Top 5 Tips for improving your Facebook EdgeRank



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by Joel Davis

Ever wondered why your brand’s Facebook Page is not receiving as many Likes and comments as you hoped for? It could well be that many of your Fans have not even seen your post due to Facebook’s EdgeRank system. EdgeRank is Facebook’s unique algorithm which decides what posts appear in the ‘Top News’ stream, the default Page when you log on to Facebook.

Nobody outside Facebook completely understands the unique (and top secret) factors that enable a post to be positioned at the top of the ‘Top News’ results page.  It is, however, largely based on three main factors: affinity, weight and timing. When these factors are combined they have the ability to push content to the News Feed’s ‘Top News’ page.

EdgeRank, then, challenges brands to produce appealing and engaging content in order to ensure they are seen above other brands. Here are our Top 5 tips on how to optimize your content so that it will appear on the ‘Top News’ page:

1. Encourage audience engagement

EdgeRank is weighted so that activities that require higher levels of user engagement get a higher score than those that don’t. So, instead of just aiming for Likes, brands need to get people to comment on, and share, their content.

If brands want increased fan participation they need to provide something that people want to engage with. With social media you are fighting for people’s hard earned attention – brands must offer content that is worth their audience’s time.  As with all social media it is about having relevant conversations. You must ask questions and not just push out content and hope that people will respond. It has been proven that posts which include a clear and simple call to action achieve higher engagement levels.

So: make your posts fun, timely and engaging and ask your Fans to join in with you (for example, through asking for user generated content, product feedback or running competitions). You’ll be surprised how many will enthusiastically do so.

2. Personalize your brand on Facebook

It’s important to remember that, when it comes to EdgeRank, manual posts have more weight than posts automated through apps.  More than this, your Facebook Page needs to be human and personalized. You must develop a relationship with your audience: be ready to thank them for their replies and for sharing their opinions with you.

Each social platform demands a bespoke tone of voice and content strategy – this is vital when it comes to engaging with your fans on Facebook. They can tell which posts are automated or those that have been written for Twitter (e.g. featuring hashtags) and which have been personalized – and for this reason auto posts do not produce as much engagement.

While efficiency is important in the social sphere if it comes at the cost of a decrease in engagement, it simply isn’t worth it.  Show your fans you care enough to personalize each post and respond to their queries and opinions.

3. Stand out with rich media

With so many brands on Facebook it can be easy for your brand messages to get lost in a sea of content. Videos and photos are a way to ensure that your content stands out – plus, this type of rich media always performs well on Facebook. People love rich media content – videos and photos are much more immediate and, in many instances, more interesting than lengthy text updates which means people are more likely to engage with them. This engagement means that your posts will appear in the ‘Top News’ of your Fans’ News Feed.

Depending upon the brand, sometimes text based status updates aren’t engaging enough to push your posts into the ‘Top News’ Feed. Videos and photos are more likely to grab people’s attention and they also seem to be a favored by the News Feed algorithm, carrying a high weight score that will influence EdgeRank.

Use these videos to increase engagement. Don’t just push out this content, ask people what they think and contextualize it with a question. Getting people to comment will then add a highly weighted interaction score and build affinity with new users.

4. Timing is the key

Social media is all about timing, in all its senses. With the need for brands to publish content that naturally creates discussions and that people will have an opinion about, making it timely is crucial. The more time-relevant the post the more effective it will be in engaging people and drawing responses from them. This could be seen recently in the UK with so many brands citing the Royal Wedding in their posts.

Facebook is also a fantastic way to drive promotion of time-sensitive campaigns. If there is a deal being run or you want to count down to the close of a competition, Facebook is an ideal platform to successfully engage. As timing and relevancy is so central to the EdgeRank algorithm, posts that contain content relating to this kind of promotion will have greater success in appearing in the News Feed.

Timing in another way is also crucial. You need to understand the best times to post – analyze the responses on your Page and leverage these insights to post at the best possible time. Knowing the optimum frequency of these posts is also crucial. You don’t want to overwhelm your fans with too many posts.

5. Use the data

Brands need to take advantage of Facebook Insights in order to understand their audience and what content they are interested in. Facebook provides a range of data that will highlight what works and what doesn’t. Analyze the average number of comments and Likes for your posts and look out for trends. These insights can be used to construct a messaging plan that will maximize engagement.

It is important to keep a constant eye on what is happening and tweak messages to make sure all content is optimized.  Use the insights provided to make the most of the topics that consistently do well – and drop the ones that never perform. It sounds obvious but you’d be amazed by how many big brands push out the same content that gets little or no engagement.

Joel Davis the founder of agency:2 and a contributor of the Social Media Week Global Editorial Team based in the UK.  You can follow him on twitter @JoelDavis_ or @agency2.

Interested in joining the Social Media Week Global Editorial Team? Apply here!

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