Social Media 101: Facebook’s EdgeRank Formula

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“Social Media 101” is a series for social media beginners where we discuss the basics of social media marketing. Today, we examine what is arguably one of the most important content concepts in social media: Facebook’s EdgeRank formula.

EdgeRank is a ranking system designed by Facebook that determines how many of your company page’s fans actually see each of your Facebook posts. Believe it or not, the vast majority of your Facebook fans do not see your status updates, photos, videos, or links in their news feeds. Rather, the number of posts in an individual’s news feed is culled by Facebook in order to lessen the amount of social overload Facebook users would likely experience if every post from every friend and every business page posted to each person’s news feed. Researchers estimate that, on average, only about 17% of total Facebook friend and fan page posts actually appear in a user’s news feed.

EdgeRank is a mathematical algorithm that filters out Facebook posts based on three variables; Affinity, Edge Weight, and Time Decay. The more successful a post is in each of these areas, the higher its rank, and the more people will see it.

Affinity: Affinity is the strength of the relationship between a fan and a Facebook business page. The more the fan interacts with the page (by liking, sharing, and commenting on its content), the higher the affinity between that fan and the page’s content. The higher a fan’s affinity with your page, the more often he will see your Facebook posts.

Edge Weight: Certain types of posts and post activities are given more “weight” than others when it comes to the EdgeRank score, though Facebook has not released the specific information on how different posts and post activities are weighted. In all likelihood, when it comes to post types, videos carry the most weight (and therefore tend to have the highest Edge Weight scores). Photos are likely second highest, followed by status updates, then links. In terms of user post activity, it is likely that sharing a post gives that post the heaviest weight, followed by commenting, then liking, then clicking an included link.

Time Decay: Time Decay means the older a post is, the less valuable it becomes. Therefore, new Facebook content is likely to have higher Time Decay scores, which contribute to higher overall EdgeRank scores.

A proper understanding of the EdgeRank score allows companies to tailor their Facebook campaigns so as to have a strong advantage in terms of potential social audiences.

 

 

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