The Facebook news feed algorithm, also known as Edgerank, was implemented in 2010 with the sole purpose to choose what Facebook users will see in their News Feed. So if you had the feeling that not all your followers see your Page’s updates, that’s exactly what happens. The Edgerank algorithm decides which of your followers see your updates.
With the first version of News Feed in 2009, every single story was displayed as it was published. That led to increased engagement, which obviously led to even more content resulting in too much noise for the user. That’s how the Edgerank algorithm was born. This ranking algorithm came as a solution for the noise in the News Feeds. A method to prioritize the stories that are displayed and to make the Facebook experience more enjoyable.
So when Facebook first announced the new algorithm that will make people’s news feeds so much better, they used a formula like this:
I’m sure you all remember the Edgerank formula that can be simply translated into this:
You will see more of certain friends’ update if:
- you spend more time communicating with them, or you have more friends in common
- you interact more with their content (like, comment, share)
- their updates are recent.
These three factors, affinity, weight and time decay, play a major role in determining whether your own posts are displayed in people’s news feed. As for your Facebook Page, there are three things that you need to do to make sure you raise your score:
- get people to like your Page (if they don’t like your page, be sure they will not see any of your updates)
- publish content so great that people want to engage with it
- publish consistently so that your content isn’t old.
But it’s never that simple, right?
Over time, Facebook made significant changes to their ranking algorithm.
First they started to determine the quality of the content shared by Pages throughout the platform. Then they added the “Related Articles” section, focusing on delivering the latest news.
Then, in January 2014, the company noticed that if people saw their friends sharing text updates, they will start writing their own updates. So they decided to increase the distribution of this kind of posts. For brands, on the other hand, they introduced a new way to share links.
Soon after that, Facebook released the tagging for additional reach, meaning that the audiences of the pages that were tagged in a post will see that post too.
You’ll never believe what happened next! In August 2014, Facebook started to penalize click-bait posts. A few months later, they started to pay attention to trends and show posts about trending topics higher in the feed.
As of the end of 2014, Facebook started another penalizing spree: posts that were overly promotional or used the same content from ads saw a huge decrease in their organic reach.
Now it seems that Facebook it’s on a mission to refine its feed lately, hiding all the things that might annoy people. The social network wants to show more of the posts published by the friends of users, rather than pages.
Similarly, Facebook will give less visibility to likes and comments from friends in a user’s news feed. Both changes should lead to a decline in organic reach of pages’ posts.
They also announced offering a longer news feed: the amount of content displayed will be higher.
What’s more interesting is that Facebook is testing a new feature that puts people’s favorite pages and people’s posts at the top of the News Feed. This feature, named “See first”, might be a great opportunity for pages to make sure their updates reach their fans’ feeds.
Up until now you could unfollow people without unfriending them if didn’t want to see their updates anymore. But you couldn’t select your favorite friends or brands to see more of their content.
You can’t really check up your Edgerank. No one knows all the factors involved in computing this score (maybe except the developers that built the algorithm). What can you do instead, is to increase your score.
How can you increase the Edgerank score for your Page?
#1 Post Valuable Content And Provoke The Maximum Engagement Possible
Give your fans your best content and they will engage with it. But you can also add a call to action to ask them to like it and share it with their friends. If you have great content, they will be glad to share it.
Ask questions that will get your fans talking. Make them entertaining and simple, like one-word responses, to be easy to engage. These are fun ways to get your fans talking.
#2 Not All Types Of Interactions Are Equal
While it’s great that your followers like your content, only clicking the “like” button will not take you too far. You need to entice them to share it to their friends, to start spreading your content to other people. And eventually to sign up to your lead list, so you can communicate with them outside Facebook.
In terms of Edgerank algorithm, the “Sharing” of an update has more weight than a simple “Like”. So you need to focus on getting your fans to take more actions, to spread your content and to move outside of Facebook to your website. That’s where the money is.
