Facebook Update: Edgerank is Dead

In Chapter 5 of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for all Businesses – we discuss Facebook’s algorithm, Edgerank.

What are they talking about? -  I hear your brains a pondering.

If you think about Facebook as a huge database (which it is) – then given the scale of Facebook, you can imagine that ordering the data so that updates and comments etc can be delivered to the relevant people is a significant task.

Instead of having a ‘everyone sees all’ activity schedule – (which would be totally unmanageable given the size of Facebook – and how frequently people use it) – then instead, Facebook has to determine who is going to see what.

And of course, it’s not people that decide who see’s what – but instead, the role is in the ‘chips’ of mathematical algorithms that are accessing a number of factors around the content – and then serving the output.

Historically, Facebook promoted Edgerank as their algorithm. An algorithm which considered 3 key factors (each in themselves a complex calculation):

  • Affinity score – between viewing user and edge creator (translation – how engaged you are with specific connections)
  • Weight for the edge – ie: the quality of the type of content – eg: a comment, a tag, a like, a share etc
  • Time decay – factors based on how long ago the ‘edge’ was created

(See Page 102 in the book for more info).

Whilst these elements are still part of the algorithm that Facebook uses to determine who sees what – it is now widely published and accepted that there are significantly more factors now considered.

In fact – it’s rumoured that there are over 100 factors (and in some reports 100,000!).

Either way – the key element remains in that you need to be working hard on Facebook to generate engagement and then keep that engagement going.

Asking questions (getting people to engage with your Page), quality content and building an influential audience still count.  I suspect as Facebook continues to be a noisy space – then more creativity in to how you corner the eyeballs and activity is going to be needed.

Targeted posts rolled out to majority of Facebook Pages

In the Facebook Chapter of the book, we talk about targeted posts, content that can be targeted directly using a range of demographics.

Until recently, only pages with more than 5,000 fans had access to this feature. However, now as long as you have 30 fans, you can take advantage of this facility.

Targeted post

To get this feature, you need to go into the settings of your Page and ensure your post privacy gating is turned on. Click here to read how to do this.

You’ll then see what looks like a target in between the scheduler and the geolocator in your updating window.

Targeted post 2

If you click on this target, you’ll get a drop-down window (see left) which gives you a number of different demographic options for your targeted content.

Once you’ve entered the required criteria and added your content, you then click on Boost Post and a new window will appear in your screen.

 

Targeted post 3

Select the People you choose through targeting option, set your budget and away you go.

Facebook will tell you the estimated audience for your post. You can also track its performance using Insights.

So if you are looking to reach out to a new, highly targeted audience, or possibly improve your EdgeRank score, then this could be a very cost effective form of advertising on Facebook.

One word of warning though. You need to be posting a high quality of content – strong images, video, infographic etc. – and the image you use should contain no more than 25% text.