Getting Your Posts Seen In The Facebook News feed

October 28, 2013
Karen

You may have noticed that Facebook doesn’t always show your news feed stories in chronological order, but often orders them by “top stories”.

What is a top story?

Recent experiments by Facebook have shown that people interact more when the stuff that interests them is near the top of their news feed. To take advantage of this, Facebook have developed a ranking system for posts. In a similar way to how Google will rank the relevance of a web page to a search term, Facebook will attempt to rank how important a post is to each person. We have all known for a while that the likelihood of a post appearing near the top is increased when:

  • You have previously interacted with the page/person.
  • Your friends interact with that particular post.
  • The post has generally received a lot of likes/shares/comments.
  • You have interacted with similar posts in the past.

Facebook’s most recent updates have implemented more complicated ways of determining which posts are considered to be high quality. Here’s what Facebook themselves say about it:

“The system uses over a thousand different factors, such as how frequently content from a certain Page is reported as low quality (e.g., hiding a Page post), how complete the Page profile is, and whether the fan base for a particular Page overlaps with the fan base of other known high quality Pages.”

In the same way that Google have put measures in place intended to penalise those who use black-hat SEO techniques, Facebook are attempting to de-prioritise pages that have purchased “fake likes”. If you didn’t see the Channel 4 Dispatches program on this earlier in 2013, see
http://www.channel4.com/news/facebook-fake-likes-data-baby-channel-4-news-video

What does this all mean to me?

This could mean that inviting all your friends to like a new page is a waste of time, unless these friends are actually going to be interested in the topic of the page. If my interpretation is correct, it seems that if the majority of your page’s likers do not also like other similar pages, your posts could be penalised. It could pay to be selective with who you invite!

My tips for high quality Facebook posts:

  • Make sure your page profile has as much detail added as possible.
  • Write posts that are relavant to your page.
  • Think about whether your posts interesting enough. Would you share or recommend?
  • Don’t try to get more distribution by asking people to like and share – Facebook are starting to detect this.
  • Remember, asking people to share in order to enter a competition is against the rules.
  • You CAN now run a competition through your Facebook page, but check you meet the Ts&Cs
  • When inviting friends to like your page, choose people who will have an interest and want to interact.

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