Ever wonder why some things people post on Facebook show up in your Top News Feed when you first log in while updates others don’t appear unless you click on the most recent status updates? Me too.
The reason why is EdgeRank. EdgeRank is a formula that Facebook uses to figure out what it thinks you should see first, i.e. what is most news worthy. What Facebook won’t tell people is how to ensure that your own feed will rank high in EdgeRank.
Thanks to The Daily Beast, who did a non-scientific study to find characteristics of why some feeds are mentioned first above others, we may now know. They found that it boils down to three things:
The Daily Beast defines Affinity as how much you like a friend. The more you comment, view and click on a friend’s postings, the higher affinity rank they achieve. The Daily Beast found it’s a one way street – you can’t increase the chances of your posts showing up in a friend’s top news feed by clicking on their posts. Their feed will be more likely to show up in yours if you click and comment frequently on theirs. You will need to get the friend to comment and like your postings more often to increase the odds you will show up in their Top News Feed.
Weight gets a lot of importance in EdgeRank. The longer someone engages or interaacts with content, the more the weight. There are three important parts of weight: 1) photo/video which are more important than 2) links which are more important than 3) status updates. The Next Web Blog explains it as:
“… [I]t’s not just the posted content that factors into EdgeRank. Remember the Affinity score above? How many photos did you “Like” today? And how many images did you leave a comment on? And there we have it – the comments. Comments are the single most valuable factor in an object’s EdgeRank. The Facebook reasoning here is engagement. Meaning, it takes much more effort on the end users’ part to type out a comment than to click a “Like” button.”
The third component Time factors in how long ago you commented, liked or posted something. Was the thing you posted submitted ten minutes ago or ten days ago? Freshness is very important. You don’t want old news that you would use to wrap your fish or line the bird cage.
So there it is, Facebook is trying to give you the most relevant information based on the your habits. It’s not just cutting out your friends’ postings.
Since you can’t force force your postings into your followers Top News Feeds what’s a charity to do? Post items, that are affinity-causing, weighty and timely. Post things that will cause interaction between you and the constituent/friend. Post photos and videos that will generate discussion. Post things that are provocative without being polarizing. You will then be on your way to making your feed appear more frequently in the Top News feeds of your followers and online friends.