Facebook Page and Edge Rank

Medical symbol - snake with glass on white backgroundHaving too many fans can actually hurt your Facebook page’s ranking. I know, sounds crazy right? If you’ve head me speak on social media you’ve heard me say that social media is not about numbers but about quality. This is particularly true on Facebook. Why? Because Facebook has a ranking system called “EdgeRank”. To put it simply Facebook looks at how many friends you have for your Facebook page, how many times your friends have interacted with your posts (share, liked, commented), The algorithm runs and checks to see if there is an affinity between you and each fan.

Facebook is looking to see if you have common interests and the quality of those interests, and it does this with an algorithm. For example has this fan responded on your page before? Have you commented on something they posted? Have you exchanged posts only once or twice in two years? Are the topics you talk about on your page showing up in the fan’s daily activities? Are friends of the fan interacting with it?

Flatly stated, if nobody shares, comments or likes your posts, Facebook isn’t going to put it in their news feeds because you’re not interesting to them. Or at least they haven’t demonstrated any interest.

What does that have to do with numbers?

Facebook also looks to see how many fans you have and how many are interacting to come up with a ratio of interaction. The higher the ration there better your ranking and the more likely you will show up in people’s news feeds. Low ranking? You could be the proverbial tree falling in the forest. Nobody will hear you.

So, for the sake of discussion let’s say you have two Facebook pages.

Page one talks about reptile raising

Posts are about housing, feeding and caring for snakes, lizards etc. This page has 1,000 fans and 500 “interactions” per day.

Page two is about Wine

Posts are about enjoying fine wines, comparing regions, tasting wines and visiting wineries. This page has 10,000 fans and 500 “interactions” per day.

Which page would you say is the most popular?

If you guessed the wine page wrongo, back to square one you go! Those lizards are getting a 50% interaction rate while the wine page is at a lousy 5%! If you fan both pages and so do your friends you will likely see a lot more posts about snakes than Cabernet in your news feed. In fact, without a real effort to go view the wine page often it may seem like it’s disappeared altogether.

What to do?

Quit focusing on getting more fans and start getting deeper engagement so your posts start showing up in people’s news feeds. THEn, and only then will you grow a valuable fan base on Facebook.

Encourage interaction

Whatever your page is about, find ways to encourage people to comment and share your posts and their own posts on your page. Be polarizing. Start lively discussions.

Post pictures, videos and jokes

I know, I know, but people love this stuff. Make sure there’s real content there too, but the occasional cat doing the macarena is going to get your page shared. Live with it or come up with something equally intriguing. Maybe an infographic?

Be timely

If we already read it on everybody else’s page what do we need you for? Keep it fresh and be the go-to person for the latest in your field. Toss in a dose of politics or breaking local and world news to get things shared.

Good content

Bottom line figure out what your page is about and make sure you stay on track with that. Use the hints above but add your own flavor so it suits the goals of the page.

Feature users

Face it, we all love a good stroke now and then. Find out what interests your fans and talk back to them. Show off their blogs and products, help them grow their pages and they’ll help you grow yours.

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