Several years ago people learned that Google had a ranking algorithm which it used to determine where you ranked when people carried out keyword searches. Since then a whole (SEO) industry has grown up around building and changing websites to take advantage of this algorithm.
Very people know that Facebook has something similar – known as the ‘Edgerank Algorithm’- and in a similar way knowing how it works it can be utilised to give businesses and brands a commercial advantage. What follow is an explanation of how it works.
When you log on the Facebook you’ll see something like this….
So, here’s the important question – what determines whether you are at the top of the RECENT STORIES list or not? Clearly if you are a brand thats selling to me or trying to get my attention appearing high in this section is crucial – and its determined by the ‘Edgerank Algorithm’.
It’s based on three factors (so far simpler than the google algorithm) – they are RECENCY, EDGE WEIGHT and AFFINITY.
Let me give you an example based on my own experience. Recently I logged into Facebook and this image appeared right at the top of my feed…
I was taken aback. This was my sister. I wasn’t taken aback because it was my sister but because the bloke she’s cuddling up to was not her husband. I had no idea who it was until my wife told me it was a member of Take That. But why did she appear at the top of my feed? Its Edgerank in action.
When it occurred it was within a day of the post getting uploaded (practical tip: post often – say, twice a day to win on ‘recency’.) This is simple to understand but AFFINITY and EDGE WEIGHT need a little more explanation.
If you post something then every action related to that post is called an ‘edge’. So commenting on a post, ‘liking’, clicking on a link – these are all edges. Some edges are more important than others – so video, photos and links have a high edge weight. (practical tip: ensure your posts are varied and include photos and videos where you can along with clickable links).
Every ‘edge’ is given a value and all edges relating to a post then added together to give an overall score. In this case it was clearly a photo (high edge weight) which attracted many comments from family and friends.
This is the degree of closeness a brand or person is seen to have with you. The affinity score in this case was quite high. NOT because it was my sister but because the person who posted the photo was my sister-in-law with whom I have a high affinity. Facebook worked this out on the basis that I quite often go to Lesley’s (my sister-in law) Facebook page and click around (we have lots of family get togethers when photos are taken and uploaded – I visit the page to view the photos)
(Practical tip: encourage interactivity – the more your fans interract with you (your posts) the higher the affinity with them will be – encourage/ask them to click for example).
So the edgerank score is a value arrived at by multiplying each of the numeric values asigned to RECENCY, AFFINITY and EDGE WEIGHT together. If this value is higher than the values assigned to all other posts carried out by friends and fans since I last logged on – it will appear top. So, this value will determine where you are in the list relative to other posts carried out by friends and fans. Very similar to Google ranking in action.
We have several customers who utilise edgerank to ensure they always have visibility in their fans RECENT STORIES. It drives awareness and of course sales. In future posts I’ll showcase some specific examples to show you some of the strategies in action – they all involve encouraging interaction (AFFINITY), posting often (RECENCY) and using photos, music, videos (High EDGE RANK elements).