3 Components of EdgeRank, Facebook Optimization & Increased Exposure

So what’s the ultimate goal of any business using a Facebook Fan Page as a marketing tool?

To get into the newfeeds of thousands, or perhaps millions, or Facebook users and for those users to comment, “like”, and share those updates.

However, what most businesses (and most people in general) don’t realize is that Facebook’s news feed is driven by an algorithm that determines what updates are seen at the top of the news stream, and what updates are never seen at all.

The algorithm is called EdgeRank.

EdgeRank is to Facebook’s news stream as PageRank is to Google’s search results.

At the end of the day, EdgeRank will determine whether or not your Facebook Fan Page updates get high levels of exposure, or just get buried in a mound of never-to-be-seen wall updates.

And just like with Google search results, if you can produce Fan Page updates that earn high quality EdgeRank scores, you’ll reap the benefits of massive exposure and increased fans because you’ll be found at the top of everyone’s news feed.

The 3 components of EdgeRank

1) Affinity Score – this is the weight given between the user who is viewing a wall update, and the creator of the update.  The more frequent a “viewer” and “creator” have interacted in the past, the higher the affinity score will be between the creator’s wall update and the viewer.  For example, if you send out an update to someone who interacts frequently with your updates, your update will more likely appear higher and more often than on someone’s wall who has never interacted with your updates.

2)  Edge Type – since the algorithm is actually called “EdgeRank”, then there must be something called an “Edge”, right?  Anytime something happens in (or derived from) a wall, it’s called an “Edge”. When you send out an update from your Facebook Fan Page, that update is called an “Edge”. When someone “comments”, “likes”, or “shares” your update, those interactions are called an “Edge”. From the perspective of the algorithm, not all “Edges” are created equal. For example, a “comment” or “share” might carry more weight than a “Like”. EdgeRank calculates all of the “Edge” interactions when determining rankings.

3)  Time – since Facebook is all about the “here & now”, time obviously plays a huge role in determining what is relevant, and what is old news. The older an “Edge” (or a wall update) is, the less weight that “Edge” carries. Also, any interaction (or other “Edge” interactions) that occur with older updates, the less weight those interactions carry (the less important the “Edge” becomes).

What does this mean to me?

So now that we now there’s an actual algorithm driving the ranking of our updates in our fan’s new stream, we can now take steps to creating higher quality wall updates that will have more authority, and get seen by more people – thus increasing our rankings, exposure, traffic, and fans to our page’s.

Following the underlying concept of EdgeRank, it makes sense that as a Facebook Fan Page admin, you’d want to create more valuable updates that people will actually want to interact with, and create them more often.

If all you send out from your Facebook Page is marketing and promotional type updates (advertisements) then it’s unlikely anyone will interact with your fan page, and in turn, no one will ever see your updates.  This will work adversely toward your goal of leveraging your Facebook Fan Page to build your brand and generate more revenue.

One of the best ways to create high quality updates that earn a high “EdgeRank” score is to create updates that encourage your Facebook fans to interact, respond, or share your updates.

Launching a content, a give a way, asking questions, sharing relevant news, sharing tips or tricks, providing exclusive (insider) information, etc…

You have to start thinking differently about the updates you send out from your Fan Page, because the “less” interactive potential your updates carry, the less performance you’ll get from your Facebook page.

It’s all about “EdgeRank” my friends – live it, learn it!