Want to gain more reach on Facebook? You need to consider Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm (only the second most important algorithm on the internet!). Just like Google, Facebook often rolls out new algorithmic changes that can gravely affect businesses who market their brand there. These changes can get users a little ticked off when it means that their strategies need to change, or when the work they have previously done becomes obsolete.
One thing’s for sure: Without a basic knowledge of Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm that decides what content users see, and how long it’s visible for, efforts to grow and maintain and presence on Facebook could be futile. Here’s a quick guide to EdgeRank. A basic understanding can help your money and efforts go a lot further on Facebook.
How does EdgeRank work?
EdgeRank measures three ‘edges’ to determine what content will display in newsfeeds and how long it will display for. These three edges are: Affinity, weight and decay.
Affinity is the measure of how frequently a Facebook user interacts with content. For example, how often a user views, comments on, likes or shares a post. These actions tell Facebook that the user is interested in that friend’s or Page’s content, so it shows it more often.
Conversely, when a friend or Page adds new content to Facebook and it gets little interaction from others, Facebook acknowledges this and shows the content less so it doesn’t get as much exposure.
So what does this mean? Consistently high quality and interesting content is a must on Facebook. But what does that really mean? I distrust cookie-cutter advice and it’s said too much when it comes to quality content so here’s a take-home: If you have nothing interesting to say about your business, talk about something else.
Facebook users would love to see a photo of your dog sleeping, or of what you ate for lunch (food photos are very popular across social platforms). If the weather is great in your area, post a photo of it or tell your fans how great it makes you feel. If you see something funny in the street, or on Pinterest, etc, share it with your fans. Always remember: Most of your fans are just killing time on Facebook, so entertain them!
Weight measures how much interaction content has such as Likes, Shares and comments. You might be thinking that this is the same as affinity, but affinity measures individual interaction, but weight puts content in front of people regardless of how much interaction an individual has with a Page.
For example, if I Liked Bob’s Meat Mart and Bob typically gets a lot of interaction with his content, the first status update he does after I Like the page will display prominently in my newsfeed, even though I haven’t interacted with the Page before.
Conversely, if Bob’s content didn’t get a lot of interaction his update would not be highly visible on my newsfeed.
What does this mean to you? Primarily, it means that the age old rule of quality over quantity applies on Facebook. Don’t do mindless or boring status updates. Try and keep them interesting because dull content today can mean that great content might not get as much visibility tomorrow.
Decay refers to how old a Facebook post it. As posts age, they lose their value and the algorithm stops showing it. This is to keep user’s newsfeeds fresh and increases engagement by giving users a reason to keep coming back to Facebook throughout the day.
There’s little you can do to prevent decay from dwindling your post away, but promoting posts can help. In fact, promoting a post can override everything that EdgeRank looks for in content!
Since Facebook went public, there has been a lot of speculation about whether they are making algorithm changes in order to encourage Pages to promote posts in order to get maximum exposure.
If you want to gain more reach for each of your posts, you need to either post something truly engaging and interesting that deserves a lot of attention, or you should promote your post. You might be thinking that I’ve just contradicted myself because there’s no point in promoting there’s little point in promoting something that isn’t going to strike a chord with fans – and you’re right to think that. However, there are times when it’s worth promoting a post such as.
This is especially true when you are sending fans away from Facebook to your website or another website such as a YouTube video, etc.
The reason why promoting a post is appropriate in this instance is because it won’t meet EdgeRank’s first edge, affinity. When you send traffic away from Facebook, very rarely will people come back and comment on, share or like your post. This tells Facebook that it’s not interesting so they will show it less.
However, a $10 promo can override this and give your post more visibility.
In sum, if you want to get more likes on your Page or on your content, make it more likeable. If that doesn’t work, you can always pay your way to more likes.
What are some of the most popular Facebook status updates you have posted for your business?