Facebook’s Edgerank (ranking) algorithm, which determines which posts show up in a person’s News Feed, is a beast constantly trying to be tamed by businesses and software companies.
Just like SEO on Google, it has a huge impact on how many people see your company and click-through to your website. Today Facebook made an announcement via their Facebook for Business Newsroom on the future of Edgerank and News Feed as a whole.
In this article we’ll discuss how the August 6th Facebook News Feed announcement affects business and marketers.
How Facebook Decides What to Show in a User’s News Feed
The first part of the announcement iterated on how News Feed works and why they use it. Currently an average user will have 1500 unread stories built up from every Friend, Person and Page they follow. As this is far too many, Facebook whittles this number down to the 300 they believe you will be interested in the most. Roughly, this gives any given post you make on your Facebook Page a 20% chance being seen by each of your Fans.
Facebook’s News Feed algorithm determines which posts to show to users based on the user’s actions and feedback they give. According to Facebook “When a user likes something, that tells News Feed that they want to see more of it; when they hide something, that tells News Feed to display less of that content in the future.”
Facebook gives 4 main signals to focus on when optimizing your posts to be seen more:
1. How often your Fans interact with your Page
2. The number of likes, shares and comments a post receives from the world at large and from a user’s friends in particular.
3. How much your Fans have interacted with this type of post from your Page in the past.
4. Whether or not your Fans and other people across Facebook are hiding or reporting a given post.
So How Can a Business/Marketer Get Their Posts to Show up More Often?
The best thing to do is to make QUALITY posts. Choosing quality over quantity will actually get more people seeing your posts over time. If you make five posts a day that nobody interacts with, pretty soon none of your Fans will ever see them in their News Feed. But if you make 1 or 2 AWESOME posts that a lot of your Fans engage with, over time the number of people who see your posts will increase.
But how can you see quickly and easily which types of posts are getting the most engagement?
Facebook recently rolled out new it’s new Page Insights dashboard, making it fast and easy to see which posts are doing well and which aren’t.
Check out a sample from Wishpond’s Page Insights dashboard:
Based on this quick analysis of our top four posts, photos tend to get more engagement than link posts. This is in-line with recent studies that photos get 53% more Likes than other types of Facebook Posts
Need ideas on what types of posts to make? Check out 8 Sure-Fire Facebook Post Formulas That Drive Engagement
Change to News Feed’s Edgerank (ranking) Algorithm: Showing Old Stories
Now organic stories that people did not scroll down far enough to see can reappear near the top of News Feed if the stories are still getting lots of likes and comments.
Why did they make this change?
This change was made based on an analysis of tests that showed two conclusions:
1. The change resulted in a 5% increase in the number of likes, comments and shares on the organic stories people saw from friends and an 8% increase in likes, comments and shares on the organic stories they saw from Pages
2. Previously, people read 57% of the stories in their News Feeds, on average. They did not scroll far enough to see the other 43%. When the unread stories were resurfaced, the fraction of stories read increased to 70%.
The test data suggests that this update does a better job of showing people the stories they want to see, even if they missed them the first time.
What does this mean for businesses and marketers?
For businesses and marketers, this means your most popular organic Page posts have a higher chance of being shown to more people, even if they’re more than a few hours old. Advertisers should note, however, that this change does impact how paid content appears in News Feeds.
Want to engage with your customers on Facebook? Learn how to create a Facebook contest.