If you’ve long understood why only a small number of your Facebook network sees your feeds, then you were way ahead of me, because I only learned the reason through a Social Media Marketing Certification program with Market Motive, which I completed this past summer.
The percentage of people who see your news feed depends on what Facebook calls your EdgeRank — Facebook’s algorithm. If your EdgeRank is high, a larger number of peeps see your news feed posts. Your EdgeRank depends mainly on three factors, which I call WAT:
Weight: What kind of content are you posting?
Affinity: With whom have you recently interacted — with whom do you have affinity? What kinds of actions have been taken with regard to your activity?
Time (decay): How current is your post? As my instructor for the social media course said, “If a user hasn’t interacted with you for a year, they’re dead to you.”
The ranking for weight is fairly simple.Facebook places more weight, or higher value on links, images and videos (in that order), much like Google. And their reasoning for placing more value on one type over the other is based on their statistics on the type of content that is viewed more often. Videos win.
Contrary to popular belief, “liking” someone doesn’t really count for much, except for what is called “applause rate.” Your applause rate tells you, viewed from your analytics’ page, what was popular, so that you can post that kind of content again. Having someone “like” you doesn’t increase your EdgeRank nearly as much as someone making a comment or sharing your feed. And, besides, who really cares who likes you, unless you’re Sally Field when she won her first Academy Award? Just kiddin’, about Sally, that is. I really like her.
On the other hand, getting someone to interact with you does increase your affinity ranking. So ask questions, encourage peeps to share, start a forum, link to a news article, post images and videos — these actions increase your EdgeRank because they are more likely to encourage interaction.
A quicker and easier way to increase your EdgeRank is — you guessed it — buy a Facebook ad.
Here’s a great video on the explanation of EdgeRank. And here are some of the questions that can be answered about news feeds, on the Facebook help center page.
What about you? Do you care if you’re liked? Do you care what your EdgeRank is? If you’re B2C, you should. And depending on your business objectives, if you’re B2B, you should consider it, especially when you consider Facebook’s billion-plus-and-counting audience.