INFOGRAPHIC: Understanding Facebook’s Post-Sorting Algorithm

By Justin Lafferty 

Facebook’s News Feed is sorted by an algorithm that many people call EdgeRank. It weighs not only the timeliness of posts, but their relevance to users. Facebook wants to make sure that the posts users see within News Feed are the ones they’ll be most likely to engage with. It’s why users tend to see posts from pages they’ve commented on and friends they’ve shared with more often than pages and people they don’t really post about. Mike Maghsoudi of PostRocket and Facebook expert Jon Loomer both explained the algorithm in posts recently.

It seems like every week, a Facebook expert discovers that one type of post or another generates greater reach or engagement. Many believe that photo posts are the best, while others feel that plain text status updates are the most effective way to get the message across to most people.

But just like most other things about social media, there’s no golden rule. As Loomer notes, the best kinds of posts are the ones fans tend to interact with the most — whether that means links, photos, videos, or status updates:

A year ago, we all said that Facebook favored photos. So everyone shared photos.

Then the new flavor of the month was text updates. So everyone shared text updates.

The motivating factor in each case: reach.

You should never let post type drive your content strategy. Your focus should always be on quality, no matter what the post type.

“I’m sharing text updates! Why am I not getting better reach?!!”

Well, first your priorities are out of whack. You should be monitoring engagement and other actions that lead to your business goals.

Second, it’s quite possible that the content you are sharing sucks. Post type doesn’t fix crappy content.

Maghsoudi at PostRocket put together a detailed infographic, explaining how this algorithm known as EdgeRank works.

Readers: What other questions do you have about the algorithm known as EdgeRank?