EdgeRank is arguably one of the most important algorithms in online & social media marketing, and if you want to maximise your exposure and really engage with your customers on Facebook, understanding the components of the EdgeRank algorithm is undeniably important.

This becomes even more evident when you consider that only 0.2% (that’s 2 in a thousand) of Facebook updates you could be exposed to will actually be promoted in your news feed.

What exactly is it?

EdgeRank is the name of the algorithm which Facebook uses to determine what appears in their users’ news feeds. EdgeRank sorts the huge amounts of information available to Facebook users and adjusts the newsfeed accordingly.

The EdgeRank formula is based on three elements which we will detail below. But first things first, let’s go through some definitions.

Every interaction you have with Facebook that creates a piece of content is known as an edge, this includes actions such as liking a status update, tags, and comments. Therefore, the newsfeed isn’t really a news feed; rather it is more of a chart of the most important edges and this is determined by the EdgeRank algorithm.

So what are the components that make this EdgeRank formula?

They are AffinityEdge Weight and Time (or ‘freshness’).

Though it may seem relatively simple that the EdgeRank formula is based on these three components; there is actually a great amount of complexity behind these components.

Affinity

First, there’s an Affinity score between the viewing user and the item’s creator. Essentially what this means is how “friendly” you are with someone. For example, the more you interact with another person’s Facebook profile; this in turn gives you a higher affinity score with that person. So you comment on someone’s photo, and you find that they appear in your news feed more often.  The more you interact with a particular person, the more likely that their edges and content will appear on your news feed.

It is important to note however, that Affinity works only one-way. What this means is that even though you may be visiting a person’s Facebook profile, this doesn’t increase the likelihood of you appearing in their newsfeed. Therefore, for you to gain greater Affinity with your customers, it is necessary for organisations to get their followers to create edges and content on the organisations Facebook profile. It is all about increasing the levels of user engagement with your company, for example, getting them to comment on your page or ‘like’ your photos or videos.

Edge Weight

Second, there is the component known as Edge Weight. This is where the various edges are given weights, or rather how important each individual edge or piece of content is. Although there is no definitive sequence of Edge Weight, there are certain edges or pieces of content which acquire more EdgeRank than others. What this implies is that these types of edges and pieces of content have a higher Edge Weight than other types of content.

The three types of edges or content which are widely associated with having the highest Edge Weight are videosphotos and links. With this knowledge of what has the highest Edge Weight, you should try to alter the way you communicate with others on Facebook. So when posting announcements, try to incorporate content with high Edge Weight such as videos, photos and links.

Time (or ‘freshness’)

The final component of the EdgeRank is related to Time, or rather time decay. For example, no matter how much the EdgeRank is based on Affinity and Weight, if it’s old news, it will be less likely to appear.

Facebook is highly dependent upon the temporal nature of content, therefore to maximise the effectiveness of any marketing campaign on Facebook, you should create content and edges at the points of time when your audience is most likely to be using Facebook. This method decreases the time decay and increases the chances of your company’s content reaching your customers news feeds.

These are the only details that Facebook have divulged at the moment, and the rest is for us marketers to speculate upon. However, with these snippets of information, you will have a better understanding of the various components of the Edgerank algorithm, and by maximising these; you will be able to create the most effective Facebook campaign possible.

Just remember that building an engaged audience is the key, as it will lead to the increased appearances of your content in your followers news feeds.

Contact us today to find out more how we can help you spread your brand message on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and many others…