Facebook uses an algorithm to prioritize what is posted in the news feed. If you want to know what is post reach on Facebook and improve your startup's Facebook page reach, you should look into what edgerank formula is all about.
What is post reach on Facebook
Post Reach is the number of people that have seen your post of facebook. If you have a page on facebook, you will see on the bottom of the post something like: 1000 people reach. This indicates that the post has been presented in the timeline of 1000 people.
How does Facebook decide what reach your post gets
There are more than 5 billion posts shared everyday. Therefore, Facebook needed to find a way to prioritize the posts that viewers actually care about. So they decided to create Edgerank formula. Edgerank is the Facebook algorithm whose goal is to pursuit news feed optimization. The formula is a sum of all the interactions (Edges) generated by your posts or shares. An edge can be any kind of activity on Facebook, from a status update to a comment, a share, a tag or a new like.
How is edgerank formula calculated
The Edgerank formula has into account three variables:
- the affinity score,
- the weight of each edge,
- the time decay.
Each variable has a different score. Although Facebook does not disclose the score it has attributed to each edge, empiric data that has been collected made it possible to make a few assumptions.
What is affinity - u
The affinity score between the viewer and the edge creator measures how close you are with the person who made the post. The more interactions you have with that person (i.e. likes, shares, comments, ...), the higher the score will be. This works both ways: likes from you to that person and likes from that person to you. Shares tend to have a higher score and show more interaction than simple likes. Moreover, shares increase the chance for more interaction on your post, because it has the possibility to reach more users. If your posts are not having the desired reach, it may be because you're not having enough interactions with your followers/friends. Start by finding a way to make people take action and actually interact with your posts.
Weight of the edge - w
Edgerank does not attribute the same value to all kind of contents. The weight is measured depending on the post kind. Posting photos or videos tends to be more valued by Facebook than link posts. Hence, Facebook attributes more edgerank for video and photo than a link post. When you post a video, Facebook not only takes in consideration how many people like your video but also for how long they watched it or if they turned on the sound. That is why content like videos have more weight. People don't always have to share, like or comment to show interest. It's the amount of interaction that count. The same with photos. If a person opens a photo to take a better look, edgerank takes it as a sign of interest and will give it more score.
Time decay - d
This factor is related with the age of a post. In other words, it is measured by how long ago the edge was created. As the post gets older, it is more likely that it has lost importance to the viewers, or because it has already been seen or because it is just not relevant anymore. The truth is that posts on Facebook tend to last, on average, three hours before disappearing from news feed. However, the more attractive the post is, the more chances it has to last. There are ways to boost organically the time decay of a post, like sharing it and keeping the engagement alive. But our advice is to focus on updating your page with fresh content.
Top tips to improve edgerank score
- Be consistent - start posting quality content regularly, ideally at least once a day.
- Keep updating your page with new material - it is crucial to keep your page fresh.
- Schedule your posts accordingly with your target - choose the posting time according to your target audience, and try to match it with your target active time on Facebook. By checking the Insights/Posts of your Facebook page you can analyze at what time your Fans are online.
- Promote interaction with your posts - don't be afraid to ask for likes, shares or people's opinions. Also respond to every comment made to your post, since it will generate more interaction, hence a greater edgerank.
- Give priority to photos and videos - as we explained before, these type of contents have a higher score on edgerank and will conquer your viewers more easily.
- Avoid deleting posts - everytime you delete a post, your edgerank decreases. Of course everyone makes mistakes. However it is preferable to double check every post, share or comment before making it public, then deleting it.
- Share valuable content - it doesn't matter if it is a link from another page or a link of your own, share fresh and interesting content. It will keep your viewers interested, it will make them interact more and thus increase your edgerank.
There is no way to be sure what will really improve your edgerank score, since the news feed algorithm is a Facebook secret. However, Facebook is always making adjustments to make sure viewers get access to the stories they are really interested in. They announce those updates in the Facebook blog, and from time to time we advise you to take a look into the latest updates in this blog. The most important advice we can give you is to:
- Always post content that will generate engagement,
- Keep posting at a regular rate,
- Try to improve interaction with your followers to get a higher affinity score.