We frequently hear complaints from groups and brands that “very few of our users see our status updates” or “Facebook hides our updates as they want to make us pay for advertising”.
While the first is more than likely true, the second is a myth. There is a simple answer as to why your updates aren’t being seen, and that is because Facebook uses EdgeRank to determine what gets in front of users. If they don’t think they will be interested, they won’t show it.
What is EdgeRank?
So, what is EdgeRank?
“EdgeRank is the Facebook algorithm that decides which stories appear in each user’s newsfeed. The algorithm hides boring stories, so if your story doesn’t score well, no one will see it.”
At the 2010 F8 Conference, Facebook revealed they calculate EdgeRank using the following metrics:
- Affinity Score
- Edge Weight
- Time Decay
This means how connected a particular user is to the edge. For example I’m friends with my wife on Facebook (but not in real life ;-), write frequently on her wall and we have a lot of mutual friends. I have a high affinity with my wife (although she would argue otherwise..) so I will see more of her updates. Clicking, liking, commenting, sharing and friending all increase the affinity score.
The affinity score can also change over time with changes in behaviour. For instance, if I stop liking my wife’s posts about fluffy cats then my affinity score will reduce. Affinity score is one way, she will have a separate score to me.
Every action a user takes creates an edge and every edge creates a potential story (except for clicks). Each category of edges has a different weight, for example, comments are worth more than likes. Photos and videos have a higher weight than links.
As a story gets older, it loses points because it is “old news”. EdgeRank is a running score, not a one-time score. A users newsfeed is populated with edges that have the highest score at that particular moment. Your status update will only hit their newsfeed if it has a higher score, at that moment in time, than the other possible stories.
So the important question is…
How do I improve my EdgeRank?
Your brand will ultimately be judged by your ability to engage users with your content. Consider how to increase user interaction, which increases EdgeRank and thus get your updates in front of more users.
Here are some examples:
- “Click ‘like’ if you’re excited about our new product.”
- “If you found this information useful, please share it with friends” – no really, please do!
- “Which acts would you like to see at our next night?”
All of the above are Calls To Action, inviting users to share and thus increase your EdgeRank.
All those likes, comments and shares will increase the affinity score between each fan and your page, in turn boosting how many fans see your status updates in their newsfeed. If you found this post useful, please do consider sharing it. If you know someone running a fan or brand page who could benefit from this please also share with them. Or just ‘like’ it and help our affinity score!
Also if you have any questions, please do post them here and we will endeavour to answer them.