5 Facts You Didn't Know About Facebook EdgeRank

by Chad Wittman on Jan 25, 2012
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Facebook EdgeRank is the sum of each Edge’s Affinity x Weight x Time Decay.

An Edge can range from Creating a Post to Sharing a Post. As an object within Facebook receives interactions it becomes more likely to show up in the news feed.

This relatively straight forward algorithm can lead to complicated results.

Understanding EdgeRank and leveraging it to your advantage is vital for brands to see success on Facebook.

Here are 5 things about EdgeRank you did not know:

1. The typical post reaches only about 17% of your fans

Many executives take a quick look at their fan count and cite that as their reason for success or failure. In reality, creating engagement (shares, comments, and likes) is much more important as it will create greater exposure and higher click through rates.

However, a typical post created by a page only reaches about 17% of their fans. Multiple Posts a day can help increase this number for the total each day.

Pages that leverage EdgeRank to their advantage can actually reach many more of their fans. By extremely leveraging EdgeRank, pages can actually reach past their fan base and into their fans’ friends feeds. This is the power of understanding and leveraging EdgeRank.

2. A Facebook post typically lives for about 3 hours

For most Facebook admins, each strategically placed post will only live for about 3 hours. Each individual Facebook page has a different average post lifetime, but understanding this can help to achieve a deeper understanding of time decay.

Waiting for your last post to die is important so that engagement is not cannibalized. Understanding your Daily Optimal Post Frequency can be used with understanding how long your posts’ live. If your average post lifetime was 9 hours, and your Optimal Post Frequency was 2x/day it’d be best to post early morning and sometime in the evening. Sticking to this strategy will most likely increase your engagement, which ultimately builds your EdgeRank.

3. Comments are about 4x more valuable than Likes

Facebook marketers have always believed that comments were more valuable than likes, but now recent studies are shedding light onto how much more valuable. This means that an emphasis on comments will most likely result in better overall performance than focusing on likes.

Marketers can use this to their advantage by asking fans to “Comment if they disagree” or “Suggest an alternative in a Comment”. Using tactics such as these can help provide a Call To Action for your fans, which also boosts the EdgeRank of these updates. Likes are still important. It is always better to have some likes than no likes at all.

4. Facebook tracks everything to determine affinity

To determine affinity, Facebook must analyze anything and everything between a user and a page. Every click, every Facebook share, comment, like, and wall post builds affinity between the user and the page. This means getting users to consume your content and interact with your page is vital. Facebook is monitoring these interactions and increasing the affinity. An increase in affinity is going to help you leverage EdgeRank to your advantage.

Facebook even monitors listed relationships between users. For example, “Cousins” on Facebook would most likely have a higher starting affinity due to their family listing. All these interactions and more are being monitored. We assume that anything that can be monitored, is being monitored, and if it’s being monitored, it’s being used.

5. GraphRank is a subset of EdgeRank

Much is being made about the new release of apps into Facebook. These new Facebook Actions are governed by an algorithm called GraphRank. Brands that are able to build custom tailored apps will be battle for newsfeed exposure via GraphRank. However, GraphRank works very similar to EdgeRank and is actually a subset of it.

Facebook Page Admins don’t have to worry about learning to optimize for a new algorithm on the newsfeed. GraphRank only applies to Facebook app developers. Any custom Facebook developers out there need to understand how GraphRank impacts the tools they are building.

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EdgeRank can be a complicated topic with many hidden elements we are still figuring out. However, when you really boil it down, it is all about creating engagement, response. If a Facebook marketer can build engagement through the content they provide, you will build EdgeRank.

Post Author

Co-Founder & VP of Product at Dolly, an iPhone and Android app that is like Uber meets U-Haul or Lyft for Moving. Former Founder of EdgeRank Checker (acquired by Socialbakers)...