Facebook Reveals More Details About Edgerank

Yesterday Facebook had a meeting with reporters in an effort to respond to a recent backlash over the drop in reach for many Facebook Pages.

Facebook’s news feed product manager Will Cathcart said:

“The problem we face with the news feed is that people come to Facebook everyday, but people don’t have enough time to check out absolutely everything that’s going on.”

To determine if any given Page post shows up in the news feed, Facebook looks at four main factors:

  • If you interacted with a Page’s posts before: If you Like every post by a Page that Facebook shows you, it will show you more from that Page.
  • Other people’s reactions: If everyone else on Facebook shown a post ignores it or complains, it’s less likely to show you that post.
  • Your interaction with previous posts of the same type: If you always Like photos, there’s a better chance you’ll see a photo posted by a Page.
  • If that specific post has received complaints by other users who have seen it, or the Page who posted it has received lots complaints in the past, you’ll be less likely to see that post. This factor became a lot more prevalent starting in September 2012.

Why You Shouldn’t Focus Only on Reach

Reach isn’t as important as some people would like you to think it is. In fact, it’s practically worthless compared to Talking About This, which is the real value of Facebook marketing.

People creating stories in their newsfeeds about your nonprofit is a better objective to focus on than reach.

When your core fans like, comment on, and share your Page’s posts, it creates viral reach (their friends see your Page content in their newsfeed as a result of those stories).

Getting People Talking Is The Longtail

Encouraging people to talk about your Page updates will guarantee an increase in reach. But focusing on generating reach alone (with ads and a few other strategies) won’t guarantee an increase in people talking about your updates.

What do you think?

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  1. I’m a bit confused here, John. The complaint of many, many businesses and nonprofits is that Facebook is forcing them to pay for placement so that their updates appear in their fans’ news feeds. Otherwise their fans will never see their updates. So how are you supposed to get people to engage if they never see your updates?

  2. This is interesting stuff – but as an admin to 15 of the biggest brands in the UK – I don’t agree that generating Likes, comments and shares gives you anything – including Reach, and definitely not “Viral” reach. The results just don’t show this.