Facebook have been using variations of the Edgerank algorithm to determine what posts each of its users want to see at any given time. Facebook have been improving their Edgerank formula for quite some time now. The old formula used to involve three variables;
- Affinity Score
Affinity Score: The affinity score of a post is measured by looking at explicit actions that users take, such as the strength of the action, how close the person who took the action was to you and how long ago they took the action.
Weight: Every action carried out on Facebook creates an edge, where each edge creates a potential story. Each category of edges has a pre-determined weight. (However. clicks do not create an edge).
Time: As a story gets older, it loses relevancy and drops points on Edgerank’s running score.
When a user logs into Facebook, their newsfeed is filled with posts that have the highest Edgerank score at that moment in time.
Facebook’s new formula however claims to take in over 100,000 different factors when determining the rank of a post. However, all these factors will still come through the 3 core categories of Affinity, Weight and Time.
Facebook have recently announced their “story bumping” update which will raise stories they feel are of major relevance to a particular user, despite its time decay.
In updating this new formula, Facebook surveyed their users to get a better understanding of what they want to see. They showed examples of posts to users accompanied by questions such as;
- Is this timely and relevant content?
- Is this content from a source you would trust?
- Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others?
- Is the content genuinely interesting to you or is it trying to gain News Feed distribution? (e.g. asking for people to like the content)
- Would you call this a low quality post or meme?
- Would you complain about seeing this content in your News Feed?
With a basic understanding of how Edgerank works, businesses can better plan what kind of content to post and when to post it.
Taking the example of a small café, looking to get your message across through Facebook. You need to consider these Edgerank factors when creating your post. Affinity score and time are the two factors which you can have an impact on and are somewhat easier to manipulate.
Consider your Affinity score by acknowledging those who frequently interact with your posts. Write posts that would appeal to them as they are the people most likely to like and share your post. Having your post liked and shared boosts the amount of people who see the post.
Take the timing of your post into consideration when posting an item on Facebook. If your small cafe is posting a status about how your delicious double espresso is the ideal way to start your day, then don’t post it at 8pm when nobody is thinking about coffee and the long morning that awaits them! Post statuses when people are open to your brand (In this case; the morning), this will gain more likes and shares to boost your post’s viewers.