Many businesses put a big emphasis on growing their fan base on their Facebook page. This has a certain amount of value as Facebook users often judge the success or credibility of a company by the number of Facebook fans it has. However, the fact that someone is a fan of your business’s page doesn’t necessarily mean that your post about your latest product or service will show up on their news feeds.
Facebook has two news feed options, the first is the “most recent” and the second is the “top news”. Facebook estimates that 95% of users exclusively use the “top news” feed rather than the “most recent option”. Techcrunch estimate that 50% of users go back and forth between “top news” and “most recent”. Whatever the case maybe it is clear that “top news” feed takes priority over the “most recent” feed. It is the default feed and is used by all users. Therefore, in order to get our brand posts noticed we need to be appearing in the “top news” feed.
The problem here is that the “top news” is distilled information that comes to the user through the Edgerank algorithm. Unlike the Google search algorithm which is not tailored to the individual, the Edgerank does take the user’s profile into account. Facebook is constantly tweaking this algorithm to ensure users get news that truly interests them. Recently it was even suggested by the daily beast that posts with very low Edgeranks are now not even showing up on users “most recent” feed.
Facebook calls everything we post on Facebook an object. This includes videos, photos or status updates. Any comment, like or share that is made about this object is an edge. Obviously, Facebook won’t give away exactly how the Edgerank works but we do know that it takes into account 3 key factors that they use to decide what should and shouldn’t be displayed in the “top news” feed. These 3 key factors are
1) Affinity: An object’s Affinity Score is based on the amount of interaction between you “the user” and the brand page that posted this object. “Affinity” examines factors such as how many times you visited the page in the past, how often you commented on the pictures or watched their videos. The higher the level of engagement with the brand pages posts the higher affinity score between the user and the brand.
2) Weight of Edge: This is the weight given to the type of interaction or “edge” a user creates on the brands posts. For example if a brand posted a video and a user watched it and pressed the “like” button this edge may not carry much weight and therefore will not give you many Edgerank algorithm points. However, if they were to share the video or write a long comment about the video this would carry a lot more weight and result in an increase in edgerank points. This makes sense as it takes more effort for a user to comment or share a post than to merely like it.
3) Time decay: This is the freshness of the content. Content that was created an hour ago will be marked higher than content created a week before.
So now that you understand how Facebook ranks your posts and decides what to put in a users “top news” feed here are a couple of strategies you can employ as a business owner to ensure that you appear on potential customers pages.
1) Post content that encourages interaction: Don’t post simple status updates as they are unlikely to be commented upon. Post content that has a call to action such as polls or competitions, these encourage comments or sharing. This will build up your Affinity rank with your user.
2) Use videos and photos as often as possible: Facebook users are more interested in watching a funny video or photo than reading. Facebook is for enjoyment whereas social networks like LinkedIn are where the serious work gets done. Also, videos and photos show up on news feeds in thumbnail format, this encourages users to click to see the full picture. If you add a comment to the post that encourages engagement such as a question, this will result in more edges and weight given to these edges.
3) Encourage your friends and family to share your content at the beginning: It takes awhile for your page to get Affinity ranking. Therefore ask your friends and family to share and comment upon your content at the beginning. This will result in your Affinity ranking increasing quickly.
4) Share other peoples content: Just like on Twitter share other people’s content that may be of interest to your fan base. It will be difficult for you as a business owner to be constantly creating content that will engage your fan base and build your affinity ranking. Therefore publish other peoples content and get people to comment on it on your page.
Above all remember that you want your users to engage with your content. You cannot use Facebook as a simple broadcasting channel you need to publish content that is of interest to your user.
If you have comments or questions I would be happy to hear them and will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.