If you are a Facebook page admin, chances are that you’ve seen a significant drop in your page reach over the past couple weeks. You can thank the Facebook algorithm change. As Facebook starts to become more of a pay to play platform (and tries to generate more revenue for shareholders), staying current on changes is the best way to prevent wasting our limited resources.
The posts your Facebook fans see in their feeds is now based on the EdgeRank Algorithm. Three factors make it up: the “Affinity Score”, the “Edge Weight” and “Time Decay” of each post. Before your eyes glaze over, I came across this great, easy to understand article by Jeff Wildman: EdgeRank 101
Wildman’s top takeaway is that presentation is everything. He writes: “It’s hard to trick an algorithm into thinking that your content is interesting. It’s much easier to rewrite your content so your fans leave more likes and comments.”
What are some practical ways to get the most eyes on your posts? We’ve been experimenting with the University Facebook page for the past two weeks and here’s what has been the most helpful:
1. Better, not just more content. In the simplest terms, under this new formula, comments are worth more than “likes” and “shares” are worth more than comments. People are more willing to comment or share when the content is compelling. (Keep Calm and Study On is a good example on how we tried to cover events through video. A tried and true way to generate user response is the photo contest. And our big news story of the week – Stokes Hall opening – also generated considerable buzz – and user impressions.)
2. Post at optimum times of day and night. Will your fans be checking Facebook at 2 a.m.? Probably not. We’ve found that around lunchtime, nights (between 5 and 9 p.m.) and weekends get the most response. Stay away from Facebook posts around 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. – people are busy at work or in class. Utilize this time to post on other platforms – like Twitter, YouTube or Instagram – to capitalize on people’s mobile usage.
3. Become allies. See something on the BC Facebook page that you could use? Share it. Like it. We’ll do the same. An effort is underway on our main site to tag SMC members whenever possible and share your content more. Please do the same to maximize all of our efforts.
Need to know more? Here’s a video that shows Facebook Developer George Lee on “How to Grow on Facebook” – a presentation he gave at the f8 Developer Conference. It’s a bit lengthy, but gets into the nitty gritty of EdgeRank.
What has worked for you to engage fans?