how to:How To Use EdgeRank to Increase Your Facebook Presence
One of the greatest advantages of the Internet and social media sites such as Facebook is that they can seemingly effortlessly connect thousands—even millions—of people. What used to require a letter or an email is accomplished with a status update listed in a News Feed.
Ironically, the greatest challenge can be standing out—getting heard in the electronic chatter. On Facebook, some members have thousands of friends; no one has time to read every update from every friend. Facebook’s two newsfeeds—Most Recent and Top News—allow users to choose which updates, links, and videos they would like to hear about. Most Recent is straightforward: up-to-the-minute updates of all content from all friends. Top News—the default setting—is more complicated as it is determined by a scoring system known as EdgeRank. If you want your statuses, links, and videos to appear in Top News feeds—or to appear more often—you must understand EdgeRank and use it to your advantage.
Understand what EdgeRank is and how Facebook determines what to show and what not to show in its Top News feeds. Only Facebook knows the exact algorithm with which EdgeRank is calculated, but it is known that three factors determine a user’s score: Affinity, Level of Interaction, and Timeliness.
Affinity is a one-way measure of the interactions between the user posting and the users who might receive the update. The more frequently you interact with a user, their page, and their content, the greater chance that their updates will show up in your Top News feed. This does not mean that your updates will appear in their feed, however; they have their own affinity ranking based on if they click on your content.
Level of Interaction measures the content itself: How much effort does exploring and sharing the content require? Liking a friend’s picture is much less likely to show up in someone’s Top News feed than sharing a video is because clicking “like” takes mere seconds, whereas watching and sharing a video requires minutes. Keep this hierarchy in mind: Likes < Statuses < Links < Pictures/Videos
Timeliness is simple: How fresh is the content? Facebook assumes that you’d rather look at photos from today rather than read a month-old news article.
Use this knowledge to choose the best medium and style for your content. If your goal is to promote your cause or business in as many users’ Top News feeds as possible, then your content must be diverse, engaging, and fresh. Remember: the more likes and comments on your content, the more often your future content will appear in the Top News feeds of those that liked and commented.
Try posting questions and polls. If your readers are truly interested by your post, they may comment on it and start a self-fueling discussion with other users. You don’t need to be controversial—just post content that is original and evokes debate or comment. Remember your audience: If you’re a tech blog, then your followers will likely ignore your poll regarding the newest cover of Vogue.
Make your content appealing by prefacing it with captions and personal input. On Facebook, photos and videos appear as but small thumbnails until clicked on. Give your friends a reason to click: an interesting fact about the photo, a quote from the video, or your opinion of the link.
Don’t be afraid to repost. If you think you’ve shared a fantastic video, but you didn’t receive the response you’d have liked, try sending it out later with a different introductory comment. If that doesn’t do it, don’t fret—just move on and look for new content to share. The Internet moves fast.
Return the favor. If you want others to read, comment, like, and share, then it helps if you do the same. It won’t directly raise your EdgeRank—in fact, it will raise others’—but this isn’t a competition. If your friends see that you notice them and check out their content, they’ll be more inclined to return the favor, increasing your EdgeRank. Additionally, if all you do is talk without listening, you’re likely to lose touch with what your audience wants to hear about. Facebook can be a soapbox, but it is most effective as a forum.
More Resources for Understanding EdgeRank