A lot of businesses don’t know this, but not all of your business Facebook posts are seen by your fans. You may have noticed that the numbers on your business Insights page do not reflect the amount of followers your page has, and that’s because Facebook does not automatically show all of your posts to your followers. By using an algorithm called EdgeRank, Facebook decides what posts appear in which newsfeeds. If you don’t understand how the Facebook EdgeRank algorithm works, then here is the information you need to make the most of it.
How Facebook EdgeRank Works
Facebook shows posts to followers according to three different criteria: affinity, weight, and time-decay. The Facebook EdgeRank algorithm calculates affinity according to the relationship between the potential viewer and the creator of the post or story. The more a user interacts with a creator’s content, the higher the affinity score and the more likely stories are to appear in the viewer’s newsfeed.
The Facebook EdgeRank algorithm assigns a different weight to each type of post, and uses these initial weights combined with engagement to calculate the visibility of individual posts. Photos and videos are ranked the highest, followed by links, then plain text updates. However, as these rankings are also dependent on engagement, it is important to remember that a plain text post with lots of likes and comments is going to rank higher than a photo with none.
The fact that Facebook ranks photos and videos higher than other types of posts emphasizes the need for investment in visual culture and creating original content. A photo of your office, or coworkers, or of a new product, could get real engagement and extend your reach, so do not underestimate the power of a small visual update.
Because Facebook wants to keep the content in people’s newsfeeds relevant, posts lose value as they age. While time-decay means that your newsfeed always remains fresh, it also poses problems for getting your updates out there, so strategically timing posts for moments when your audience is most likely to be online is critical.
Tips for Getting More Facebook Exposure
1. Encourage people you know to interact with your posts, and be sure to respond to any comments that viewers make. Remember, the more engagement a post has, the further its reach.
2. Create your own content so that you have a good mix of photos, link shares, and plain text updates. Remember that photos are worth more, so take every opportunity you can to share good images that can increase your visibility and value.
3. Post about non-business topics. Sometimes viewers can feel bombarded by business updates, so post about something fun and light-hearted every once in a while. You should be trying to show your brand’s human face in general, and having fun posts that can engage users in a different way definitely helps.
4. Update your page between 1 and 3 times a day, and at various peak times. You want to find the time that your customers are most likely to be online: is it during lunch hour? After work? In the morning? Do some test posts and find out the times that get the most engagement and stick with them. Also, remember to post frequently. Time-decay is ruthless and you want to show that you’re relevant.
5. Ask questions in your updates. You are more likely to engage users and improve your visibility if you give them something to respond to. Ask for feedback and opinions on posts, and respond to any comments that come your way. Engagement leads to visibility!
When it comes to conquering Facebook EdgeRank, I think the most important thing is to find out what works for your business. Your audience and your customer base are not the same as everyone else’s, so do some tests to discover what works for them and stick with it. And, if you feel like your attempts at grabbing organic Facebook traffic are not working out, you can also pay Facebook to promote your posts. However, it is important to invest time in organic traffic as a long-term social media strategy, so mastering the intricacies of Facebook EdgeRank and posting awesome content should be your main goals.
Al-Greene, Bob. “What Is Facebook EdgeRank and Why Does It Matter?” Mashable. http://mashable.com/2013/05/07/facebook-edgerank-infographic/. (17 May, 2013).
“Facebook Marketing: Understanding EdgeRank.” Flyte. http://www.flyte.biz/resources/newsletters/11/07-facebook-edgerank. (17 May, 2013).
Maghsoudi, Mike. “Facebook EdgeRank 102 – Understanding How News Feed Stories Are Filtered.” Postrocket. http://blog.getpostrocket.com/2013/04/infographic-facebook-edgerank-102-understanding-how-news-feed-stories-are-filtered/. (17 May, 2013).