A couple days ago I came across this fantastic article which shares the results of some research into how Facebook fan pages actually work. Specifically, it’s a look into Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm, which is the system that determines what updates you see in your News feed on Facebook and which ones you don’t.
A simplistic definition of Edgerank is that it’s Facebook’s way of determining who your closest connections are amongst your friends and which of their status updates you will be most interested in. The ones that fit the bill, are the ones that appear in your News feed as opposed to your Recent feed which just features every update from everybody you follow in chronological order.
Why does this matter? Well, most people on Facebook use the default News feed (as opposed to the Recent feed) to see what their friends are up to. So, if your updates are not appearing in your fans or friends News feeds, then they’re probably not getting seen.
Anyway, the article I mentioned before is packed with interesting information, but I thought I’d break out five of the most surprising and relevant things it points out for comedians and share them with you here.
1. Only 5% (Or Less!) Of Your Facebook Fans Are Actually Seeing Your Posts
Have you ever wondered why you’ve got thousands of fans but it seems like hardly any of them ever have anything to say about your status updates? Well, that’s probably because they’re not seeing them because your updates are not appearing in their news feeds.
According to studies, typically less than 5% of a Facebook user’s fans or friends actually receive their status updates in their news feed. Obviously, this is bad news for most comedians, but the good news is that there are some things you can apparently do to increase that percentage. Speaking of which…
2. It Matters (A Lot) How Many People “Like” And Comment On Your Updates
We all feel good when somebody “likes” or comments on our status updates, but the value of those actions goes way beyond a little boosted self-esteem. That’s because Facebook’s algorithm is looking for interactions between your fans and you in order to determine how close your connection is to them and therefore to determine whether or not your updates should be included in their News feeds.
Every time a user “likes” or comments on one of your updates, it increases the chances that your next update will appear in their News feed and increases the chances that they’ll see it. It’s believed that comments are valued even more so than “likes,” but generating both on your updates can go a long way to getting your future updates seen.
3. You Get Penalized (Sort Of) For Posting Links That Go Off Facebook
This one’s a little devious of Facebook in my opinion, but apparently they would much rather have you sharing links to other pages on Facebook than they would to content that lives outside of Facebook. While this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ever post a link to your website or to something outside of Facebook’s walls, it does mean that you should consider occasionally sharing links to content on Facebook such as uploaded pictures, videos, or discussion board topics. They may not penalize you for linking off site, but they will definitely reward you for linking to things on Facebook.
4. You’re Probably Posting Too Much
Facebook understands that there’s limited space in most people’s News feeds, so their algorithm frowns on people who post too many updates. It appears that posting more than two updates a day is probably going to decrease the chances of each of your updates appearing in your fans News feeds.
However, you can also get downgraded for not posting enough, and experts recommend that you do post at least one quality status update each day to stay relevant. Again, there’s no exact science to this but the speculation is that 1-2 status updates a day (and even potentially posted at around the same time each day) will increase your chances of being seen in people’s News feeds.
5. Facebook Thinks The Fans Of Your Page Are More Important Than You Are
We tend to think of our fan pages as being designed for us to showcase our genius to the world, but Facebook doesn’t seem to see things that way. Instead, their algorithms are designed to reward pages that have a strong sense of community involvement – the more fans post things on your wall, comment on your updates, participate on your discussion board, and interact with the page in any way, the more likely they are to see your updates in their News feed.
This may encourage you to start thinking about how you use your page and your status updates in a different way – it may help to think of your page not as a way to promote your stuff, but rather as a place for your fans to communicate and interact with each other, with you as their leader creating opportunities for them to do just that.
To check out how I will be attempting to adapt some of these lessons on Facebook, go check out the Connected Comedy Facebook page…and please Like or comment on a post!
For more promotional help, check out my list of 100 Places To Promote Your Comedy Content!