EdgeRank has become an increasingly important aspect of the site as brands everywhere are becoming more aware of their presence on Facebook. With EdgeRank, brands can reach consumers on a personal level and engage with their biggest fans on a daily basis. But what is the Facebook EdgeRank algorithm and why does it matter?
EdgeRank is Facebook’s method of ranking a post’s importance based on a user’s personal profile. According to EdgeRank Checker, ‘EdgeRank is an algorithm developed by Facebook to govern what is displayed (and how high) on the News Feed’. It is what chooses what a user will first see on their personal news feed. When a Facebook user logs onto Facebook, the newsfeed is the first section of the site that is displayed, making the newsfeed section of the site extremely important. Brands have recognized this opportunity to capture their consumer’s attention and now are finding ways to increase the importance of what their page posts to Facebook. During the Facebook Marketing 2012 convention earlier this year, participants were given the recipe for creating the perfect post by increasing Edgerank with three components.
The first component of EdgeRank is Affinity, or how close Facebook believes a person or brand is to the originator of a post. Affinity can be built by profile views, interest in a status by commenting or liking, tags in a picture, writing on a wall or anything that gives the impression that a user is interested in another user. Facebook views interest in another user as a desire to hear more from that user. The Facebook Chat bar gives a user an idea of their affinity, or who Facebook considers to be their interests. Brands can take advantage of affinity on Facebook by gaining an edge with users and engaging them with various aspects of the brand’s page. When consumers engage with a brand’s page, Facebook gives the brand more of an edge with that consumer.
EdgeRank’s second component is a post’s weight. This component is decided by Facebook depending on a user’s type of post. A post’s weight then depends on the type of content included. Videos, pictures, tags, locations, and links are examples of posts that have a heavier weight than just a simple wall post. Posts heavy with content get boosted with weight, giving the post an edge over the flood of dialogue on Facebook. Brands can boost the weight and edge of their post by including links, pictures, videos or any type of heavy content. It is also important to keep the politics of weight in mind because everyone has their own agenda, including Facebook. When the site wants to promote a new type of post, for example ‘checking in ‘, the company can decide to give this type of post a boost of weight so more users will see these posts on their newsfeed. Brands can capitalize on this by recognizing Facebook trends and offering up different types of new content.
The final component of EdgeRank is decay or simply put, time. Time is extremely important in the EdgeRank world because the longer a posts exists, the less important the post becomes. This makes it imperative that brands determine the peak times their posts will be seen by their target consumers. If brands can narrow down a timeframe of when their fans are engaging with Facebook, the brand can then strategically make a post that the majority of their audience will see. It is also important to note that off peak hours are important too because during this time there is less competition for audience’s eyes.
Egderank’s significance is further stressed In Sean Corcoran’s blog when he discusses the importance for brands to keep up with the constantly evolving Facebook. Corcoran states, “Facebook’s importance in the marketing mix will grow significantly and as the primary owner of the platform for your brand, you’ll have to figure out how to leverage it. For now, focus on today’s Facebook, which is plenty complicated enough. Start by learning the nuances of the platform such as how its Edgerank algorithm affects who sees your posts.” Corcoran here further emphasizes the importance of learning and understanding Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm and staying relevant on the site. Overall, it is imperative that brands who want to succeed on Facebook constantly build affinity through engagement. Being on the top of a target audience’s newsfeed is the goal.