Edgerank is the name of Facebook’s algorithm function. It enables Facebook to rank status updates. This ranking depends on three factors:
Affinity- This is the ‘closeness’ of the user to your business Facebook page, Facebook calculates affinity scores by looking at the specific actions users take such as liking a post, commenting or liking a page.
Weight of the content – This depends on how often a user interacts with your content and in what way. For example a comment is worth more in terms of ranking than a ‘like’. Facebook’s algorithm ranks on engagement rather than relevancy.
Recency or time decay – Actions decrease in importance with relation to time, as do posts themselves.
The important thing to remember is that affinity is one-way, what appears on a users news feed is entirely dependent on their own engagement. There are however, ways of ensuring users interact with your content, the key points are outlined below:
Post fan-centered status updates – Knowing what your fans are interested in will provide you with valuable engagement opportunities. Businesses who post the same updates over and over again become annoying to users and they will most likely decide to right-click and hit ‘hide’ on your status update. Edgerank values comments over ‘likes’ so you should focus on quality posts rather than quantity!
Start a conversation – Make sure your posts allow plenty of scope for discussion
Be Creative – Think of the opening line of your post like a headline, make it catchy and try to finish with an open - ended question to allow scope for discussion.
Enable sharing on your custom content – By including share buttons on your blog content, users will be able to share this content on their own walls and you will be able to increase your reach.
Use Fan-gates – This is a technique commonly termed ‘like-gating’. Like gating treats ‘likes’ like currency. Some business pages lock certain content so that the only way to get access to it is to ‘like’ the page. The important thing to remember with this technique is that it is not an end in itself. In order to establish an ongoing relationship with your users long after the initial ‘like’, it is important to continually create engaging and informative content.
Think like Wikipedia – Providing your fans with up-to-date industry news is a great way to get them to interact regularly with your page.
Become a Superfan - Interact with other businesses on Facebook by liking their pages and commenting on their statuses. Try and join groups to widen your online network and increase interaction on your own page.
Create Tabs – Tabs provide a richer user experience on Facebook and allow you to control the content your follower’s access.
Keep posts under 80 characters – Posts of this length have been proven to encourage 25% more interaction. More than 75% of brand posts are beyond this optimum length which impacts interaction.
Use a combination of long and shortened URL’s – long and short URL’s each serve important purposes; long URL’s have a 16% higher interaction rate, due to the fact that they provide an indication as to the link’s final destination. Many users like to know exactly where they are being re-directed! However, long URL’s aren’t usually the best choice for link-tracking purposes, which are vital for measuring success. Longer URL’s are also difficult to remember making them a bad choice for branding purposes.
Consistency – Being consistent with posts is a good way to ensure fans regularly check your page for new updates. Make it easy for fans to predict when you will next post, this way they are more likely to remember to check your page and interact with your content.
Personalize Each update – People like to interact with people, so make sure you sign off each post with a name and avoid writing posts in the third person. Appearing personable will encourage discussion.
Don’t automatically post your Twitter updates to your Facebook page! You are probably much chattier on Twitter than you are on Facebook, if fans continually receive endless status updates from your page, they may become complacent and your posts will lose relevancy. Besides, on Twitter, you only get 140 characters!