EdgeRank is an algorithm used for Facebook, deciding the order in which relevant content will appear on a user’s Newsfeed. So how does this algorithm determine which content is relevant to a specific user? There are three factors that play a role in this process: affinity, weight, and time decay.
- Affinity is your relationship with users, meaning how often you interact with different users.
- Weight is the amount of priority given to a certain type of post (status, link, video, photo, etc.) and the interaction from other users (comments, likes, etc.).
- Time decay is based on how old the post is. The older it is, the less likely it will be to show up in a user’s Newsfeed.
This is just a basic outline of how the EdgeRank algorithm works, it is a much deeper and more detailed process then I have explained. The most important aspect of this algorithm to keep in mind is that relevance is key. A user’s Newsfeed will be filled with content that they have interacted with in the past; whether that is a certain person or a certain post-type. Knowing this will aid businesses in increasing the reach of their posts.
Businesses need to remember that Facebook is a social network, a place where users go to communicate, share, and discover. For a business to improve their performance on Facebook, building relationships with your audience is essential. Engage users with interesting content that will encourage them to interact with it. Post regularly in order to maintain a presence, but in a respectful and timely manner (don’t be annoying). By focusing on the three factors of affinity, weight, and time decay from the algorithm, it will increase the likelihood of your future content appearing in your audience’s Newsfeed. Market research, such as trial and error, is a great way to figure out what work best with your specific target audience. Try different post-types and different content to see which ones get the most interaction.
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, wrote a negative post regarding the EdgeRank algorithm Facebook uses. He claims that Facebook is overcomplicating their social network by filtering the content that appears in user’s Newsfeed. That our Newsfeed does not need to be more engaging and efficient because it is simply a place where people go to kill time. Cuban wants to be able to reach his entire audience for his Mavericks page without having to try to fall within the parameters of the algorithm. Not only does it limit the reach of his post, but it confines businesses to using Sponsored Posts which can be costly. Cuban is not against Sponsored Posts, but he believes that they should be used to aid regular posts in improving their odds of reaching the audience.
Mark Cuban has a point. Facebook is a time killer for me and their is not necessarily a need for filtering content. Out of my 410 friends on Facebook, I probably only talk to 10 of those people. If something were to appear on my Newsfeed that I did not want to see, it is very easy to unlike or unfriend that page or person. However, Cuban is bitter about the fact that he is no longer able to advertise for free on Facebook. Majority of the posts on the Maverick’s page include promotional content along with their game and player updates. Facebook users, myself included, do not want to be spammed. If I were to like the Maverick’s page, I would want to see updates about the team not constant advertising. Yes, I can easily unlike their page but then I would not be able to get updates. Facebook posts should be interesting and engaging for the users.