#3 Be consistent With Your Posting
[Tweet “In Facebook Marketing consistency is key”]
You have fans from all over the world. Even if they are from the same geographical region, they visit Facebook on different times of the day. So one post per day is not enough to reach them all. You need at least 2 to 5 post per day, every day. Of course, you need to play a little and see what works for your best. Maybe two posts per day are more than enough for your audience or maybe you need to post 4 or 5 times per day. Track your engagement rates and your fans responses and plan your strategy.
But remember, consistency is the “secret” ingredient that makes you win on Facebook.
Another thing that you might want to do is to post different types of content through the day. Videos, links, photos, contests, questions – just mix things up a bit.
#4 Determine the best times to post your content
Analyze your audience and see what are the best times of the day to post so you could get the maximum engagement. It’s great to have consistency, but it’s even better to know when to post.
It is necessary to publish at the right time to benefit from the most attention and to reach the widest possible audience.
According to this infographic from Quicksprout the best days to post on Facebook are Thursday and Friday while for the posts published on Monday through Wednesday, the engagement rates fall below 3.5 %. If you want more shares for your content you need to publish around 1 PM and if the clicks are what you’re after, then post around 3 PM.
Of course, these results may vary depending on the industry, brand, target audience and so on. You need to test and see what are the best times to share for your business.
Use your page insights to see when your followers are online. Go to Facebook Insights, Posts, and choose ” Where your fans are online”. These statistics should give you a baseline for your posting times and just go from there and start testing.
#5 Use Photos And Videos For More Exposure
Photos and videos are a great way to grab the attention of your fans. They appear larger in the News Feed, they take up more real estate, and they get more organic reach than any other type of post.
Videos have incredible organic reach rates lately (as much as 35% of the audience). Not only that, but if you upload the videos directly to Facebook, they will automatically play when people scroll their feeds, increasing the engagement and the viewing rates.
Watch your Page Insights and see your best performing updates to know what type of posts is most appreciated by your audience, and do more of that.
Access the Facebook Insights for your Page, click on Posts then choose “Post Types”. You will see the average reach for each type of posts and the average engagement (the number of clicks per post or the likes, comments and shares). See what types of posts get the most reach and add more of that to your strategy.
#6 Take Advantage Of Trends
Since Facebook added the Related Articles feature to the News Feeds, they started prioritizing updates about trending topics. So, a good idea would be to benefit from this strategy and share relevant and trending updates promptly.
Even though you schedule your updates in advance, you can make step in and take advantage of some spontaneous marketing ideas.
#7 Share Content From Another Aficionado In Your Field
Sharing relevant links or mentioning some authorities in your niche not only will help spice up your timeline but will help you build relationships. If you go on and on about you people might get annoyed and hide your posts or worse, unfollow you.
#8 Run An Ad Promoting A Post To Your Existing Facebook Fans
This is a guaranteed method to reach the fans you already have, to re-engage with them and get your posts back to their news feed.
So one strategy to get older fans re-engage with you is to run Facebook Ads, so they will see them and engage with them, thus having your new posts showing up in their feeds again.
Now let’s see some things to avoid if you want to increase your Edgerank score:
- don’t create too promotional posts and try to avoid click-inducing titles. This will lead to a penalisation from Facebook, and you don’t want that!
- when scheduling in your content in advance don’t use the same content for all your social media accounts. Each platform has its own particularities, and you need to take advantage of that.
- don’t get caught up in a game of numbers. The number of likes you have for your Page is not that important. What matters most is the number of engaged fans that liked your Page. They will truly help you thrive.
- don’t have content that is not related to your business. You want your fans to kind of know what to expect, even though you produce unique content consistently. People should easily recognize you and your brand in what you share. That’s the reason they follow you, after all.
Wrapping it up
All the changes in the Facebook’s News Feed algorithm poses new challenges for marketers and Page owners hoping to still get some organic reach with their actions. One thing that remains valid no matter the changes to the algorithm that will come is to create great content that will attract shares, comments, likes, and clicks. This implies that you know your target audience, their behavior, and their interests.
What other methods for increasing your Page’s Edgerank do you know? Please share it in the comment section!