Facebook recently changed its page rank algorithm (also known as Edgerank) again—resulting in an average page-reach drop of 50 percent to 60 percent. With the change, Edgerank will be more particular about which pages appear in users’ News Feeds, based on the stories most likely to interest them. Considering that many active Facebook users like at least 100 brand pages, this comes as good news for users who might otherwise be bombarded with brand/business updates. But how will this affect your brand’s page? Are you less likely to reach your followers? While the short answer may be “yes,” this algorithm change could actually be a blessing in disguise.
In the long run, fans are going to get content they actually care about and businesses are going to get less negative feedback from users than they have in the past (e.g., less blocks, un-follows, etc.). In fact, Facebook made this algorithm change to combat an increase in the negative feedback that brand pages were receiving as of late. In other words, Facebook is penalizing brands that don’t post engaging, valuable content by making it harder for them to reach their fans.
In response to complaints about the change, Facebook started “Pages Feed” as sort of a compromise. Pages Feed will display all unfiltered posts from the pages users like.
Without knowing the effect of Pages Feed, it appears that supplementing your organic activity with paid outreach and advertising is likely a good idea. According to Facebook, Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories help companies receive five times more reach than campaigns run strictly on earned reach. The reach from paid placement, however, doesn’t replace the need for engaging organic content.
Here are five tips to make your page favorable to Edgerank:
1. Include calls to action or questions: Edgerank favors comments first and likes second when deciding if your page is worthy of appearing on News Feed. Therefore, enticing your fans to interact with your page (Calls to action can be as simple as “like this,” while questions are great for drawing feedback from fans) will add to your success.
2. Add multimedia elements to content: As the old cliché goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. The same is true in social media. Blogworld reports that Facebook updates with pictures or video are five times more engaging than links or text-only posts.
3. Post on topics related to your demographic: Use Facebook Insights to figure out your target demographic and keep them engaged with topics that are appealing to them. For example, if your demographic is women 45-54 and you’re posting about Monday Night Football, you might be off-target with your messaging.
4. Think of your page as a character: Again, look at who is visiting the page and find a voice for your brand that is appropriate and excites your audience. Be entertaining and have fun being “in character” when posting or responding to fans.
5. Let your fans fill in the blanks: Fill-in-the-blank posts always get plenty of engagement because they let people get creative. The best type of content for this is something that will make fans enthusiastic, such as “I can’t wait to give my __________ (your brand’s product) this holiday season!”
Although the new Edgerank algorithm has become a bit of a nuisance for companies, the old rules of engagement for Facebook still apply. Brands—both business and consumer—that acknowledge this will eventually find Edgerank to be mutually beneficial.
– Adam Miller