REALLY Getting Your Facebook Page Seen in News Feeds

by Allen Voivod

Let’s just cut to the chase:

What’s the point of being on Facebook if you can’t be seen?

Really Get Seen in Facebook News Feeds

For businesses and organizations with Facebook Pages, the stats say that most Likers rarely come to your Page – if they see your stuff, they’re seeing it in the News Feed (what you see at Facebook.com when you’re logged into your account). So, the question becomes, how do you get seen in the News Feed?

Here’s a quick video primer I did on EdgeRank, the algorithm that determines what Facebook puts in your News Feed, so you can understand what’s going on behind the curtain at Facebook. (Really quick – under 2 minutes.)

Gaming Facebook’s EdgeRank System

But inquiring minds want to know…how do you get MORE people to see your Facebook Page in their News Feeds?

Posts on Facebook are starting to pop up that direct people to hover over a Page’s “Like” button to see a check mark field for “Show in News Feed” (see handy-dandy screen shot), as a solution for guaranteeing that your Page gets seen in News Feeds.

Show Your Facebook Page posts in News Feed

Here’s the problem. When a person clicks a “Like” button or link for a page, the “Show in News Feed” option is automatically checked by default. So most people rolling over are already going to find that box checked, and it’s going to have zero effect on increasing the visibility of a Page’s posts in that Liker’s News Feed. So even though you may have “Show in News Feed” checked for all the Pages you like, most of those Page’s posts won’t be seen in the News Feed because of EdgeRank.

And for those who find it unchecked and do check it, it’s just going to lump that Page’s posts into the News Feed with every other person and Page to which they’re connected – which is controlled by EdgeRank.

If you have a concern that your posts are not being seen in people’s News Feeds, this is what you really need to know to optimize your chances of getting your Page, business, or organization seen on Facebook:

1. Negative feedback. It’s not as bad as it sounds. “Negative Feedback” is Facebook’s term for letting you know that people have hidden one of your posts or your Page itself from their News Feed. To see whether this is happening to you, look at your “Negative Feedback” info in Facebook Insights. You have to click the “Engaged Users” number for each of your posts on the “Overview” screen to see it, or download an Excel export of your data. Is this happening to you? And…

Engaged Users on Facebook2. Is it “really” negative?

If you see a lot of those negative feedback actions, look at the dates to see what you published and whether there’s something about it that could have rubbed your audience the wrong way. Or, you may have to consider the possibility that a post you made was so awesomely popular, it kept being shown in people’s News Feeds so often that some got sick of seeing it and chose to hide it.

3. No guarantees. Unfortunately, there’s no way for Pages to guarantee that they can be seen in people’s News Feeds. Pages don’t have the same “All Updates” option that personal Profiles get, and even that is a function of activity on Facebook – the more profiles and Pages to which you’re connected, and the more activity they generate, the less likely an individual post will be seen. To say nothing of EdgeRank, mentioned above.

4. Interest lists. The only other option is to consider recommending that your Likers use the Interest Lists feature and add you in there…but even then, that assumes a user will go to the Interest List regularly to see your updates there, and doesn’t flood the Interest List with so many other Pages that you’re back to Square #1.

5. Promoting posts. There’s a new “Promote Post” thing to give Pages more of a chance that their activity is served into News Feeds. (Here’s a PDF guide from Facebook about it.) It’s as close to a visibility guarantee as you’re going to get for the News Feed. But it’s not a guarantee that it will do any good for your business. For that, you have to go to the simple truth – share engaging content that Facebook looks at and says, “Wow, that’s getting a bunch of Likes, Comments, and Shares, so we’re going to show it in even more News Feeds” (algorithmically speaking).

REALLY Getting “Seen”

It’s not just about visibility – it’s about visibility that inspires action. On Facebook, visibility without action means even less visibility over time. Visibility WITH action (Likes, Comments, Shares) means more visibility over time. That’s EdgeRank News Feed Optimization in a nutshell.

It honestly goes back to marketing basics. What does your audience like to do and see on Facebook? When are they most likely on there? What’s gotten them to take action in the past? What things outside your business resonate with them that you can leverage for your own purposes? Having the answers to those questions gets you more than halfway to gold.

The more deeply you’re able to understand your audience, and the more you do the things that will connect deeply with them, the more you’ll be “seen” on Facebook.

Really.

P.S. This post was inspired by an exchange on Facebook. We do our best to answer questions posted on our Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page, so if you have any questions, give us a “Like” and post them there. And of course, if you have any thoughts, comments, or shares of what’s worked for you, please add them in the comments below!

  • Glynis

    This was spectacular Allen!! Thank you so very much for educating all of us on the workings (behind the scenes) of Facebook!!

    We are very grateful for the time you spent on this article for US!!!
    ~Glynis
    SweetShot Photography

  • Michelle

    Great article Allen! I noticed the “promote” button the other day and was kind of pissed to learn that I need to pay FB to reach more of my likers. It just seems like another way for FB to make more money. It’s also convenient that it happened AFTER they went public. What else is FB going to start charging us for?  –Michelle @ Just Be

  • http://twitter.com/AllenVoivod Allen Voivod *A-Ha!*

    Thanks for commenting, Michelle! You’re right, the timing sure is interesting, and they need to show Wall Street they can make more money in more ways…but I kind of like the option to promote posts that way. At least it seemed like a natural visibility extension.

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