How brands can increase Facebook reach – Facebook new EdgeRank algorithm

As you might have seen reported in Adweek, We are social, EdgeRank Checker or the Financial Times, Facebook has changed its EdgeRank algorithm to reduce the number of brand posts appearing in fans’ newsfeeds. It looks like since the end of August, the reach of the average post has dropped by about 50%:

Facebook reach has decreased by 50% due to the new EdgeRank algorithm

This is the result of Facebook rolling out their new ad format, promoted content. This ad format takes posts from brands and places them into the newsfeed, which means that the space into the newsfeed gets reduced for organic content. Rumours say the proportion is going to be 80% organic and 20% paid.

So, what can brands do in order to gain the reach they had previously? They can earn their media or pay for it, or both. “Facebook’s changes mean brands need to shift to creating social content that is ‘as engaging as the posts you see from friends and family’ and supplement this with a sophisticated paid promotion strategy,” writes Robin Grant, We Are Social Global Managing Director.

Better content? Indeed! But that’s not the only thing brands can do. Let’s take a closer look at how Facebook EdgeRank works.

The Facebook algorithm is formed by three edges: Affinity, Weight and Time. In order to have an optimal EdgeRank score and regain the lost reach, brands must take actions in the three variables affecting EdgeRank. Let’s see how.

  1. Affinity.

To improve affinity, there are two basic actions brands need to start doing:

a. Offer consumer value

One of the best brands at offering consumer value on Facebook is Red Bull.

While most of the brands use Facebook tabs for on-off activations, Red Bull provides an on-going offer of content that gives consumers enough reasons to come back to their Facebook page again and again: Discover what the best athletes in extreme sports are saying, engage with the game and apps, or look for a job in the company are some of the reasons that keep consumers going back to the Red Bull Facebook page, increasing the affinity between both.

b. Keep the conversation going

A recent report from Social Bakers proved that 70% of fans are being ignored by companies. This fact has a huge negative impact on the image that consumers have from your business. It also represents a huge missed opportunity to increase the affinity with your fans. Each time a fan engages with your business on Facebook, you have an opportunity to engage with them. The more we you keep the conversation alive, the bigger the affinity will be between the fans and your business, and more fans you will reach in your next post.

One industry performing very well on this area is the airlines industry and, in specific, KLM, who replies 94% of the comments posted by fans.

2. Weight

The more common mistake that many businesses do is related to this edge. Most of the business think that it’s important to constantly engage with fans and, as a result, they post twice or three times a day. Every time that you post a new piece of content, you’re killing the lifetime of the previous post. As a result, the first post doesn’t have enough time to gather interactions and it will never get its full potential weight, which will result in a lower reach than posting once a day.

Only companies huge fan base spread around the world have enough reasons to post more than once a day, to reach the different areas in different time zones.

Focus on posting, maximum, once a day. As a result, your post will gather more weight through interactions and will reach more people.

3. Time

As Einstein said, “the only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

The first thing we need to see is when our fans are more active. Based on this timing, we will determine what the best time to post is: morning, noon, evening…

But that’s not all. We need to make sure that the content we’re sharing (or the status of it) resonates with the mood of our audience at this time of the day. So for instance, an alcohol brand should be very carefully about posting in the morning, the same way that there’s not that much reason for Starbucks to be posting at night.

 

At a Summary, the things we need to do to get back the Facebook reach:

  1. Produce quality content
  2. Offer consumers a reason to visit your page and engage with your content
  3. Respond your fans and keep conversations with them in your page
  4. Use content that has weight (videos and pictures mainly)
  5. Keep the posts to a maximum of one a day
  6. Post at the right time with the right tone, to resonate with your audience mind-set.

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