With over 1 billion users, Facebook is still the megastar social media channel, and business owners and marketers alike are tapping into this large network of consumers like never before. Businesses, companies and organizations make up 15 million of the total 50 million Facebook Pages in hopes of grabbing consumers’ attention to spread their marketing messages & promotions.
Edgerank, Facebook’s algorithm, was developed to decide what posts are displayed and how high they will rank in the News Feed. Marketers continue to attempt to crack the Edgerank code in hopes of getting their marketing messages in front of their target demographic, but collecting likes, shares and comments require more than just a decoder.
Then a few months ago, Facebook introduced “Story Bumping” and “Last Actor.” These changes to the News Feed algorithm were a way to ensure that Facebook users see more updates from people they interact with, including Company Pages. Story Bumping allows engaging posts that users haven’t seen yet to be “bumped” up to the top of the News Feed while Last Actor takes into account the last 50 engagements a user has performed and gives those users a slight bump up in the News Feed ranking.
Let’s say today you’ve been liking and commenting frequently on your friend Sam’s posts. Because of “Last Actor,” Sam’s subsequent posts will be pushed up higher in your News Feed, as posts from people with whom you’ve engaged with most recently will be given prominence over those you haven’t interacted with lately.
As for Story Bumping, let’s say your friend John (more of a periphery friend than a close friend) wrote a post on Facebook at 9 a.m., but you didn’t open Facebook until 12 p.m., so you missed the post by John since it was too far down the News Feed. Story Bumping to the rescue. Thanks to Story Bumping, John’s post from 9 a.m. is now eligible to be bumped back up toward the top of your News Feed. In order to be bumped, John’s post will have had to receive a lot of engagement – this means that likes, comments and shares all contribute to a post’s “bump-ability.”
Simple. Unless you’re publishing engaging content, your posts might not get seen.
With these updates, no amount of deciphering or code cracking is going to get your organic Facebook posts in front of more fans. The ticket is creating engaging, thought provoking, and commentary-inducing content that people want to interact with. When you do, thanks to Story Bumping and Last Actor, you just may experience a windfall of Facebook views.
Here’s a trend you’ve probably participated in: you “like” a company’s page on Facebook, then you never return to that company page again. Unfortunately, it’s a common trend that likely happens on your own company page. If these users never visit your page again, how can you interact with them?
The answer is to increase your EdgeRank. Facebook users rely on their newsfeed to supply them with new content. EdgeRank is the algorithm that Facebook uses to prioritize posts in a user’s newsfeed.
Every piece of content you produce on your company page is assigned a score in EdgeRank. The higher the score, the more likely you are to appear in users’ newsfeeds, which in turn increases the chance that users will interact with your company’s page. EdgeRank scores are determined by three factors:
Affinity – measures how often a user and his/her friends interact with the content your company’s Facebook page produces. Your Affinity score will naturally increase as your page collects more likes and users interact with your content. To increase Affinty faster, post updates to your company pages that request comments or interaction from your users.
Time – measures the age of your posted content. The freshest content receives the highest time score.
Weight – measures the type of content you’ve posted. Different content types each receive different Weight scores – which are even further narrowed based on user behavior (e.g. for a user who interacts with a lot of pictures, EdgeRank assigns higher Weight scores to picture posts, which in turn appear more frequently in said user’s news feed). In light of that, Weight score will always vary, so it’s a good idea to produce a variety of different types of content.
Knowing how Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm works is fundamental for getting your content in front of users, and in turn, getting them to interact with it.
You may have not recognized it, but Facebook’s News Feed only displays a portion of the posts generated by your friends. (I always had my sneaking suspensions)… Well, this algorithm can potentially affect the reach of your Facebook updates.
The EdgeRank algorithm is said to be in place to enhance the user experience. In short, it is all about making sure that users see relevant and useful information in their News Feed. The measuring stick for EdgeRank is displaying information your friends found relevant by virtue of interaction. (i.e. commenting, liking, sharing).
From a more technical perspective, Facebook views every item that shows up in a user’s News Feed as an “object.” A good example of an object would be a person’s status update. Now, should any user decide to interact with that status update (say, by commenting on it) they are creating what Facebook terms as an “Edge.” Other interactions on Facebook can be actions such as tagging, sharing, and liking.
To explain how EdgeRank works, it is simple: The more interaction your posts get, the greater your EdgeRank. The greater your EdgeRank, the more likely your posts will show up in the News Feeds of a majority of your fans or friends (see, simple enough). If you are interested in your current score, you can check it here.
So how can you improve your EdgeRank?
1). Spread The Word!
Be sure to post and share links with others, such as photos and videos. Interaction happens when a user wants to investigate one of those posts or links. Not only can you post links to your own website or blog, you can also post information from other sources that you think your fans or friends might find interesting – it’s called being social, and it can potentially spread like wild fire and attract a lot of attention.
2). Stay Up to Date
Information on Facebook is shared at an extremely rapid pace, so in a short time your post can go from the top of News Feeds to the bottom. And users are more likely to share what is at the top of their News Feed than the bottom. Also, if a post starts to get feedback you are not looking for, you can post something new and swing the population back in the direction you intended.
3). Continue to Be Interactive & Ask Your Fans to Share
Even if you’re new to Facebook, don’t hesitate to ask other users to share your information or click the like button for your posts. A good strategy is to pose the question, such as “like this post if you agree with (fill in the blank)” This should help you to encounter less resistance.