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Why does Facebook’s Edgerank matter?

Your eyes just glossed over didn’t they?

“Edgerank,” you think, “What? Who cares? I just want a Facebook Page for my business.”

If only Social Media marketing was so simple that you could setup a Facebook Page, your customers would instantly like it, and your business would skyrocket. Well, it’s not that easy. Social media (and some would argue, Facebook even more so) is a balancing act of art and science. Edgerank is — in an oversimplified statement — the science behind Facebook. Understanding and leveraging it will enable you to successfully market your brand using Facebook.

For those of you unfamiliar with Edgerank, it is “the algorithm that Facebook uses to determine what articles should be displayed in a user’s newsfeed.” Unlike Twitter, where you see the tweets of every one you follow in chronological order, Facebook determines who and/or what a user sees based on how much they interact with a page and/or person, and how popular a post is.

For example, I usually comment on everything my sister posts, so I see 99.9% of her posts. Whereas, I’m a fan of Flogging Molly’s music, but not so much that I want to know everything about the band, so they rarely come up in my newsfeed. (Sorry guys.)

Edgerank algorithm

Photo: Thumbnail of Postrocket’s Infographic “Edgerank 101”

Here’s a quick rundown of the algorithm:

Affinity: The strength of your relationship with a brand. The more you interact with a brand, the stronger the relationship.

Weight: Not all types of posts are created equal. There is plain text (“status updates”), photos, links, and videos. Also, the more popular a particular type, the more weight it’s given.

Decay: Older posts have less value so that a user’s newsfeed stays fresh. The more popular a post, the longer it will stick around.

So, back to my original question, why does understanding and using Edgerank matter for business? Bottom line, you want your followers to interact with your page so that: 1) you stay in your followers’ newsfeeds, so they have you in mind when they decide to make a purchase; 2) the lifetime of your post is extended; and, 3) their family and friends will see them interact with you and check you out.

Here’s a scenario: You post the photo of your latest and greatest product at 11 PM at night (when you finally have a moment to log into Facebook), but your fans are asleep by then. Logically, you don’t get any likes, shares, or comments during the night. A couple people might see it in the morning, but chances are slim because the lifetime of that post has been and gone. Make a habit of this, and over time your posts won’t show up in your current fans’ newsfeed at all. When you take into account it costs more to acquire new customers, this is not what you want happening.

Content matters. Timing matters. Edgerank matters.

The next steps are finding out what your Edgerank is (more or less), and figuring out how to leverage it. Downloading and analyzing your Facebook Insights will give you a lot of information. Otherwise, you might choose to hire someone to give you an in-depth assessment of where your page stands. Or, get out your pen and paper, and keep track of what you’re posting when. (The tech savvy geek in me is crying for you, but hey, if it works for you go for it.)

Jay Baer of Convince & Convert recently provided a simple, easy-to-remember way of monitoring how a post is doing. Disclaimer 1: Mr. Baer shared this to help determine what posts to promote in Facebook. I’m taking his method slightly out of context. Disclaimer 2: This is a decent starting point, but will in no way provide you with the necessary Insights to really get your Facebook page moving.

After you post something, set your timer for 6 hours. When you go back, check out the number of likes, comments, and shares. If you got some interaction, note down the day of the week, time of the day, and type of post. Eventually, you’ll see what’s working and what’s not.

S.T.I.R Shelf-Life. Time. Impact. Results.


Photo: From Convince & Convert

Hopefully, I’ve convinced you that Edgerank matters without turning you from a glossy-eyed business owner to an overwhelmed basket case. If you are convinced, but don’t know how to apply the science of Edgerank, or want help in this area, the Adster team is here for you.