Facebook (78% of us log in every day) have a greater chance of appearing for a longer time in your Newsfeed. According to Facebook, the typical user only reads about 57% of the posts currently displayed on their newsfeed because they simply didn’t scroll down far enough in their Newsfeed to see the other 43%. By recycling older stories that EdgeRank determines you may still be interested in, the number of read stories has jumped to an average of 70% in Facebook trials. You can read more about this change on the Facebook Blog.
For businesses on Facebook, this means that your posts have a longer “shelf-life” and a greater chance of being seen by your Page’s Fans. It’s also a renewed call for quality content that gets engagement. Understanding how EdgeRank works isn’t simply academic. This information can be used in the real world to craft posts that reach more people and drive more traffic to your Facebook Page. What kind of posts drive the most traffic? Ones that maximize the factors used in determining EdgeRank.
Want to see how we take advantage of EdgeRank for our customers? Visit the Social Media section of our website and check out our services.