There have been countless posts from business pages since Facebook rolled out the new ‘ticker’ and newsfeed like this:
Facebook now controls what shows up on your newsfeed via their algorithm formula. This means if you post comments or ‘like’ our posts regularly then you will most likely see future posts. However, if you are a silent reader and do not comment or like any of our posts you will no longer see ‘name of page’ and our new product updates in your newsfeed If you want to keep in touch please “Like” this post & also remember to pass this message on to spread the word.
My concern over posts like this is that the algorithm formula Facebook uses is nothing new… in fact it even has a snappy name ‘Edgerank’ and Facebook experts like Mari Smith have been talking about the importance of ‘newsfeed optimisation’ for quite some time. It is too early to say whether Facebook has adjusted the algorithm formula since the recent changes, however the types of interactions that appear in the newsfeed have certainly changed (for example ‘liking’ a page now only appears in the real-time ticker and not the newsfeed like it did previously).
So why is newsfeed optimisation so important??
Approximately 90% of people who visit your fanpage never return again… they keep in touch with your updates only via their newsfeed. So if your updates aren’t ranked well according to Facebook’s algorithm formula then you’ll find your rates of interaction with fans will be very low and you’ll be left wondering whether you are wasting your time with Facebook Marketing.
How does ‘EdgeRank’ work?
Well only Facebook employees truly know the answer to that question but it has been determined by leading Social Media Experts that Facebook are ranking certain elements and there are certainly tips that Page owners can use to help them rank in their fans newsfeeds.
Affinity relates to your interactions with the Page – if you like, comment or share content from a Page Facebook naturally assumes that you are interested in that Page’s content. This is why posting quality content that is relevant for your fans is so important in the long-term. One ‘like’ on a status update may not be enough and it certainly won’t guarantee long term appearance of your Page updates in the newsfeed. Affinity is also influenced by the amount of interaction that an update receives – an update with many comments will appear higher in the newsfeed than one with a couple of ‘likes’.
The weighting or score component relates to the type of update – if your updates contain a photograph or video then it will rank higher than a plain text update. Interestingly many Page owners report that they always have more interaction from fans if they post with a photo or video, it’s a catch-22 situtation – the rich media helps you be seen in the newsfeed and then the popularity of the post by fans interacting with it helps to keep it in the newsfeed for even more fans to see.
The final considerations are recency and relevancy. A recent post is much more likely to appear in the newsfeed however relevancy is also incredibly important. My personal view is that Facebook will continue to grow in sophistication with how it ranks relevancy (and I’m sure that’s already taking place)… which means all of your data, your status updates, comments you make on friends/pages – everything can be considered in delivering you with the most relevant content. This is why Page owners should always be mindful of what interests their fans, what are their likes/dislikes… what do they want to hear about?
But what does this mean for Page owners?
Don’t believe that because you have 1,000 fans that 1,000 people see your status updates… you’ll probably be horrified to discover only very small portion of your fans are seeing your content at the moment. The key point is to make your updates interesting and engaging, update your Page regularly (and at times when your fans will be online) and take the time to learn about how you can get better results by crafting your updates so that fans actually see them in their newsfeed.