The answer to that age old question: “Why aren’t more people seeing my Facebook page updates?”
Facebook uses algorithms to decide which posts you should see in your newsfeed, based on how you interact on the site. Essentially, what these algorithms are meant to do, is cut out any posts that Facebook would determine as spam or low quality.
Unfortunately, pages with high-quality updates often get hidden in newsfeeds because they have low fan interaction. Facebook decides the quality of posts based on how fans interact with them – if your fans see your posts but don’t interact; Facebook assumes no more fans will want to see those updates. But thankfully, even pages with low fan interaction can often rank high within Google’s algorithms, and thus, have their page show up first on Google searches.
Now, having said all of this, if you’re not aware, Facebook is preparing to make some big changes in their algorithms come January 2015. In preparation for these changes, I wanted to share some methods I’ve tested that will help you rank higher when these changes occur. These methods have already shown great results for getting in front of fans more often and acquiring quality “wall” time for business pages.
First, let’s start with EdgeRank… “What is it and how is it determined?”
EdgeRank is a name coined by social media bloggers and has become the nickname for Facebook’s algorithms. These algorithms decide what you see in your newsfeed and are usually based on:
- Timeliness. The older a post is, the lower the chance that it will be seen in a feed. All your fans will never be online at the same time, so don’t expect them all to see each post you make. However, by creating posts at different times of the day, you have a bigger chance of having a different group of fans see each post.
- Virality. The more interaction a post gets, the higher the chance that Facebook will show it to more of your fans (and sometimes, people who aren’t fans), which could help it go viral.
- Individual interaction. Let’s say your fan, Bob (made up name, of course), likes every post you make, then Bob will see every post you make. Now let’s say another fan, Bill (also a made up name), only likes every tenth post, then Bill may only see 2 or 3 out of every 5 updates you make.
There is one wild card factor, however, which is friend interaction in newsfeeds. A certain percentage of the time, when a person likes or comments on your posts, that interaction is displayed to all their friends in their newsfeeds. And this can bring in even more interactions from non-fans.
Where Are Algorithms Used?
Facebook uses algorithms in every feed. Each feed seems to be based on a different variation of the algorithm, but they still essentially work along the same lines. Feeds that use algorithms include:
- Newsfeeds. All the main page newsfeeds work off algorithms.
- Friend feeds. If you’ve created a few “friends” lists, these lists still only show updates based on people Facebook thinks you want to interact with.
- Interest list feeds. If you have a limited number of pages on an interest list, chances are you’ll see most of those updates. The more pages on your list, the less updates you’ll see, since Facebook tries to decide which ones are relevant without updating every minute.
- Pages feed. This feed was introduced to show a feed of nothing but updates from pages you follow. Although you may see pages here that you haven’t seen in a while, this feed is still based on algorithms.
Types of Updates
Different types of updates are automatically shown to more people than others. Here are the update types and how they rank when it comes to getting eyes on your posts.
- Text. Recent surveys have shown that many leading social media sites have found text posts to be more likely to get better views in newsfeeds.
- Images. Images often get lower views to start with, but if they’re memorable and get fan interaction, they can often get even higher views than just a text post alone.
- Links. In newer tests, it has been found in order to heighten the views on a text status, include a link (where appropriate) in the comments section instead of the update itself.
- Shares. Sharing another page’s status to your own page will get you very low views. It will also help the other page’s EdgeRank – but NOT yours! However, sharing another’s content from an outside link has been proven to have higher views if the post links to what is known as an “Authority” site… giving you more credibility in the perception of your association with that site.
Types of Interactions
Different types of interactions are also worth more (or less) to Facebook.
- Likes are the lowest form of interaction.
- Shares (having your post shared by others) are seen as a higher form of interaction.
- Comments (especially longer ones, without tags) are seen as the most time consuming and therefore considered the highest quality interaction.
So next time you plan to post a status update on your Facebook business page, take into account the many different facets that will decide if it will sink or rise in the newsfeed. With the right combination of humor, questions and spreading out updates across different times of the day and different days of the week, you can maximize the number of people who see your post.
To your continued online success,
Carmen “Carm” Wisenbaker