Facebook has long been one of the most powerful sites on the internet,
and is definitely one of the most popular. Whether you’re sharing wedding pictures, family holidays or a cat video you found on YouTube, getting your friends to like, comment and share is all part of the fun.
For businesses, it’s not quite the same, meaning that in order for a business to really stand out on Facebook they have to work much harder than an individual would.
Even a business with hundreds or thousands of Fans isn’t guaranteed a “viral” post.
This is all down to Facebook’s special Algorithm called Edge Rank. In other words, Facebook has a formula that scores every item of content posted to Facebook and determines how many people who follow that person or business will see it.
Whilst the initial “formula” for Facebook’s Edge Rank has been talked about extensively, the truth is that no-one outside of Facbook knows the exact way it is scored. The algorithm is also updated regularly to make changes based on what Facebook see is working best, or to allow different formats to be seen more. For example, when the Edge rank system was first introduced in 2010 fewer people were posting video to Facebook, whereas now video is very popular and is something that Facebook wants to encourage more people to use.
Edge Rank was initially represented by Facebook to look like this:
∑ – The sum of each individual story, e.g. a status update, comment, Like, tag, etc. Each of these is called an Edge.
u – The affinity score. This factor weighs how close you are with the person doing the posting. Facebook is more likely to give the content a higher weight if you frequently interact with the person posting, have several mutual friends, or are related.
w – The weight for this edge. Not all actions are considered equal in the eyes of Facebook’s algorithm. For example, someone posting on your page would carry more weight than someone simply liking a status update.
d – The time decay factor. As a post gets older, it’s more likely that it has already been seen or that it is no longer as relevant. Facebook remedies both of these problems by taking the age of the post into consideration.
So taking the Edge Rank into consideration should give you a better chance of your posts from your Business page getting a better reach!
Here are some ideas that you can try and put into practice.
Increase Your Affinity Score
You’ve probably heard countless advice telling you to build relationships and have conversations on Social Media. Increasing your affinity score is the reason behind this. If you encourage people to reply, comment and discuss things on your Facebook page you will increase your affinity score.
Give Yourself An Edge!
To gain a higher edge score you need to create more stories. Try and ensure that the status updates you post are questions (because then people will comment – see the Affinity point above!). This is where you can show off how creative you are, because the more eye catching, entertaining and varied your updates are, the better you will do.
Track The Time Decay Factor
Some posts are more time sensitive than others. If you are posting about a breaking news article for example it’s unlikely to stay at the top of anyone’s news feed for long. Other posts are sometimes more difficult to judge. A good measure is often to take note of how many people have seen your post, which you can see underneath any post on a business page. If the number is stagnant, your story isn’t going anywhere, post something else. On the other hand, sometimes a post might do well for a couple of days, so leave your audience time to enjoy it before adding something new.
While Hashtags don’t really do the same on Facebook as they do on Twitter, Facebook does now keep track of what’s trending. Again, there’s no point talking about a trend just for the sake of it, but keep an eye on the trends panel on the right hand side of the Newsfeed and if there is anything that would be right for you business to comment on then do it.
Share Content And Mention Other Pages
Whenever you share content from another brand, try and remember to Tag their Facebook page in the post. This is a great thing to do, because not only will the other brand see that you have mentioned them, but since the end of 2014 Facebook has increased the likelihood of the other brand’s fans also seeing the post as well. This is particularly true if your brands or audiences are similar, so don’t just go tagging big name brands to try and get exposure – you must stay relevant.
No Hard Sales
Finally, this has also been said many times, but Stay Social! Social Media users as a rule don’t want to be sold to all the time. The occasional offer or promotion is fine, but not every post. Facebook will also recognise a sales post over a non sales update and if sales are all you’re posting, they’ll make sure you’re seen by fewer people.
Remember, there are no hard and fast rules for getting a better visibility on Facebook – this is just a guide! You might find that a certain style of update works really well for your business and if that’s the case keep doing it – but mix it in with a few other things!
If something is working for you then let us know!
If you enjoyed these tips and want more, then download my free e-book, 49 Exclusive Social Media Tips for Business.