Nope, it’s not an app, a paid-for service or any kind of automated-posting-spam. EdgeRank is the alogirthm that can have a strong influence on whether your Facebook updates get seen by others.
If you have a Facebook Page for your business, you have an obligation to post updates that your followers and fans would like to see in their own news feeds and even interact with (by ‘Liking’, commenting or sharing). In fact, in general, the majority of Facebook users are more likely to see a Facebook Page’s posts in their own newsfeed than they are on the Page itself.
Incidentally, I’m using a capital P for Page here because I am talking about your business Facebook Page rather than your personal Facebook Profile. Don’t know the difference? I wrote a guide over on NZS.com to explain.
Interactions on your Facebook updates are great – they can build loyalty with your existing fans and help to get your Facebook Page in front of friends of your fans, therefore dramatically increasing your potential reach.
So what does EdgeRank have to do with it?
Like you, Facebook want their user’s to be engaged while using their service. That’s why they try to display the most interesting content – updates and news stories – in a user’s own newsfeed.
To do that, they don’t simply take the most recent updates. Instead, they use their own equation, or algorithm, to try and work out exactly what is interesting and what isn’t.
This algorithm is called EdgeRank. It takes its name from Google’s PageRank – an algorithm that’s less supported by Google now but one that used to hold a lot of say in how well a website’s page ranks in search results.
Facebook use the term Edge to describe an action that a Facebook user’s friends perform on Facebook. These Edges are generated by actions such as:
- a friend posting an update
- a friend commenting on an update
- a friend tagging a photo
- a friend joining a fan page
- a friend RSVP’ing to an event
- … and more
Displaying all of these interactions in a user’s newsfeed would be overwhelming – Pages aside, Facebook say that the average user has 130 friends – so instead Facebook calculates what it thinks would be the most intresting stories to display. And you’re competing with a lot of other friends and Pages out there.
The outcome of this calculation is called EdgeRank.
So if no one is liking or commenting on your updates, EdgeRank could, in the worst-case scenario, mean that your status updates aren’t seen by anyone!
How can I increase the chances of my business’ Facebook Page updates being seen?
a) have some loyal fans that like to interact with your business to start with
b) post interesting updates!
Your best chance to get your status updates into newsfeeds starts with creating quality updates that people would want to interact with – i.e. comment on, like and share.
The more interactions you have on your status updates, the more likely they are to appear in newsfeeds. Once that happens, you’ll be more likely to receive even more interactions and gain new fans, therefore making the process that much easier in the future.
The trick is to not just post updates about your business or about topics that you think your fans would interact with, but to craft your updates in a way that just cries out for a comment or a like.
“Tony” from “a social media agency” who wrote the guide to EdgeRank on EdgeRank.net provides the following example suggestions for status updates (I’ve adjusted some slightly as I believe in some cases it’s best to end with your call to action):
- “Click ‘like’ if you’re excited that we just released our iPad app”
- Fill-in-the-blank questions like: “We’ve just released our Christmas specials. Fill in the blank! All I want for Christmas is ____.”
- We’ve just launched a new flavour of toothpaste! Did you brush your teeth last night? Yes/no”
- “Check-out this video of our CEO meeting Obama. How well do you think Obama is doing on a scale of 1-10?”
But again, be sure to focus on posting content that is interesting – and avoid over-posting. Posting lots may increase your overall interactions in the short-term but could also lead to your followers ‘unliking’ your Facebook Page.
The black and white crowd photo is, believe it or not, a photo that was taken in Wellington by a photographer by the name of William Hall Raine in 1931. You can see the full photo on Flickr. Thanks to the National Library NZ for sharing this photo and making it available for use.