Facebook EdgeRank – What Is It and Why You Need to Understand It.

If there’s one common question I hear most from clients it’s this:

“I heard that the majority of my Facebook fans rarely see my status updates.  What’s up with that?  Is that true?  They’re fans of my page after all.”

Sound familiar?  Been confused about this yourself?

You’re certainly not alone.

It’s a common misconception, and topic of much debate, that whenever you post to your Facebook, all of your fans see that update.

In fact, only about 16% of your Facebook fans see the status updates that you post on your Facebook page in their News Feed.

Wow, I could hear the sudden inhale and “whaaaaat!?” from here.

Yep, that’s right.

A little surprising, isn’t it?

The reason for this is Facebook uses a formula they call EdgeRank for determining how much of your fan base sees your status updates.

This is their secret sauce, so to speak.

Think of it as something that’s “working in the background” of your Facebook page and its purpose is to ensure you only see the most relevant and valuable updates in your News Feed.

Not to get too in the weeds about the actual EdgeRank formula, but having a basic understanding of it can help you increase engagement on your page and get more people seeing your content.

Essentially, EdgeRank is made up of the following elements:

Affinity: This looks at how “close” you are to a brand or person.  Do you interact with them on a regular basis?  Do they interact with you?  The more interaction there is (on both sides) the higher the probability that brand or person will see your posts.

Weight: In a nutshell, the more comments and sharing you get (over Likes) the better.  It’s also thought that more weight (or preference) is given to photos and videos being posted.

Time Decay: Newer content is more likely to be seen than older content, plain and simple.

EdgeRank combines all of these factors in determining who sees your posts.

The bad thing is you have no way of knowing your EdgeRank score.

The good thing, though, is that by knowing what factors EdgeRank takes into account, you can use it to your advantage and create a strategy around the type of updates you post to your page.

This will increase the percentage of people who see your content.

How, exactly, you ask?  Good question…

Steps You Can Take to Ensure More People See Your Content

Including a call-to-action is key to getting people to engage with your content.  Think, “how can I phrase what I want to say in a way that gets people to respond?”

Here’s an example of what I mean…

A boring and un-engaging post:

“Check out the new Volvo S60.  I just passed it on the freeway and it looks awesome.”

Compared to this post that invokes emotion and asks for a quick action:

“LIKE if you love knowing your family is always safe while driving in the family car.  Check out the new Volvo S60.” (this post would also include a great image of the S60)

See what I did there?

I’m still promoting the S60 but I’ve asked the user to take an action and Like the update.

People are more likely going to interact with the latter update as opposed to the first one because it’s more engaging and it stands out.

Keep Your Updates Short

Recent studies have shown that posts that are 80 characters or less are 27% more likely to be engaged with than posts that are longer than 80 characters.

That’s pretty darn short.

Think Twitter and the 140 character limit you have when tweeting.  You have to be clear, concise and to the point.

My advice on this one is to test out different post lengths to see what resonates the best with your audience.  Use your page’s Insights to gauge which posts get the most shares or Likes or comments and do more of that.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Remember, Facebook is all about being social and people love sharing images and videos with their friends.

Pinterest didn’t become so popular for nothing.

Use this knowledge to your advantage and be sure to include images, photo albums and videos when you post to your page.  Not only do these posts stand out in people’s News Feed, they’re more interesting than a plain ol’ written update.

Your fans will thank you for posting cool, interesting visual content by sharing it with others.

Consistency

Posting content regularly to your page is uber important.

Remember, part of the EdgeRank formula is time decay which means that how frequently you post to your page is really important.

If you posted two weeks ago and then didn’t post anything until today, chances are that very few people are going to see today’s post.  VERY few.

Businesses that have the most success on Facebook post the type of content that promotes interaction daily, often multiple times per day, to their pages.

If this sounds like a lot of work, well, it is.

These successful businesses spend time developing a strategy for managing their page.

If you don’t have a plan already, take the time to come up with one.

A major part of that strategy should be determining how often you’re going to post content.

You may not know the frequency that resonates most with your fans so test different amounts of posts each day to see how they are engaging.

While you’re at it, test different times of the day for your posts, too.  Your fans may be on Facebook when you least expect them to be.

Use your page Insights to see how many daily posts, and at what times, resonates the most with your fans.

Don’t Worry, the Hard Work Is Worth It

Let’s face it, as an online entrepreneur or small business, a major reason to have a thriving Facebook page is to build a tribe of devoted customers and engage with them so they keep buying whatever it is you’re selling.

They, in-turn, tell their friends about you.  Those friends tell their friends, and so on.

The only way to consistently reach these fans, without spending money on advertising, is to follow the above strategies to increase your EdgeRank.

Whether your goal is more sales, more leads or to simply build awareness about your brand, consistently creating the right type of content that engages your fans and aligns with your goals will give you results you’ll be proud of.

PS – There’s such confusion out there about this topic that the more people who know about it the better  If you found this article useful, would you please share it?  That’d be great, thanks!

“Want to sell more using your Facebook page?  You need to understand this first.” — Click to Tweet


(image attributed to cybersense.com)

2 Responses to Facebook EdgeRank – What Is It and Why You Need to Understand It.

  1. Sudarshan says:

    I agree with you Rick, have seen some very good results with images and having combined them with status like “How many likes <3 ??" and the great part is if one of them start talking about it, we get to have atleast 5 to 6 comments which in-turn increases the visibility. Do you have any specific strategy like contests or giveaways to increase awareness?

    Thanks a lot for this awesome post 🙂

    • Rick says:

      Hi Sudarshan, great question. Contests and giveaways are great ways to increase awareness and engagement for your brand! I have been playing around with Wildfireapp.com and Shortstack.com which are both custom app and contest/promotions solutions. Both are easy to use and very inexpensive.

      My one caution to you is to be sure you are familiar with Facebook’s guidelines around contests/promotions before doing one as they are very strict. Here is the link to those guidelines: http://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php (scroll down to where it says letter E “Promotions”). I ran a contest recently for a client and it was really successful!

      I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

      -Rick

Leave a reply