The Facebook math you should learn to improve your business fan page’s bottom line

You update your status on Facebook. You share your events. You post photos into galleries. And, you add video. All on your business fan page.

Your Facebook fans then all see all of your great content. Right?

Little chance.

Here’s a fact of Facebook life that all businesses need to know – and live by – to make your fan page work for you. Today’s tip comes with a huge assist from Jay Feitlinger, owner of StringCan Interactive, an online marketing and social media agency in Phoenix, Ariz. Jay attended a Facebook developer conference earlier this year and paid close attention to Facebook’s explanation of the formula used to determine what content shows up in your news feed.

Facebook's Edge Rank Formula for determining where updates appear in top news feeds

Facebook uses its Edge Rank formula to determine where page updates appear in top news feeds, Jay Feitlinger writes in Website Magazine this month.

Jay shares his take-away notes from the conference this month in Website Magazine, including the math that makes Facebook work. The bottom line for businesses: “If you post content on your page that does not follow the … formula you are wasting your time, as updates will not be seen by your fans,” Jay writes.

So here’s today’s Facebook lesson, and the math behind it, courtesy of Jay.

The more you “like” or comment on updates on a Facebook page, the more likely that the updates on that page will appear in your top news feed. Facebook makes this happen by assigning a numerical value to how and what you do. With a formula called Edge Rank, Facebook tracks how often you interact with a page (called affinity score), how many comments or “likes” are added by users to a particular post (called weight), and how recently an update was posted (called time decay).

So directly engaging your fans is key. In your posts, ask them questions. Ask fans to respond. Ask them to comment or share their experiences. And, businesses, you should respond to their comments on your fan page. You should “like” their comments. You definitely want to monitor your fan page and respond quickly to what your fans post on your fan page.

Why? As you can see from Jay’s explanation and from the Facebook Edge Rank formula, Facebook rewards businesses by putting their fan page updates up high in their fans’ news feeds – where fans are more likely to see what the business is posting.

You’ve gotta play by the rules to win. It helps to know Facebook’s rules. Thanks to Jay, now you do.

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One Response to The Facebook math you should learn to improve your business fan page’s bottom line

  1. Chris, thanks for sharing. I just wrote up a complimentary document on 3 ways to increase Facebook engagement and posted that on our new Facebook custom tab called Cut The Noise. I thought you, and your readers, might be interested in checking that out. I believe that simply asking someone to “like” a Facebook page without offering some kind of value is not effective; therefore, we built a custom Facebook tab around that new article for our all new Facebook fans. Give it a read and let me know your thoughts.

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