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Facebook has stated 88% of engagement happens through the News Feed. Therefore, if we want our followers to connect with us on Facebook, we want to make sure our posts show up in their news feed.
So . . . how do posts get in people’s newsfeeds?
We need to make Facebook “like” us by making their algorithm happy. The Facebook algorithm is called EdgeRank.
How Does EdgeRank Work?
EdgeRank has 3 main parts: Affinity (your relationship with users), Weight (how much priority Facebook gives your post), and Time Decay (how long your post has been on Facebook).
The amount a user has interacted with your Page in the past affects how likely they are to see your new posts.
If a user has liked your posts, clicked on your links, left comments or shared your posts, they are more likely to see your new post. Facebook likes begat more facebook likes.
Part of the algorithm is Facebook’s Last Actor, intended to “capture your current state of mind” to give you what you’re really looking for. It gives more weight to the users last 50 interactions so new content from those pages are more likely to show up their news feed.
If a follower has interacted with your content in some way today they’ll see tomorrow’s content – unless they’ve had more than 50 interactions since today’s post when you post tomorrow.
Facebook gives more weight to certain types of posts over others.
According to Kissmetrics, photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts.
Comments are more weighty than Likes, so ask a question to inspire discussion.
Generally, time decay means that the longer your post has been on Facebook the less likely anyone will see it.
Part of Facebook’s algorithm is Storybumping that shows the user older news if they haven’t seen it yet and it is more relevant to them – if it is from a page that they interact with on a regular basis. These stories will be “bumped up” to the top of their news feed. When Facebook tested storybumping, stories read went from 57% to 70%.
What Does EdgeRank Look At?
There are 4 specific areas that Facebook checks when deciding if a post will show up in your news feed:
Here’s an example of how it works:
The likelihood of your post showing up in someone’s news feed fluctuates based on the number of posts created by their other connections and their affinity with them.
Okay – How Do I Get My Posts In People’s News Feeds Then?
1. Be Visual
But don’t put any old photo up just to have a photo. Buffer tells us that the photo needs to be self-explanatory in order to get interaction.
The optimum size for a Facebook photo is 403px wide by 504px high.
When you want to post a link to your blog to advertise a new article you’ve written, start with the photo.
You’ve probably noticed that when you put the link to your article in the status box and post it, the photo is very small. You want to go BIG! Start with the photo.
2. Encourage Engagement
Make it easy for users to interact with you!
In the above example of a Facebook post the user has a choice between 2 calls to action. The first is a link to the article so they can read it now. The second is a link to the article pinned on my Pinterest board so they can repin it and save it to read later, when they need it. (They probably aren’t planning a baby shower right that minute.)
The easiest way to get the link to your pin is right after you pin it. Pinterest will ask you if you want to see it – yes, you do! If you’re getting the link later, go to your Pinterest board and click on the picture.
When the picture opens up in a pop-up, the link to that pin is in the URL address. Just copy and paste it in your Facebook status and users can repin it to their boards to read later.
Other proven ways to encourage interaction are:
- Ask an opinion-driven question
- Make a fill-in-the-blank statement
- Hold a contest
3. Focus on Quality
- Keep it clean: you don’t want negative feedback to limit your ability to get into news feeds.
- Keep it relevant: don’t discuss religion, cats or politics unless that’s what you’re about.
- Keep connected: Facebook is a social media which means people are there to make bonds and interact – give them high quality content consistently to strengthen your connection.
- Keep it low-key: don’t be pushy – posts related to, but not directly about your merchandise perform best.
- Keep it short: Kissmetrics tells us that posts 80 characters or less get 66% more engagement.
4. Be Timely
Post regularly: don’t let your posts time-decay.
Post when most people are on Facebook
This chart is a guide based on Facebook’s findings. Test your own users by looking at your specific posts to see how many people saw them (shown under each post) and how many people interacted with them.
For instance, if you cater to high school and college aged demographic they are on Facebook after 9 pm. Know your peeps!
I hope this helps! Now that you know all about the Facebook algorithm, see part 2 of this series and focus on what you post and when you post to get more facebook likes.
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Once a week we'll tell you the upcoming daily celebrations & the articles you may have missed.