Leverage EdgeRank To Get More Impressions On Facebook

Many of you have Facebook Pages that you’d like to grow.  The key is impressions and engagement. 

Over the last few months, I’ve researched the changes to Facebook, with an emphasis on their EdgeRank algorithm, which is always evolving.  Facebook uses this to ensure that we see relevant updates in our Top Feed.  Unfortunately, for many Pages, the changes have likely reduced your impressions and your growth in followers (Likers). 

I’ve conducted several experiments over the last month with my Page as well as my corporate client’s pages.  The result is a dramatic increase in impressions, even more than before all the Facebook changes were implemented.  First of all, the EdgeRank formula is important to understand.  Your posts will be distributed to your followers based on three things: Affinity, Weight and Time Decay. The most recent EdgeRank changes have emphasized Time Decay (how recently have you posted? Are people still interacting with it?) and Affinity tweaks (major bonus for deriving visits to your Page or marketing your posts as “Top Story”).  With that in mind, here are six ways to boost your EdgeRank score and drive more impressions: 

1 – Post Directly To Facebook.  EdgeRank frowns on third party postings such as HootSuite, Tweetdeck etc.  

2 – Post Frequently To Ensure Freshness.  This is tricky, because if you post too often, you’ll either get Unliked or hidden from your follower’s feed.  The traditional thinking is once every two days or so, but with the new tweaks, that could really cost you.  Here’s a good article on the science behind how often you should post.  As a rule of thumb, when you see the Likes or engagement trail off on a post (usually 10-12 hours), that’s when you need a fresh one. 

3 – Post Heavy Content.  EdgeRank’s Weight component of the algorithm will reward the weight of your posts, usually in this order: Uploaded video (not links to YouTube video), Pictures, Links, and Text.  Sure, a text update with a ton of interaction will get impressions, but a picture or video update with engagement will get exponentially more.  Here’s a tip that makes this whole post worth reading: When you post a quote by a famous person ALWAYS upload a picture of that person!  I’ve found that a quote with a picture gets 2 to 3 times more impressions!!!

4 – Post During Prime Time.  Remember, when the engagement trails off, EdgeRank considers that decay and you lose impressions.  Most Facebook traffic occurs during working hours, so that’s the best time to launch your updates.  Here’s a good article on when to post. 

5 – Convert Statements Into Questions.  Instead of saying, my fave new CD of the year is X, put it this way.  “What’s the best CD of 2011?  I think it’s The King Is Dead by Decemberists.”  This way, you’ll likely get more comments (which boosts your weight & affinity score) and maybe Likes (for Decemberists fans).  

6 – Engage With All Engagement.  EdgeRank will count your interaction just like any other interaction (so long as it’s in line).  Meaning: When someone shares, thank them on their wall or in comments.  Answer comments, and encourage even more.  The number of comments to an update keeps it fresh (think affinity plus time decay).

Post your tips and techniques in comments, I’ll likely thank you on my Facebook Page!