Here is a wonderful infographic on the Facebook algorithm, and the math behind the determining factor of what shows up on your news feed. This may come in use for me as I continue to help manage some Facebook pages! There are many different levels of engagement for fans, for they are the ones who influence and drive all the activity. According to Cliff Kuang, the trick lies in the service design: How do you design your programs so that it’s totally clear that the user will be rewarded for engaging with your page more intensely?
With all this in mind, it’s surprising that there aren’t more subtle ways to build reward systems into the like process. For example, let’s say you’re Target. And let’s say that you unveil a new marketing campaign. If some people like your commercials, then the more people they expose you to via their Facebook wall, the more rewards they should get. And likewise, if they like a product on your site, leading to sales among their friends, they should get even more rewards. The customer could get periodic updates saying things like “5 people in your network also liked this thing, therefore you get a $10 coupon!” In turn, that stream of information might drive that consumer to more and more engagement over time. And you know what? I’ll bet Facebook could charge a hefty premium to companies for access to that API.
You’ll notice that the nugget tossed in there right at the bottom is something that we all take for granted: The winnowing of stories that appear in your Top News feed on Facebook. Before displaying a post in your feed, the algorithm behind it takes into account how close you are with the original poster, how much the actual post gets liked, and the time since it was posted.
Given all the attention lavished on Google’s Page Rank algorithm, it’s sort of a wonder that more attention isn’t paid to Facebook’s Edge Rank. After all, that’s the real secret sauce for Facebook and the single thing that can decide whether your page is merely liked–or loved.