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The Ultimate Guide To Defeating EdgeRank For Facebook Page Owners

Edgerank is the Facebook algorithm that determines which stories appear in each user’s news-feed. Regardless of how many fans a page has, research indicates that pages on average only reach about 17% of their Facebook fans, e.g.  A page with 20K fans will reach 3,400 fans.

In this post, I’ll explain how EdgeRank works, how to create a more effective Facebook posting strategy, which updates work best, how to reach more fans and ultimately – how to optimise Facebook’s marketing potential for your business and brand.

How is Facebook’s EdgeRank calculated?

The three factors that affect the Edgerank algorithm are:

  1. Affinity
  2. Edge Weight
  3. And Time Decay

What is Affinity?

Affinity is based on closeness on Facebook. How “friendly” you are and how much you “interact”?

  • Liking, viewing, commenting and sharing send a proactive signal of closeness
  • Activities that require higher levels of user engagement get a higher score. Leaving a comment takes more effort than clicking the “Like” button.
  • The more you interact with a person or a page, the higher their affinity score
  • But affinity only works one way: you can’t increase your affinity score in another user’s feed by constantly clicking on their “Like” buttons.

What is Edge Weight?

Edge Weight determines which types of content are more important. The three types of content which are understood to have the highest weighting are:

  1. Videos,
  2. Photos,
  3. and Links

Each person’s Edge Weight is different on Facebook, i.e. someone who likes photographs is more likely to have them in their feed than someone who doesn’t.

What is Time Decay?

The final factor that determines EdgeRank is recency also known as time decay.

The older an update, the less likely it is to appear.

Related: The Strange World of Gathering Facebook Fans: 5 Ways To Make It Right!

How to create a Great Facebook Posting Strategy?

Understand Edgerank and you will see that it creates:

An “engagement” challenge and opportunity – for managers of Facebook pages.

  • Businesses want to promote their products and get more customers. What’s the point of being on there unless you are getting an ROI?
  • Success on Facebook depends on driving engagement, i.e. reaching more people means getting more likes, more comments, more shares and more fans.  
  • Promotion and engagement don’t often easily go together.  It is difficult for most businesses to create updates that are both engaging and promote – at the same time!

What should your Facebook Posting Strategy look like?

Create a posting strategy that includes 2 types of Facebook Status Updates but one that is weighted in favour of engagement.

  • The correct ratio will be different from business to business but a good place to start is either 3:1 or 2:1
  • Edge weight means that where possible, all updates should include video, picture and/or links.
  • Plan to post regularly – time decay requires that an effective posting strategy is also a consistent one.

What is an engagement update?

As outlined, engagement updates will make up the majority of your posts, – the objective here to get:

  • Comments,
  • Likes,
  • Shares
  • And/or fans.

Related: 20 Easy Ways To Grow Your Company Facebook Page And Fans

Examples of engagement (viral) updates

The following is a great infographic from highlighting status ideas to drive engagement and improve edgerank:

To summarise:

An effective Facebook posting strategy will be one where you:

  • Post consistently
  • Include videos, photos and links in your upadtes
  • Where the majority of posts seek engagement with fans
  • And minority of posts seek to promote the business

Related: In-Depth Small Business Facebook Case Study And Strategy: Mykidstime

If you liked this article or have any suggestions to add, please let us know in the comments below.  

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Images: “Pan Xunbin /

Digital expert, top 10% influencer with over 10 years’ senior management experience - including managing projects and teams, and growing companies in the Irish, international and online marketplaces. Co-founded one of the largest B2B blogs in the world, helped grow a B2B social media to over 1,000,000 members, created the strategy for one of the most effective SME Facebook pages in the world and have grown 3 business websites (, & to in excess of a 100,000 unique visitors per month. Have consulted and worked with both corporate and SME clients on leveraging digital to drive business KPIs. Speaker at industry events, have authored several industry reports on the Digital Economy and appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Insider and other leading online and offline business publications. Specialities include: Entrepreneurship Business Development, Start-ups, Business Planning, Management, Training, Leadership, Sales Management, Sales, Sales Process, Coaching, Online Advertising, Blogging, Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media Strategist, Digital Strategy, Social Media ROI, User Generated Content, Social Customer Care.

