Did you know when you post a message to your Facebook Page not everyone who “likes” the page will see it? It’s true.
Because so many personal and business messages are posted to Facebook every minute, Facebook came up with an algorithm to determine which messages will appear in a particular person’s Newsfeed at any given moment.
That means even if we both follow the same company’s Facebook page I may see their latest message in my Newsfeed while you don’t.
Facebook’s Algorithm for (Organic) Post Visibility
The algorithm that determines who sees a particular page’s updates is called Edgerank and it’s based on three basic tenants:
- Affinity: How often you engage with a person or brand on Facebook. For example, if you “like” the status updates of the AdEspresso page often, you are likely to see new AdEspresso updates in your Newsfeed. Conversely if you do not engage with our updates, you will likely not see our new messages in your Newfeed.
- Weight: All content is not weighted equally on Facebook. Videos, photos and links tend to be weighted more than text updates and thus show up more often and higher in Newsfeed.
- Recency: Old posts are replaced by new posts in Newsfeed no matter what type of content the old post contains.
Knowing the basic tenants of Edgerank will help you create posts that compete well against other posts for space in your audience’s Newsfeed. However, just because you post a video or image, which are both weighted heavily, you aren’t guaranteed prime Newsfeed real estate.
So, what can you do to ensure that your message is seen by as many people as possible on Facebook? Promote the post.
Promoting a Post to Ensure Visibility
Promoting a post is a way to turn one specific Facebook update into an ad. The post will appear in your audience’s Newsfeed as it would if it were naturally occurring, except you are paying for it to be there.
To promote a post, look for the little blue link under each post that says, “Promote” or “Boost”:
When you click Promote a little popup will appear with payment options. The more money you spend, the more people you can reach (just like any ad where you pay based on impressions).
The lifetime of a promoted post is three days, so the ad will continue showing up prominently in Newsfeeds for three days. At any given time during that period you can pause the promotion – you will only be billed for what was spent up to the time that you paused the campaign.
At the end of a campaign you can see your campaign stats in your Ads Manager or by clicking at the bottom of the promoted post where it says, “$0.00 Left” (meaning you have $0 budget left).
You can calculate how many more people you reached by promoting the post by taking your paid reach and subtracting it from your total number of people who saw the post.
In this example 4,779 people were reached through the promotion and a total of 6,024 people saw it. If the page had not sponsored the post only 1,245 would have seen it. That’s pretty powerful if you’re sharing a really important message.
Facebook suggests promoting a post when it’s already doing well organically thus amplifying a message that is already clearly resonating with your audience.
I agree with that and would suggest also promoting a post:
- When making a major announcement like the addition of new features to your software
- Linking to a webinar sign up page that you want to drive potential attendees to
- Sharing a new eBook or white paper that you want a lot of people to download
- Linking to a helpful blog post that you want to drive a lot of traffic to
Promoted posts are a great way to ensure maximum visibility for your most important Facebook page updates.
Have you experimented with promoted posts? What do you think? Leave a comment below!