Monday, 27 June 2011

5 Tips for using Facebook’s Edgerank Formula to your Advantage

May I introduce to you Facebook’s Edgerank formula:

The above is a nifty little algorithm which determines the likelihood of a post you make on Facebook appearing on your friends or your fans news feeds. It looks a bit complicated, so let’s discuss.

There are three elements which contribute to determining where your post appears and how many impressions it receives, each of which are given a relative importance.

The first most important factor is d for time decay, this means that the more recent a post is, the higher chance it has of appearing on your news feed, as no one wants to see week old updates when they log in!

The second is w for weight, and this refers to how important Facebook determines each type of post is. For example, recently you may have been seeing lots of questions appearing on your feed, this is because Facebook has made them the most important type of post. Similarly, you rarely if ever see on your news feed that someone has liked someone else’s status, so these sorts of posts have a low weighting from Facebook.

The exact weighting of each update is determined by Facebook and is a closely guarded secret; however, from experience of using Facebook you can make a best guess. Photo albums, events, questions and tagging appear fairly frequently, whereas new friends, comments on statuses and likes of statuses don’t.

The third is u for affinity. Have you ever wondered why certain people’s status updates don’t appear on your feed very often, whereas other people’s appear all the time? That’s because those Facebook friends you have the closest affinity with, thought the amount of wall to wall conversations you have, the amount of photos you’re tagged in together and how often you comment on each other’s statuses, determines how likely their statuses are to appear on your feed.

So how can you use Edgerank to your advantage?

So how can a brand use the Facebook Edgerank formula to make sure their posts are receiving the maximum amount of impressions and being seen by as many people as possible? Here are my top tips!

1. Use the highest ranked objects

At the moment we’ve seen that questions, photos and events receive a high weighting, so use them!

2. Avoid using the lowest ranked objects

Status updates with contain links to external sites aren’t given a high priority, as they direct people off Facebook and onto a different web site. That’s not to say you should never post them if they’re valuable to your fans, but use them sparingly and don’t expect to get the highest number of impressions from them.

3. Avoid scheduling updates though third party apps

It can be handy to use apps like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to update your page’s status, but as you haven’t visited why would Facebook give these updates the highest priority when you haven’t visited the site and viewed their advertising? Where possible, do your updates from to get the highest number of impressions.

4. Ask questions

And keep them as simple as possible. One of the most successful posts I’ve done asked fans what word came to mind when they thought of the brand. It got a bunch of comments, and this therefore built the affinity between them and the page, meaning that in the future our posts would score higher on their news feeds.

Even the simplest updates, like “Like this status if you’re looking forward to seeing Toy Story 3 this weekend?” or “Who is your favourite character from Toy Story 3” all invite comments and likes, and further build affinity between the user and the brand page.

5. Post regularly

Time is the most important factor in determining your edgerank, so if you want the best chance to float to the top of the feed posting regularly is a must. Each page has a different level of posts that their fans will stand before they hide you, but by posting regular, relevant updates you’ll have the best chance of being seen as the more time that elapses since an update is posted, the further it sinks to the bottom!

Any questions or comments leave them below!

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