Facebook Edgerank is an algorithm used by Facebook to decide what, when and why something is being shown in the News Feed. Understanding how the Edgerank works is a critical skill for anyone engaged in social media marketing. Why? Users spend 40% of their time in the News Feed and only 12% on Profile and Brand Pages. Only when you know what goes behind the scenes you can tweak your posts in a manner that maximizes their reach. What are the factors that make Facebook display certain posts more often? Why do some posts never make it to your fans’ News Feed?

Facebook Edgerank is Affinity, Weight and Time Decay

Affinity measures a strength of a given relationship. If you and your brother have 50 friends in common and you’re regularly commenting on his posts or you like his photos and share his videos, the affinity score will be much higher than if he was a random guy you befriended at work. What it means is that your brother’s stories have a higher chance of appearing in your News Feed. However, it doesn’t mean your stories will make it to your brother’s News Feed. Affinity only works one-way.

Weight is the worth of a post and the engagement it creates. Simply put, photos/videos weigh more than links and links weigh more than plain text updates. But a simple text update with many comments and likes will outweight a photo with none.

Time decay measures how old the post is. The older it is the less score it receives. Facebook Edgerank makes sure you’re always seeing the latest news. It also factors in time since the user last logged into Facebook and how often the user does so.

Six steps to higher Facebook Edgerank

1. Shorter is better. Keep your posts between 100 and 250 characters. These get 60% more likes than posts with more than 250 characters.
2. Use photos or videos. They create twice the engagement of a link or a text post.
3. Ask for action. Tell your fans what you expect from them: like, share, fill in the blanks… It works.
4. Post daily. Don’t forget that the fans are unlikely to visit your Page. Posting often is the only way to reach them.
5. Bring real value. Publish content that’s interesting and relevant to your fans. Don’t sell.
6. Figure out when your posts receive the highest engagement and stick to your schedule.

This simple infographic from PostRocket illustrates how Facebook Edgerank works: