I was listening to an interview with Ari Gold, director of Adventures of Power, for our book this week and he was explaining some surprising things he realized about using Facebook pages and communicating with fans. AOP has over 100,000 fans which is super impressive for an independent film and Ari and his team have done a good job interacting with them. But he reckons that most of their page’s posts don’t reach 80% of the fans at any given time. I knew that Facebook had changed their algorithm for the newsfeed posts some months back and here is a little tutorial for those who didn’t hear this news or who don’t understand what it means. If you want your page to stay in the Top News feed of your fans, read on!


This is Facebook’s term for how it weighs the importance of page posts on a member’s newsfeed. It is a secret formula that only Facebook truly knows for determining visibility on the news feed page. Every item you post is called an Object. This could be a status update, a photo, a link, whatever. Whenever someone interacts with that Object either by tagging it, giving it a thumbs up, leaving a comment etc. it creates what they call an Edge.

Each Edge has 3 components:

1)an Affinity score- if you send your friend a lot of Facebook messages and check their profile often, then you’ll have a higher affinity score for them than you would someone you rarely interact with. The more often you like, view, comment, click on a page’s Object, the higher the Affinity score rises.

2)a Weight score-this is given to each type of Edge. A comment has more weight than a Like, for example. The longer an end user engages or interacts with your content, the more weight it holds so watching a video and liking and/or commenting on it will carry the most weight. Getting your fans to leave comments will make those posts rise to the top of the “Top News” feed which is the default setting for most people’s Facebook accounts. Posting a polarizing link on occasion will help get those comments rolling just be careful about how you use that.

3)a Time score or time decay-the older the Edge is, the less important it becomes. The freshness factor to news helps determine how long it will stay in a news feed. Even world events with lots of mainstream news appeal will not stay in the news feed for weeks.

These 3 factors are multiplied together for each Edge and then added up with all of your Edges and it gives an Object’s EdgeRank. The higher the EdgeRank, the more likely your Object is to appear in the user’s feed. Even Objects that haven’t yet been interacted with will show up in your fan’s feed if the fan has recently interacted with your other Objects.

This is important to understand. The more interactions your page has, the more likely you will stay engaged with your fans by continuing to show up in their feed. Recent statistics show that 95% of fans of your page NEVER VISIT IT AGAIN DIRECTLY. They only see it and interact with it in the news feed. A page with millions of fans who hardly ever interact on it will cease to show up in the fans’feed, rendering the page basically useless.

Stay in the Top News feed

Facebook uses the Top News feed to filter the status updates for their members. It will show what the EdgeRank algorithm assumes they will want to see. The more conversation happening around an update, the longer it is going to stay in Top News. This means comments, likes and shares on your posts are more crucial than boosting your “Like” numbers. The more someone engages with your page, the more Facebook is going to show them your posts. Without good EdgeRank, the probability is that no one is seeing your posts and you’re wasting your time. And after you fall out of your fans’ news feed, it is really hard to get back in because, as I said, the overwhelming majority only interact with your posts there. When they no longer see your posts, your page is dead in their mind.

Things you can do to stay in Top News:

Publish posts that encourage interaction. These could be trivia questions (I’m looking at you King is a Fink) or Caption This Picture (looking at you Roger Ebert though he does this more through Twitter) with the picture of course. It could be polls or it could be those polarizing links I mentioned.

Videos and images rank better than regular status updates or links. Because photos and videos are published in the feed as thumbnails, people normally have to enlarge them by clicking on it (cha ching for EdgeRank) and if someone is tagged in the photo, they will usually comment (cha ching again!). Publish these almost as often as status updates. I also find that posting links with a good photo helps entice people to open the link and leave a comment.

Always post a comment along with a link to give people an  idea why they would want to read it, share it, comment on it. I almost always take a short pull quote from the article as I post it or leave a comment about why my community would like to read it. I don’t just post a link without some comment.

Repurpose links and content. The stream moves fast for some people and even good content can get lost depending on when you posted it. Consider reposting something you were sure your fans would love, but didn’t get a large amount of attention. If it still doesn’t, move on.

If your page is new, don’t be afraid to ask for likes and comments on the content. It takes a while to get momentum on a page so don’t be discouraged that it doesn’t happen right away. Nothing in social media takes off right away.

Success on Facebook all comes down to publishing interesting content that is right for your fans and enhances their experience with your film on a regular basis. There’s no magic, no contests or coupons that will keep your brand in their feed for a prolonged time. Just encourage and cultivate interaction and your page will do well.

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