A mind-boggling number of stories (status updates, photos, videos etc) are created on Facebook daily.
Facebook estimates that, on average, each time a user visits her newsfeed (wall), there are 1,500 potential stories that she could be shown.
In order to show only the most relevant and interesting stories in your newsfeed, Facebook uses a formula called Edgerank.
(It is crucial for businesses to understand Edgerank to have their stories appear in their fans’ newsfeeds. Click here to see how Edgerank works).
Facebook has made some changes to their Edgerank algorithm which they believe will help business pages get more visibility in their fans’ newsfeeds.
Let’s take a look at these changes and what they mean for small businesses.
How it worked till now: Each time you visited your newsfeed, Edgerank would rate all the stories that had been published since your last visit and show you the best rated ones.
The problem: Most people never got to see a number of posts that were potentially relevant to them. On average, people read only about half the stories on their feed. As new stories kept being added, the old unseen stories were pushed further down in the feed and usually never viewed.
Your fave Etsy shop was having a week-long sale but this was the 60th item in your feed yesterday, and you never got to it. Today when you log in, you’ll have new stories at the top of your feed, so you’ll never see the ‘sale’ post.
The Solution:Now stories that you did not scroll down far enough to see, can reappear on the top of your newsfeed the next time you log in if the story is still getting a lot of engagement (clicks, likes etc) from others.Example:A number of people who saw the Etsy ‘sale’ post ‘liked’ and commented on it. Since it had so much engagement, it will be shown again towards the top of your feed the next time you log in.
What this means for businesses:
NOTE: Story bumping affects only organic stories, not paid promotions and advertisements.
The problem: Your interactions and interests change fast, but the earlier Edgerank formula did not take this into account.
Day 1: Your aunt’s cousin’s daughter Amy has just had a baby. You go to her page to congratulate her and ‘like’ or comment on a number of photos and updates about the new baby. Day 27: Amy’s posts are still regularly showing up in your feed since Edgerank calculated that you interacted heavily with her a few days ago. However, you hardly know Amy and are not interested in her updates.
The Solution: Now Facebook takes into account the last 50 people that you have interacted with and gives them more importance in your feed.
Day 27: You have been engaging more with people and pages who you are interested in over the past few weeks, so Amy’s posts have stopped appearing in your feed. But your feed has now started showing new posts from the Etsy shop who’s product you liked this morning.
What this means for businesses: As long as you keep posting engaging content and your fans keep interacting with you, your posts will show up more often.
Facebook has also announced that it will be introducing a new way to show live events in the newsfeed. This is currently still under development but will have exciting repercussions for breaking news and sports events. This will probably not be very relevant for most small businesses.
We have always stressed the importance of engaging content. Facebook’s new changes make this even more crucial.
With Story Bumping and Last Actor in play, content that is getting a lot of interaction and engagement has a much higher chance of showing up in your fans’ newsfeeds. Click here to see 8 ways to make your Facebook business posts more engaging.