Before you can begin to uncover your Facebook analytics, it's important to understand EdgeRank, Facebook's annoying cousin.

EdgeRank is a number Facebook assigns to your page based on the caliber of your content (and the type of content you share).

EdgeRank is part of Facebook's algorithm that determines which posts will be seen by a user and/or the total number of people who see your post. It's like a credit score for FB, and it's pretty damn important.

As a small business owner, think of it this way: If you decrease your EdgeRank, you lower your organic reach. This means less people will see your posts and less will go to your website. It's a loss of revenue over time. It also means you'll have to pay more in advertising, again cutting into your bottom line due to the increased ROI. Like I said, EdgeRank is pretty damn important.

Now, let's dig a little deeper into the common questions: "What is my Facebook reach?" and "How does the Facebook algorithm work?" If you want a more simplified take on organic reach, click here or in the image below.

In a recent Facebook Private Newsfeed Webinar, there were several updates users continue to experience.

What Impacts Facebook EdgeRank & Algorithmn:

  • If/how many people share your link over messenger
  • If/how many people comment on or like your post
  • Multiple replies to a status update or photo = more likely to see again
  • Meaningful interactions: This doesn't mean "like if you agree"—they're totally the opposite, in fact

Tip: Turn the above bullet points into a checklist for your posts. Ask yourself how many people like, comment, and interact organically with your posts. For EdgeRank the more, consistently, the merrier. It's like paying your bills on time: credit score/EdgeRank goes up.

How to increase your EdgeRank and Facebook Reach

Less Posting is More Reach:

In an attempt to hack the Facebook algorithm, novice digital marketers advise clients to post multiple times per day. The idea behind this poor strategy is that because of the algorithm, you reach different people. If you post multiple times, you'll reach multiple, different people, AND Facebook will give you a bump for using their platform often. This is not accurate. It is the opposite of what you should be doing. In a recent case study, Buffer employed this less is more strategy and grew their organic Facebook reach 3x.

Graph via Buffer

When you're planning your content calendar, remove "filler" posts on Facebook and stick to your three hero posts. If you have evergreen content—content that is always of interest, consider posting a fresh take on your evergreen content to hit it out of the park.

In another attempt to hack the algorithm, digital marketers tell clients to post links from outbound, but related, sources (i.e. a digital marketer shares a link from another digital marketing source). This may have been the case in 2009 when Facebook favored links. In 2019, posting outbound links, especially multiple times per day, is net negative to your EdgeRank, which contributes to fewer people seeing your posts simply based on the fact that the posts are coming from your page.

If you want to appear in the Facebook News Feeds, you need to consider your EdgeRank.

Facebook's goal in 2018 was to deliver a more tailored experience to its users, but most importantly, to keep users on the page for longer. This means the days of traffic generously flowing from Facebook to your website are slowing to a drip. This also means that sharing outbound links will negatively impact your EdgeRank, and on average, only reach 5.2% of followers vs. videos that reach 8.7% of people on average.

Post Different Types of Media Assets:

As I just mentioned above, videos (and photos) reach more people than links. For business owners, this means thinking about your Facebook feed the way Facebook does. Share a video or photo of your business that elicits a response, but keeps users on the platform, something people would want to like, share, comment, or DM to their friends. It gives you the ability to increase brand impressions and build brand loyalty. If you don't have great video/photo assets, click here to read more about why you should invest in this piece of your business.

Facebook isn't as mysterious as it may seem. Think about your page like a party. You wouldn't wear the same outfit over and over, party after party(or maybe you would, in which case, you may also want to consult a stylist). Following this rule, you shouldn't post the same style, same topic all the time. Make yourself stand out in the crowd, but don't forget to play the game and utilize the platform the way Facebook thinks about it. It's a net win-win.

Photos by Ashley Burns

Interested in building a Facebook strategy, understanding your EdgeRank, or maybe you have more questions beyond what I covered here? Shoot me an email and let me know a little about your business! Let's craft something special to get your social media moving in the right direction.

Gabrielle Nickas