Seems simple enough, right? That’s because in a sense it is. The more people interact with your posts ‘U’ the more likely they are to see more of your posts. The more the community has interacted the post, ‘W’ the more likely you are to see it. The longer the post has been around, ‘D’ the less likely others are to see it. This was facebook’s old algorithm which has since been updated and tightened.
The new ‘Edgerank’ or news feed optimization has since been updated to over 100,000 different weights and factors that can influence how likely your posts are to be seen. According to a post by MarketingLand, the original equation is not dead, but so insignificant in the broad spectrum of variables that it might as well be.
But all of these tightened regulations and added factors on determining how likely your post is to be seen have not gone over well with many in the community. George Takei from Star Trek and Mark Cuban have both publicly denounced Facebook’s new system, saying “Facebook really risks screwing up something that is special in our lives as a time waster by thinking they have to make it more engaging and efficient.” He goes on to make the point of how Facebook is trying to optimize our newsfeeds just as Google optimizes our search (see SEO). This is all very true, but it brings up a good point, our news feeds are not a Google search. The main goal of searching is to type in what you need and then click off to the place that has it. Facebook on the other hand should not have its primary goal to have us leave the sight within a few seconds of searching.
Another common complaint was Facebook is selectively filtering what it thinks is important for us, like we can’t ignore enough on our own. Comparing this to gmail; what happens if you signed up for a email alert from a brand, but gmail wanting to make more revenue only shows you certain emails, and not the ones that you signed up for. In the same way, people who like a page want to be able to see content coming from it.
So all argument aside, all of this still begs the question, how do we receive more interaction and clicks on our posts? Well, like anything in marketing the answer is ‘it depends’.
A big factor in this is how likely others are to have already interacted with your current post and previous posts. This plays off of weight –
Share – high weight
Comment – medium-high weight
Like – medium weight
Click – low weight
So encouraging people to share or comment on your status is the first big step. Next is time –
- “Those who posted after the typical 9-5 were far more likely to be seen as there is less noise from brands and businesses posting.”
This graph shows how time affects how likely you are to be seen, with 50% of all interaction in the first 30min.
The next factor is how many people already liked it. (Wait what?) Yes, it is like high-school again, the popular kids are more likely to be liked because other people like them already. Well Facebook’s edge plays off the same principle. In a recent study, people were 32% more likely to interact with posts that already had positive interaction.
In a recent talk with social media guru Nate Smoyer he added to the ever increasing factors of how to appear high up on a feed.
- Promote your posts or your page – promotions have guaranteed reach and interaction in a large, targeted audiences.
- Limit the use of pictures, links, or events in your news feed – Facebook’s new system recognizes links as ‘Brand spam’ and intentionally lowers the likelihood of those being seen.
Above all, to have high engagement you must be seen as valuable by Facebook. Just like in Google’s SEO, sites that provide high-quality, relevant content are far more likely to be seen first.
P.S. Here’s an infographic on Edgerank explained by Batman