One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

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The Facebook Top News Experiment

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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.

According to Facebook

"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…



Leave a comment

I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 5 comments so far.

    Jennette

    October 14, 2010

    I’ve always wondered about the “Top News” feed. Thanks for explaining it for me!

    Ben

    October 14, 2010

    Ahhh, this is timely and useful info for me, Roni! Thank you!

    Ben

    Mary

    October 18, 2010

    Very interesting! Something new for me to learn, thanks Roni. :)

    NYCPatty

    October 19, 2010

    Interesting indeed!

    I thought you were doing this experiment for a different reason: to decide if your blog(s) should have a facebook account or a fan page.

    I have a personal facebook account that does not list my blog mostly because I have work contacts there and do not want them reading my blog. So I have a separate facebook account for my blog. Its tiring and sometimes I wish I had just set up a fan page. Do you have an opinion on this or suggestion?

    roni

    October 20, 2010

    I would switch over to the fan page sooner rather than later. Create the page and then send an “invite” to your current friend list follow you new fan page. It’s the only way you contact all the friends in your account. Once you have a fan page you can send out messages to to your “fans” much easier.