With over 30 million business pages treading the digital waters, and a daily average of 1,500 stories in a single person’s Newsfeed, Facebook is rapidly evolving. It is prompting questions on organic reach versus paid ads, the perceived dwindling value of fans, the ROI for Facebook marketers, and of course, the ever-elusive algorithm called Edgerank. What does this mean for businesses? How do we keep up? How does it even work now?
In the recent year alone, there has been a huge drop in organic reach, mainly caused by the growing membership and activity on Facebook. Because more stories are being published, more users are also contending for visibility and exposure—determining what gets seen, and what sinks beneath more relevant posts. Ultimately, this change has challenged brands to make the most out of their Facebook market, without splurging too much on paid advertisements. It’s the same game, but with better methods.
In order to do that, though, marketers need to familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of Facebook, the Newsfeed, and Edgerank, the algorithm that curates content and stories.
Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to understanding Edgerank, as well as today’s fast-paced, update-driven digital market.
THE EDGERANK ALGORITHM EXPLAINED
Just reading the word algorithm can be a bit intimidating, but in reality, it all boils down to three main things: Affinity. Weight. Time Decay.
Affinity.### The Affinity score deals with the relationship between a creator of a post, and a particular user viewing it. The more connected the two are (based on prior engagements such as likes, comments, and other forms of online interaction), the more likely their posts will end up on the other’s Newsfeed. Facebook values the overall experience of their users, and will definitely prioritize content that these users want to see.
Weight.### Each kind of post corresponds to a different Weight. Comments are worth more than likes, while videos weigh more than photos. This just means that in order to optimize each post, you must consider the kind (or combination!) of content you are putting out there.
Time Decay.### Ever heard of the expression, “That is so last week”? Well, that applies to the Newsfeed too. This final variable of the Edgerank algorithm basically refers to how old a post is, and how that affects their value. The freshest stories receive the highest scores, and as they age, their values gradually decrease. This is why it’s important to keep your page updated — never old, never boring, never blank.
FACEBOOK’S RECENT NEWSFEED UPDATES
Facebook continues to improve their services based on the feedback of users. An ongoing survey has shown that people want more relevant content in their Newsfeed, and less promotional posts. And by promotional posts, Facebook means:
- Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
- Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
- Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads
This update has been in place since January 2015, and organic posts that sound too forward (e.g. “Click link for details,” “Download this app”) now receive significantly lower Edgerank scores than those that produce genuinely interesting content. This makes sense, because otherwise, what else are Facebook paid ads for?
MAKING EDGERANK WORK FOR YOU
While it is absolutely normal to post promotional content, as this is every brand’s goal from the beginning, you must bear in mind that social media platforms — especially Facebook — are beyond just that. People use Facebook to connect with families and friends, to share stories, and to get updated. Millions of posts go online everyday, and the chances of reaching your online market lies heavily on how you present them — Will people want to see this? Will they respond?
Here are a few things you might want to remember:
Engagement is crucial
Today, being seen is no longer enough. Brands must aim to initiate conversations and drive actions. You don’t want people looking at your posts just in passing — you want them to comment, like, share, and genuinely be interested in what you’ve put out there. At the end of the day, organic reach only matters as much as authentic engagement does.
Publish killer content.
People don’t want to get bombarded with instructions, suggested downloads, and irrelevant promos, and neither does Facebook nor Edgerank encourage that. Invest in killer content that serves more as a compelling read than a marketing tool. Use striking photos, inspiring videos, mind-boggling questions, and optimized links that get the job done. It may be indirect, but it actually is the best practice.
Adapt and be timely.
Stories don’t need to be centered on your brand the whole time. It could be a topic that people can relate to, industry news that’s making hot headlines, a witty brand meme, or perhaps a quick question to get responses. You generate traffic to your site, establish your brand’s voice, and build relationships with your customers. What could be better than that?
After all, the most relatable brand always comes first to mind, and that is exactly what you should be aiming for.
*This article also appeared on: https://www.afdigital.com/how-does-facebook-edgerank-really-work/