In this part we are going to explore the Facebook timeline, which is the most important part in this series. In this part you are going to learn how the timeline works, how to increase your post exposure on user timeline, how to reach more users timeline.
Also Check our Facebook pages exposure series part 1 if you have missed it.
Ever since the inception of Facebook the interface has changed over years. First when Facebook was launched there is no such thing as timeline/news feed. News feed has changed all the user experience. In order to get exposure in user’s news feed one needs to understand the algorithm on which it pushes posts into users news feed/timeline.
Facebook calls it as Edge rank. Edge rank is an algorithm which determines where and what posts appear in users news feed in order to give individual user with relevant and recommended content to keep user engaged more time on Facebook.
The news feed is very important for Facebook development and usability as their perspective. It is also important for us to understand this engine in order to get our posts/content into users/individual time line.
How Edge rank works?
Technically it works on three important variables Affinity, Weight and Time decay. We are not going into technical details of this algorithm; rather we will be explaining you this algorithm in a simple story so it will be easy for you to understand the concept.
Let us assume some xyz.com has a Facebook page named ulikexyz, it has 3 users namely Joe, sam and phil.
Now these are the three Facebook page fans, so how the Facebook page feeds appear in their news feed lets understand this,
Sam interacts with ulikexyz page always. Here interaction means liking posts/liking photos or videos/commenting on updates/photos/videos/ and sharing the pages content with his friends timeline or his own timeline.Sam never reports links/photos/videos of ulikexyz.Sam is also friend of page owner.
Joe is a fan who liked the page organically; he is not a friend of the page owner. He occasionally engages on the posts. He comments and likes statuses. His interaction with ulikexyz post is less when compared to sam.He often reports the links/photo/videos posted by ulikexyz.
The next user is phil.He rarely interacts with ulikexyz posts. He comments on most statuses and like them sometimes. His interaction is average when compared to other users for an ulikexyz post.
From this situation the algorithm determines which user news feeds to show ulikexyz posts.
The result will be like this
Sam is more likely to receive ulikexyz posts on his timeline/newsfeed.
Joe is will moderately receive ulikexyz content on his timeline/newsfeed.
Phil is the guy will less likely to receive the page content on his newsfeed/timeline.
This in turn depend upon the following factors
Unlike Google page rank, edge rank is not a stable rank, it is volatile and changed more immediately for a page based on the users interaction with the page posts.
Edge rank changes on many factors like
User previous interaction with the page.
User previous interaction with post type.
Feedback from the user group who already engaged with the post.
Amount of reports/negative feedback.
Edge rank is different for each user and it depends upon many factors like in the example of ulikexyz page.
If all the fans of your page are like sam then you are the luckiest person.
Affinity is the first term in edge rank calculation, it is said as the more closer the relationship of user with page owner higher will be affinity score. Example of ulikexyz page Sam (user) has higher affinity score.
Weight of the post depends upon the post type Facebook has given priority to post types as follows
3. Plain Text updates
Weight score is also influenced by the user interaction with the post type.
Example: photo post has higher weight score as per Facebook, but if the post has no engagement than a plain text update which has likes and comments then the weight of the picture post is less than text post weight.
Simply engagement in any type of post can increase the post weight, even though the default post weights are hierarchically low.
Bonus tip: As per some sources Facebook assigns new features it rolls out higher weight, so start using new features and increase your exposure.
Example: Reply feature that is rolled out to comments.
Time decay: simple the more older the post the post loses its weight gradually, facebook timeline is by default set to top posts, so even though if your post is affected by time decay, it has chances to show up on users news feed it has a lot of engagement by user group or the user logins less frequently.
Time decay has some weight also based on post type as we discussed above.
So finally now the edge rank is the sum of Affinity weight, Post weight, and Time decay score.
Hope we made you understand the edge rank in a simple way, if you still don’t understand it don’t worry, just follow these techniques to make sure your edge rank will always be higher for your page fans.
Only 16% of your fans see your posts on average, yes this is true. There is nothing to blame your fans for not liking the post that you made because it is the edge rank that manipulates everything that goes into user news feed. so even if you have 100 users liking your fan page you may only see maximum interaction only for some posts and only some times. This is all because of edge rank. Your fans have no need to know about this stuff neither they will listen to you if you tell them to support your work. All you got to do is to somehow manage the edge rank and get into news feed. Now you might have understand why buying likes/like exchanges won’t work for facebook page exposure, as they don’t understand facebook algorithms.
Tips to increase edge ranks for your page fans:
Posts between 100 and 250 characters will get 60% more engagement be it likes/shares/comments.
Post links/updates as photos/videos this will increase the engagement.
Photo albums exposure 180%
Photo posts exposure 120%
Videos posts exposure 100%
Bloggers now onwards post your links as photos, use post related picture and use your link in description and see how your exposure increases.
Bonus tip: Tag pictures with your friends and fans and further increase its exposure.
Tag users randomly and less people a day and get engagement daily.
Focus on increasing page likes more audience you have more likely your page reach will be.
Real Example on how edge rank influences post exposure from our own Facebook page.
This is a simple text update see the exposure of just 23 people when our page likes where around 150.
Same number of likes,see exposure rate for shared link. Its just a increase in 10 people.
Same number of likes,see increased exposure when same update is posted in the form of picture/photo.
When our likes where around 180,see the exposure for using facebook special feature like questions.
When you share a link update in wrong time,it may not even get into anyone's news feed.
Even though weight of questions is more than shared links,wrong timing can even effect post types with high weight.
Now you might have understood how important is edge rank,when it comes to you fan page content.
96% of time fans won’t visit your page daily to check for new content.Only 4% percent of people who are hardcore fans visit page to check updates themselves.So in order to overcome this you need to follow some tactics.
Analyze and determine the timings when your posts are getting maximum exposure,find the timing that is best for you.There is no way one could suggest you timing,but as a general practice we found that people from India usually login to Facebook after 5pm in the evening and before 10 am in the morning.
Check the ideal time for posting based on your fan location.
Post daily some update this is the only way you keep reaching your fans,post multiple updates for the same post based on the location of the fans.
Example: you fan page has fans from say India,us and uk.
So a single post needs to be posted three different times in 24 hours based on the ideal times for their location.This is very easy by scheduling automatic posts.Just schedule picture/video/link updates according to location instead of sharing publicly and set timings.
Be relevant but not aggressive marketing of your products,don’t directly market/recommend your products.
Ask your fans to like/share/comment your posts,as they don’t know anything about edge rank,this is the only way to become close with them and increasing the probability of your page content more times on their news feed.
Say thanks if users appreciate your content,try not to hide comments unless they bring bad reputation or include bad language.comments play a good role in edge rank don’t forget.
Make sure to interact with your fans and friends as much as possible,hope you got what we are saying here,just follow up.
If your fans in the age group of 18-24 they mostly active on facebook between 9pm to 10 pm,so be sure don’t miss posting updates during this peak hour.
If any post didn't get exposure reshare it with your fans at right timing and get exposure.
People are on facebook to have fun and entertainment so make sure your updates include some funny photos/status. They will keep linking and even bring some new fans to your page.
Appoint advertisers for your pages from different location who could interact with their friends and keep inviting their friends.This is the only way we can get organic fans without any advertisements/investment.
More advertisers you have more fans you will get and more reach your posts will enjoy.
Allow users to checking in to your location if you have physical store/work place.
More tips and more about increasing facebook pages exposure in our next post (link will be updated after we publish the article).