Why don’t my Facebook fans see my posts?

Many of us think that every time we post something on Facebook, this content is seen by all our friends.

This is not true.

In fact, only a small percentage of our friends actually get to see our posts in their newsfeed (their Facebook wall). This is because of something called Edgerank.

Edgerank affects both personal profiles and business pages on Facebook.

 

So, what exactly is Edgerank?

Edgerank is a Facebook formula that decides which stories appear in your newsfeed. It is based on 3 variables:

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1. Affinity Score (most important)

Simply put, this refers to how close the person posting the story is to you. Number of common friends and amount of interaction are important factors here.

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  • EXAMPLE 1: You see your sister’s updates regularly in your newsfeed, but rarely see posts by this guy you met at a car rally back in 2002. This is because you probably share a number of common friends with your sister and regularly engage with (‘like’, comment on, share) her posts, whereas you may not have had much online interaction with the car rally fan.
  • EXAMPLE 2: For a business page, this will be affected by how much a fan interacts or engages with your content. So a fan who regularly ‘likes’, shares or comments on your posts is more likely to see content posted by you in her news stream (wall).

 

2. Edge Weight

Videos, photos and links have higher weight than plain text. Plus Edgerank takes into account which media a user tends to prefer.

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  • EXAMPLE 1: If you post a photo, it is more likely to show in the feed of your fans, than if you post a text status update.
  • EXAMPLE 2: If a user tends to ‘like’ videos more often than he ‘likes’ links, Facebook will start showing him more videos.

 

3. Time Decay

The more recent a story, the higher it’s Edgerank ‘points’.

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  • EXAMPLE: Say you post 2 comments – one at 9:00 a.m. and another at 4:00 p.m. The one you posted at 4:00 is more likely to be seen by a fan who logs in at 4:30, than the one you posted at 9:00 a.m.

 

Why does this matter?

Why have you been working so hard to collect all those ‘likes’ on your business page?

To maximize your reach and spread your message to your fans (everyone who has ‘liked’ your Facebook page)!

In late 2012, however, Facebook made some changes to its Edgerank which caused the average reach of a post to fall from 26% to 19.5%. i.e. a number of fans who saw your posts in their newsfeed earlier, don’t get to see them now. (Some sources have estimated the new reach to be even lower).

This is why it even more important today for businesses to understand their customers and adapt their Facebook page content accordingly.

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A number of businesses feel shortchanged by the Edgerank changes. But has Facebook really treated businesses unfairly? See both sides of the Edgerank argument.

 

Conclusion:

The takeaway here for businesses is:

1. Try to create and post content which encourages interaction. See what to post on your business page to improve customer engagement. This is the most important step you can take to improve your Edgerank.

2. Post videos or photos whenever you can instead of plain text updates.

3. Try to figure out when your fans are online and post accordingly. For instance if you cater to young mothers. you can try to coincide your posts with the baby’s afternoon nap time.

We’d love to hear how you’ve changed your strategy based on Edgerank.

 

UPDATES:

Jan 2014: Facebook to now show even fewer text-only posts for business pages.

Aug 2013: Time decay is now less important, engagement trumps all.

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