Social media is everywhere and integral to a staggering amount of people’s lives. Reflecting this, companies are pouring hard work, time and money into social media marketing. Main networks such as Facebook have now become overcrowded with brand noise and corporate clutter. Facebook’s main priority is to give the user the news and activity they find valuable. Information they’ll engage with comes from their closest friends, family and favourite brands.
To make this possible, Facebook utilises two news feeds. ‘Most Recent’ compiles a list of all your friends and liked page activity in chronological order. On the other hand there is ‘Top Stories’. Facebook states 95% of their 1 billion user base primarily use this feed. It implements an ‘EdgeRank’ algorithm which ranks Facebook content on different aspects. It determines whether or not it will appear in front of the users’ eyes.
Brands and companies that measure their social success on the amount of likes they have is simply not good enough any more. If you have over 100,000 likes, and are only reaching 10% of your users, you’re not making the most of social media marketing and you won’t achieve the results you desire.
Understanding the fundamentals of Facebook EdgeRank system is vital. It will help you plan the content you post in order to achieve a higher EdgeRank and get your content in front of your customers. It can be broken down into three different scoring criteria.
A user that shows an affinity to certain profiles and pages will most likely see their content in the ‘Top Stories’ feed. When a user regularly visits at a persons profile, clicks on their content and engages with their posts, Facebook will deem them to have a high affinity toward that user. Therefore Facebook assumes that this person will most likely want to see stories from them in the future. This creates an interesting issue. If a brand receives a good initial affinity score from their followers, they will continuously be present in their ‘Top Stories’. They’ll continue to have a good chance of engagement to maintain and grow their affinity score from a profile.
Content which will continue to encourage engagement from a user becomes critical to ensure that your posts will remain a placement in the ‘Top Stories’. Slipping out of the ‘Top Stories’ will make it difficult to reach the target users in the future.
The type of content that you post has a score. If you’re posting text-based updates, the weight score will be low. Images, video and links hold a greater weight score and will more likely appear in the ‘Top Stories’ feed. Typically these types of content hold the most value. Engaging images, video and links should therefore be an integral part of any social content strategy.
Likes, comments and shares add weight to the score as people are engaging with the content. Facebook will then regard it as a quality post and assume other users will most likely find it valuable too.
The newer the post, the more likely it is to be time relevant to user and therefore will be found in Top Stories. If a post has a high affinity and weight score, it still has the chance to appear in the ‘Top Stories’ even 2 to 3 days later. However, the newer the post, the greater the recency score.
It’s important to take this into account when pushing promotions and content that you really need your users to see. Look to your analytics and establish at what times your previous posts got good reach. Posting at these optimal times will help maximise the reach of your content.
Tips to increase your EdgeRank
Take the time to look back and see what content has worked for you in the past. It’s important to have a quality over quantity approach to your Facebook content strategy. If you’re sending weak updates, you will have an adverse effect on your EdgeRank. People won’t engage with you and it will make it harder for your content to appear in front of your target audience.
Make sure you are making the most of images, video and links. In my personal experience, images receive the best interaction on Facebook. Likes, comments and shares all add towards the Edgerank score, so be sure to generate content which encourages users to get involved. What, where, why, when? Start a debate that your audience will be passionate about.
So, you’re planning a campaign, or some important messages you want your audience to see. Plan a series of engaging posts before hand to help you increase your EdgeRank score. It ensures that when you send your important messages, it will be in the ‘Top Stories’ feed of your target audience.
If you have poor Facebook reach and desire quick results, consider spending out on a Facebook promoted post. A promoted post will ensure your content will get in the feeds of your fans. It gives it the best opportunity to engage users and in turn increase your EdgeRank. Make sure you select the right content for this post. Something that your audience will engage with otherwise you’ll just be throwing your money into the feed for little return!
A word of warning, if you’re thinking of using cute cats and dogs to increase your Edgerank score, perhaps think again: https://www.facebook.com/corporatebollocks