Have you ever felt like the order of posts on your Facebook News Feed follow no rhyme nor reason? Perhaps you’ve been perplexed that older posts were surfacing at the top of your feed. Have you questioned how that close friend could possibly be able to post that often? As explained in a very helpful infographic from beta social media publishing tool, PostRocket, the Facebook News Feed actually follows some complex rules.
Since the death of the print newspaper and the move to personalized, update driven news streams, the simplicity of the front page news concept (most recent and note-worthy stories are seen first) can no longer be utilized. Enter the algorithm that runs the Facebook News Feed, EdgeRank. EdgeRank’s job is to determine what posts show up on your News Feed and where. It does this by weighting three factors: 1) Affinity- the closeness of your relationship with the person or brand page posting 2) Weight- if the post is a photo or video, link or plain text and 3) Time-decay- how old the post is. Each one of these factors has some complexities, for example, if a post is older but has a high amount of “likes” it will be displayed to you longer than one without any engagement.
At this point reader, you are probably wondering why I am telling you this. While I would love it if you were simply a social junkie who is interested in how your favorite mediums operate, you’re likely thinking you don’t need to know how your Facebook sausage is made. In this case however, knowing the behind the scenes details of the News Feeds means you can use it to your advantage and have your posts seen by more people, which is of course the crux of boosting your online visibility.
Simply posting regularly is no longer enough to stand out, you need to be smart about your posts. Try posting a photo instead of just a link, they get the most engagement. And, as with all social media, remember interaction is a two way street. Like, comment, and share posts from others. They are more likely to reciprocate and in the end, will be exposed to more of your posts. Experiment with some of the tactics explained below and see if you notice increased engagement. While PostRocket’s infographic focuses on brand pages, these best practices can still be utilized from your personal account since all posts display and compete in the same stream.