Hacking Facebook’s Edgerank: Part 2

Now that we’ve got a handle on Edgerank, you’re probably wondering how this translates to an actionable marketing strategy. Chances are you’ve heard the ‘social engagement’ catchphrase thrown around quite a bit, but are left wondering how to actually achieve it. Ensuring organic newsfeed exposure boils down to two elements: strategic timing and visual content. Here’s how you can take action and revamp your Facebook marketing strategy.

Identify what time of day your audience is most engaged.

Use Facebook Insights to gauge when your audience is most active.  First, compare your page posts with the greatest to those with the least.

Then, take note of any significant patterns. Are your fans most engaged during weekday afternoons or weekend mornings? If you can identify a particularly active time of day, be sure to regularly schedule posts for that time. However, don’t be afraid to experiment either.

For example, as many marketers tend to post during weekday business hours, they may be missing out on a potentially active weekend audience. Try using a scheduling tool to post outside of office hours. Facebook now has one built directly into the site. Remember, just because you’re not at your desk, doesn’t mean your fans aren’t online.

While there is no magical time of day to post, there are a few studies out there that strive to identify noteworthy patterns when considering social media timing. Social media analyst, Dan Zarella, studied 1.3 million posts from the 10,000 most-Liked Facebook pages and found that Facebook Likes peak around 8PM EST while shares peak at 6PM EST. Another recent report from Bit.ly found that the peak time to post on Facebook is Wednesday at 3:00PM EST.  However, if you’re a local San Francisco restaurant for example, neither of these Eastern Standard Time generalizations will apply to your user base. The bottom line is your target market is unique to your business, so dive into your Facebook Insights post level data and figure out what works specifically for your audience.


Create visual content for your page.

With the rollout of Timeline, it’s no secret that Facebook has placed a greater emphasis on visual content. A largely aesthetic update, the changes in Facebook Timeline focused mainly around the user’s experience of sharing and displaying photos. Added features included the new cover photo, profile picture, milestones, pins, and highlights; all of which enhanced Facebook’s visual presentation. If you haven’t already, it’s time to take a look at your Page’s appearance. Follow these examples from GE’s Facebook Page:

Cover Photo and Profile Picture

The GE Page features a compelling cover photo with a straight forward presentation of their logo as their profile picture for brand continuity.


Pinned Posts

Pinned posts allow Page managers to ‘pin’ posts to the top of the Timeline for a week. Page managers can still update the page with new content while keeping the featured message above the fold. GE combines colorful messaging with a pinned post to draw attention to theirHealthyShare initiative.


Highlighted Posts

Highlighted posts expand the featured content display across the full width of Facebook Timeline. Check out how GE uses a highlighted post to illustrate how engineering can grow a ‘greener’ tomato.





Milestones provide a great way to tell your brand story and drive engagement. GE filled in company milestones all the way back to the company’s founding in 1878.


Is your page take full of advantage of the Timeline’s five most visual features?

Not only is visual content simply more eye-catching than a plain text update, photo uploads and photo shares are given heavier influence in Facebook’s Edgerank. A recentstudy from Wildfire and Edgerankchecker examined over 1 million posts and 60,000 pages and found photos to be the most engaging type of content by a long shot. In fact, photos generate roughly twice as many Likes, comments, and shares as a text status update, the next highest performing content type.  The aforementioned study fromDan Zarella further corroborates this sentiment, finding that photos consistently earn a higher percentage of engagement than any other piece of shared content.

So now that you know photos are the way to go, you’re probably wondering how to consistently generate new content for your Facebook page.

Here are a few visual content generation ideas to get you started.

1. Share your next blog post with an uploaded photo.

Instead of simply sharing the link of your latest blog post, share an uploaded photo from your website with an article link in the description:

Link share:


Versus photo share:

This second post will perform better in Edgerank. One important thing to note here is our addition of the article link to the text description of the uploaded photo.  This will help harness the added engagement as referral traffic to your site.


2. Create visual components for your next promotion.

Promotions give users an incentive to ‘Like’ the page and photos will make the offer stand out in newsfeeds. Check out this example from Speck:


3. Share pictures of company events.
In addition to the practical advantage of pictures in Edgerank, photos also offer the opportunity to humanize your brand and showcase your personality. Take a look at how Mashable features their team as their Facebook cover photo:

4. Use your favorite image editor to make a visual text update.

Instead of just writing ‘Happy Friday!’ why not create a fun graphic message? Chobani’s Facebook has great visual content:

Dreamgrow offers a really helpful Facebook design ‘cheat sheet’ which provides all the dimensions you’ll need to design custom pinned and highlighted posts.

Just remember not to go overboard with photo updates. Strive for a natural blend of content and integrate photos, links, status updates, and videos into the mix, as well. Ultimately, if your page provides a great, interactive experience and shareable content, your page will naturally gain newsfeed exposure.

Now that you’re a Facebook marketing pro, get out there and start posting.  If you come across any interesting Edgerank behavior, let us know what you find!