Facebook uses secret algorithms to determine what posts appear in each person’s News feed. A recent study by The Daily Beast claims to have figured out some aspects of these formulas. While the study tested profiles, similar rules may apply to fan pages.
Among the study’s findings:
- A bias against newcomers
- Links are favored over status updates, and photos and videos trump links.
- Raise your visibility by getting people to comment.
- It’s hard to get the attention of “popular kids.”
“Bias against newcomers” means that fans may not see your posts, no matter how scintillating they are. Getting highly-connected people to “like” or comment on your posts can help make for a good start.
Post highly engaging videos and photo galleries when you have them. Re-use videos and photo shoots from elsewhere in the school, since original media take a long time to produce. Links take much less effort to post and help more than plain status updates. You can link to pages on your main website, articles in the press, and pages from students and alumni. This can add variety to your Facebook page, making it a source of interesting content for your fans.
How can you get people to comment on your posts? Publishing exciting and colorful news helps, but you can also write posts that ask a question or invite feedback.
How may you attract the “popular kids?” Link to your Facebook page through other communication vehicles that they also receive, such as email lists, postcard mailings, and your main website. Figure out where your most active Facebook users exist (alumni board? students?) and ask for the support of those you know best.
Photo credit: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)