According to a research done by comScore called “The Power of Like: How Brands Reach and Influence Fans Through Social Media Marketing”, users on Facebook spend the majority of their time, more specifically 27% of their time, looking at news feeds and homepages. This is great news for companies, as it goes to show that their efforts on Facebook are not wasted! The engagement with branded content mostly happens through the news feed and not on pages. In fact, according to the comScore research results, users are 40-150 times more likely to consume branded content in the news feed than, visit the fan page itself. Keeping this statistic in mind, it is imperative that companies should put most of their effort into optimizing their news feed posts, in order to reach the greatest amount users.
However, each post a company publishes only reaches a small fraction of its total fan base via the news feed. We conclude this based on an algorithm called EdgeRank, as Facebook calls it. In the following, I will explain how the algorithm EdgeRank works, according to a white paper released by internet marketing research company comScore.
What is “EdgeRank”?
Today there are two different settings on the users’ Facebook page- “Most Recent,” which shows most of the content published by Facebook friends in chronological order and “Top News” which filters content based on Facebook’s news feed optimization called EdgeRank.
According to Facebook, 95% of users use the “Top News” exclusively. Therefore, it is extremely important for companies to understand how EdgeRank works.
Facebook views everything published as “objects.” Every object receives a ranking, which determines if it will show in the users’ personal news feed. How high the content score on EdgeRank is depends on three things: the Affinity, the Weight and the Timing.
The algorithm looks like this:
Each Edge has three components important to Facebook’s algorithm:
- First, there’s an affinity score between the viewing user and the brand—if your fans or community members interact very frequently, comment regularly, tag photos of your brand then the affinity score of your brand will be higher, than any other brands they like and it will show up more frequently in their news feeds.
- Second, there’s a weight given to each type of Edge (or activity on the Facebook page). Activities that require higher levels of user engagement get a higher weight score than those that do not. For example, uploading a link or photo together with a comment takes more effort on the users’ part than clicking the “Like” button.
- And finally there’s the most obvious factor — time. The older an Edge is, the less important it becomes. You start out with a high timing score and the more time passes, the lower the score gets.
Multiply these factors for each Edge then add the Edge scores up and you have an Object’s EdgeRank. And the higher that is, the more likely your Object is to appear in the user’s feed.
The way to get noticed
If companies post content every day can reach as much of 22% of their fan base each week, according to comScore. In order to reach this, companies should aim to:
- Post content often (3 -5 times a week).
- Post several pictures, videos and links as they will get a higher EdgeRank than plain text.
- Encourage interaction, for example by asking questions and trying to get fans to upload their own content so the interaction is mutual.
- Share content that is highly social – content that users want to re-share with their friends.
- And finally, obtain a high level of “Likes”, comments and re-shares.
Getting your content noticed is not difficult, but it requires some planning and work. Following these simple advices will help you increase the visibility of your company’s posts and maximize the exposure to both fans and their friends. So how about calculating the EdgeRank of your content now?