A few weeks ago I did an experiment on facebook. I set my status on my account and two of my fan pages (Roni’s Weigh and GreenLiteBites) to something like this…
I’m doing a facebook experiment today (testing something I learned something at the conference) If you have a moment please let me know if you can see this by leaving a comment or liking it. Thanks so much!
Over the next 4 days I received numerous comments and likes. Here’s the stats broken down by account…
|Account||Fans/Friends||Likes||Comments||% of Likes|
|Facebook.com/RoniNoone (my personal account)||1,211||94||15||8%|
|Facebook.com/RonisWeigh (Fan Page)||1,304||179||31||13%|
|Facebook.com/GreenLiteBites (Fan Page)||772||63||21||8%|
I decided to run this little experiment after hearing a presenter at the Type-A Mom conference state that your status updates do not show up on the "Top News" lists of your fans unless you interact with them. She states she saw an increase in participation after she ran a similar experiment.
Of course I had to try it out for myself which lead to countless hours researching the mysterious "Top News" feed.
"Top News aggregates the most interesting content that your friends are posting, while the Most Recent filter shows you all the actions your friends are making in real-time."
Well der…. But HOW does it choose what is most interesting? And how do I, as someone who is marketing content, guarantee my posts get seen by my fans?
The answers lies in the Edge. According to TechCrunch, Facebook using an algorithm called EdgeRank to determine what news gets plastered on the Top News feed of your Facebook account. There are 3 important components to this algorithm.
- Affinity – Your relationship with the other user. Do you visit their profile a lot? Exchange messages? leave comments? Etc.
- Weight – How popular is this post? Have others "liked" it? or better yet, left comments on it?
- Time – Of course. Old is out and new is in. So the longer a post sits around the less of an edge it has.
So the Type-A presenter did have a point, if you get fellow facebook users to interact with you there is more of a chance that you will show up on their feed in the future. However, this edge doesn’t last forever as your affinity with that user will change over time.
As for my experiment, I did not notice and increase of interactivity among my friends and fans after running the experiment but that may be because I didn’t change my level of engagement at all. I routinely interact with people and try to be as active as humanly possible when time allows.
Of course there is more to EdgeRank then Facebook has shared. Much like google, they can’t spill all the beans or people would simply use the knowledge to their advantage and dominate your Top News feed.
After researching this I’ve come to the same conclusion I also do with these matters. It’s great to be aware of these little nuggets (SEO, Facebook algorithms, twitter theories) but you can’t and shouldn’t depend on them. When push comes to shove, make great content, be transparent, stay genuine and your audience will find you.
For additional reading on this subject check out…
- How Facebook EdgeRank Affects Your Visibility
- EdgeRank: The Secret Sauce That Makes Facebook’s News Feed Tick
- How to make your Facebook content “Top News”