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  • Wow – some great points that I need to take on board. Facebook always seems a mystery to me – sometimes it works well for me and sometimes it doesn’t. You’ve pointed me in the right direction Niall….yet again.

  • Elish Bul

    Excellent Multifaceted post ! You couldn’t possibly fail to understand edgerank with this one. I would be curious now to see what new future FB developments may change the nature of Edgerank calculations if at all. Thanks for that

  • Christina Giliberti

    I’ve taken a good few courses in edgerank and Facebook keeping spreading the goalposts….typical really, but the main points you detailed still stand. There is a strategy to employ and at first its ‘chicken and egg’, but you should see traction if you use a content strategy.

    Any good examples to look at?

  • Great post Niall, one I’ll happily be sharing as it’s something most businesses don’t necessarily understand – still far too many using their facebook page for a stream of ads.

  • John Twohig

    Well explained Niall, takes a lot of the noise out of the equation. The Post Planner piece is brilliant, great find. The Edge Rank will no change again soon…..

  • Thanks John!

  • I’m often guilty of just posting info myself so we can all improve! 🙂

  • Yeah, social without content is kinda pointless but so is content without social – it works both ways. are a favorite of mine!

  • It only works one way:

    If I comment (or as my page) on a facebook page: my affinity with that particular page is greater – but is doesn’t increase that page’s affinity with me.
    In other words, I can’t game my Edgerank with my fans it by leaving comments or likes on their profiles or pages.

  • Thanks Elish

  • The simplest way to succeed is to ensue that you get engagement with each post.

  • If you are promoting your page, well then it’s better to comment as your page but that’s because you are networking and seen as your page. This however, is different to edge rank.

  • This post is immensely useful. Your explanation makes the analytics more useful. It’s not always clear how engagement is measured and if more weight is given to one action over another. Thanks for making it much clearer!

  • Cheers for that informative post Niall – love the infographic sense of humor. Very well presented and I’ll definitely have to test the equation!

  • Awesome post Niall, the explanation of Edgerank was quite simple.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  • Thanks Malhar!

  • Manish Punjabi

    Balanacing cost and quality is always a customer service
    challenge. Today customers have many ways to reach out to a contact
    center: calls, emails, chat, SMS/texting,social media, etc. Ideally you
    will handle all media types in a unified way so that customers get great
    service, from the right person in the optimum time frame, regardless of the
    used media type.

  • Hi Nash, thanks for sharing your insight on this. Yes, it is correct that every company should consider social media as ways to be visible and customer engagement as well. However, I don’t think that it really does have a big impact in terms of corporate worth. We are talking about big businesses here and they have already made names in the corporate world without the social media first.

  • Margarita Hakobyan

    Thanks Sian! I’m excited to be part of this community.

    Many business owners(especially startups with limited capital) are afraid of making mistakes. But it doesn’t matter how hard you try, we all make mistakes. And all we can do is learn from them and make our mission to fix them.

  • Welcome to Tweak Your Biz Keianna and a brilliant first post for us. I’m so pleased that you said the Accountant is the most important of course 🙂 People often try to do too much themselves when they really need experts and to delegate. Thanks for sharing this with our readers and I look forward to your next post for us.

  • Thanks, Sian. I’m super excited to post for Tweak Your Biz. My next one is “brewing.” And, I’d be totally lost in left field without my accountant. I’m sure that 3-letter US agency would be lookin’ for me, if I didn’t have an awesome “LeBron James” on my team. 🙂

  • Goutham: What do you think about Squarespace’s way of 2 weeks of free trial without any credit card information? The thing is that Squarespace is a premium service, so you then pay on a monthly or yearly basis. You are locked in, in a positive way! 😉

  • Hi Jon, I’m trying to focus more and just enrolled for a certificate program for Facebook ads to get better at doing them 🙂 I love new challenges that come with a new year. That gets me motivated!

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