How often someone interacts with the posts from your Facebook Business Page determines how many of your future posts they will see.
There is a secret score assigned to each of your posts on Facebook. this score is called “Edgerank” and I will talk about how you can improve your Edgerank in this article, along with explaining how Facebook Affinity works.
In this video from Facebook, you can see that they are talking about how they use “Ranking” and signals to create that ranking – this is Edgerank.
We want our content to get seen – without getting people’s attention, nothing else you do matters because no one will see it.
Remember: The higher the Edgerank, the more people will see your posts!
Facebook Ad Hack: Facebook has announced recently that your Facebook Ad costs can be affected by your organic engagement. That means if you have higher Edgerank on your posts, it can lower the cost of reaching people with paid Facebook advertising. The amount of engagement you have on your posts is a part of what Facebook calls your Advertiser Score.
What is Affinity and What do we Mean by Facebook Affinity?
updated June 2018
All three definitions have significance here:
- “A Natural Liking” is important because you lose Edgerank in your posts for asking for people to like your posts. “Like-gating” is also on the way out.
- “Suggesting a Relationship” is just that. When people interact with posts from your page(s), they are suggesting that there is a relationship there. That implied relationship is what Facebook uses to identify people’s affinity your page and the posts they have been shown.
- “Relationship, Especially By Marriage.” They are not related to the page or you directly but they still like, share and comment on your content. This means they are not coaxed or obligated to like your posts. They like them, for reals. 😉
So, What Exactly do we Mean by Facebook Affinity?
“One of the factors the Facebook News Feed algorithm considers is affinity–that is, how much of a connection you have with each fan. If you can get them liking, commenting on, and sharing more content, you demonstrate a greater affinity and they will see more of your future content.”
(source: BufferApp, November 2014)
The difference with Affinity is that Facebook tracks how a specific person engages with your content. It is a one-to-one connection between a specific person and your business page.
Facebook Affinity is about how often that individual interacts with your brand on Facebook and the types of posts they interact with. This could be with likes or other emotion selections, shares, comments, video views, clicks, and even things like “dwell time” which is how long someone looks at a post that they otherwise did not interact with.
“When I like your page, I only get to see a sample od the posts you make.
If I am engaging with the posts from your brand, Facebook will show me more of them.
Facebook’s algorithm will learn which brands I am engaging with and which types of posts I like from those pages. Facebook assigns a higher “Edgerank” to those posts. Posts that have a higher Edgerank are more likely to appear in my Facebook feed.
In other words, Facebook is tracking which pages I interact with and which posts I engage with from that brand.”
– Matt Rouse of Hook SEO
Facebook Advertisers (level: advanced)
If you are not an advertiser, or you were not using the audience insights tool for advertising research before April 2017, you can probably just stick to the next sub-heading…
Affinity used to be available in the Audience Insights tool. It was removed on April 17th, 2017.
Here’s the official line of Facebook Ad Support:
“On April 17th, we stopped supporting affinity calculations. As these were one input into Page Like relevance, the order of Page Like relevance for your audience may have shifted.”
Basically, they are saying is that they have included the affinity score in the relevance score. They may or may not have, but the audience insights tool hasn’t really been the same since.
That said, the targeting people created from it, wasn’t really that great anyway.
My suggestion is to use your insights (and add in some Google searches for more data) and then use your Facebook Ad audience narrowing to get a more specific target audience.
If you open Audience Insights and add your Facebook Page and then click on Page Likes, you will get a list of pages your audience likes. Then you can target people with one or more of these likes to find more similar people who may want what you have to offer.
We Know What Facebook Affinity is… How do We Use it?
This is where post content becomes very important. At the heart of your marketing strategy on all social media, you have to ask yourself two questions:
- Is this post entertaining to my readers?
- Is this post informative to my readers?
If it does not fall into one of those two categories, it is unlikely to attract any “affinity” from users. Most people interact with posts for one of these two reasons.
Engagement truly is the currency of Facebook. As Jay Baer, author of Youtility, said, “People are on the internet for one of two reasons … Either to solve a problem or to be entertained.” Is your brand content serving one of those two purposes? Every single post you put out should entertain or solve a problem, if you expect users to engage. Multimedia content is more engaging by nature; make the most of your content by keeping it purposeful and engaging.
(source: Inc., October 2014)
Still True in 2018
Lots of things have changed on Facebook, but the one that will never change is that attention is the driver of all things good or bad on the platform.
Facebook will start showing your post to a few percent of your total fans. If those people engage with the post, it’s Edgerank will increase, and it will be shown to more of your fans.
If those fans engage with it, the cycle will continue.
If there are comments and you are “liking” those comments and answering back, having conversations, or your users are sharing your post, it will gain even more Edgerank, and it will be shown to more of your page fans.
This will continue as long as the post is still timely, or in the world of Facebook, roughly less than 48 hours old.
Someone needs to see your post before they can actually interact with it. So if you only post “sell, sell, sell!” then in a matter of weeks, you will drive your Facebook Page engagement (and Edgerank) down to nearly 0, because no one will interact with your posts.
When no one engages with your posts, there is no affinity, and no Edgerank – then Facebook will not show that post to fewer and fewer people, who intern will ignore it, until your post reach is nearly 0%.
What To Do
Keep your content entertaining and/or informative, don’t link-bait, avoid being too promotional, and share unique content.
You will start to build affinity with your users who will ultimately become your customers.
Use video and Facebook Live to engage with your audience. Ask for recommendations. Have conversations instead of just talking at people.
Facebook Affinity is about connecting with your potential customers on a personal level.
More Marketing Help!
Content Creation: Matt’s Awesome Blogging Tips
Social Media Marketing with Facebook to Grow Your Business