One of the main aims of companies using Facebook for business is generating awareness, as Jay Baer pointed out in his Facebook Success Summit session on Tuesday afternoon. The top way to do this, Baer says, is to win the News Feed. It seems simple: If you get someone to “like” your company’s Facebook page, then they receive the content you send out, right?

Not exactly, Baer said.

Your news feed is divided into two sections, “Top News” and “Most Recent News,” and people are automatically directed to their “Top News” feed when they log in. Facebook has even acknowledged that 95% of users only read their “Top News” version of the feed. Thus, to stay on your customer’s radar, your content must fall into the “Top News” category.

As Baer explained in his presentation, “Top News” is determined by the Edge Rank, an algorithm that reflects three components:

  • Affinity Score: The amount you have historically engaged with content by a person/page increases your affinity to the content creator.
  • Timing: The more recent the post, the higher it ranks.
  • Weight: As posts are commented on, liked and shared by other Facebook users and their networks, their overall weight increases.

So, what should you do to continue to appear in the “Top News” section of the News Feed?

  • Post content frequently. This increases your chances via the timing angle.
  • Consider your post timing. Only 35% of Facebook users log in during the workday, research shows. That means “off hours” might work best for posting your content.
  • Use calls to action in your posts. Encourage your fans to like, comment, or share your content to increase the weight.

How often are you posting content on Facebook? Did you understand direct the connection between frequency, weight, affinity and becoming “Top News”?

To learn more key tips and actionable steps for Facebook marketing from social-media leaders Brian Solis, Jay Baer, Mari Smith, and major brands such as Cisco, Xbox, SAP, and the Washington Redskins, sign up for the monthlong online Facebook Success Summit today! (SmartBrief is a partner in this event.)

Image Credit, Ideabug, via iStockphoto

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52 Responses to “How to make your Facebook content "Top News"”

  1. robbirgfeld says:

    Great post Emily…some really actionable tips.

    As it relates to the "timing" tip, does anyone know if you can time/schedule Facebook posts? I know you can with Hootsuite or some other 3rd party apps, but can you do it directly within Facebook?

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by SmartBrief on SocMed, Shaun Dakin, RatePoint, Kathy Meyer, Rob Birgfeld and others. Rob Birgfeld said: Really good tips here – How to make your Facebook content "Top News" http://t.co/qxGZHxS via @sbosm [...]

  3. [...] I utilize Facebook pages to connect with people about my books and writing, so I am always interested in finding out more about what makes a Facebook page become successful.  I ran across this very interesting article by Emily Molitor with Smartblogs.com . . . Here is an excerpt from that article.  To read the full article click here. [...]

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by SmartBrief and Thomas Mancusi, Emily Molitor. Emily Molitor said: How to make your Facebook content “Top News”, grt advice from @JayBaer's #FBSS10 presentation, via @SBoSM: http://ow.ly/2TqjP [...]

  5. Megan says:

    Where did you find that"95% of users only read their “Top News” version of the feed"? Unless it is taken out of context, I can't imagine how that can be remotely accurate.

  6. Jay Baer says:

    Thanks Emily. I’m glad you found value in the session. Amazing how little this stuff is talked about, considering how crucial it is to Facebook success

    • EmilyMolitor says:

      Thank you Jay! It was a great session, I learned a tremendous amount and I plan to use many of your suggestions as I work on the SmartBrief Fan Page. Also, the edge rank metric is fascinating! How did you find out about that?

  7. LizPDX says:

    I never use Top News setting – it's not timely and could be something I have already seen – I always click on recent activity as soon as I get to my FB homepage

  8. Jlaw says:

    This is a great article! I've recommended this article to my readers. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
    My recent post Only 5 of Facebook Users May Be Seeing Your Posts

  9. [...] learn how you  can  change your statistics, read Emily’s Molitor’s article, How to make your Facebook content “Top News” Did you like this? Share [...]

  10. asmaamethqal says:

    Very interesting. Thank you Emily for sharing Jay knowledge with us. I didn't even realize there was a "top news" and "most recent" in my news feed! Guess I set it up automatically to Top News since there are much less of them.. I can't keep up with everything!

    I am surprised by the comment to post during "off hours'". I think it really depends where your audience is. I found noon be the best time for me to reach people in the pacific and eastern time at the same time! Then again, we should keep our audience in mind first.

    • EmilyMolitor says:

      Thanks for your comment. I think that the idea of communicating at off hours is totally dependent, as you mention, to where your audience is located. I have to say, however, that I have started posting at "off" hours for me (after work, weekends) and I have seen great engagement. It could be worth a test run for you! Good luck.

  11. What it's not telling you is that if you're running Facebook Ads after two weeks you get access to the "Responder Profile" which tells you all of the common interests between the people who are clicking on your ad.

    Knowing what the people like gives you a much better idea on how to create content that people will want to comment on, like, and share with their friends, keeping you at the top of their news feeds.

    • EmilyMolitor says:

      Hi Tommy,

      That is definitely a good extra bit of advice for those who are also doing Facebook ads. Applying that information to your unpaid fan page management could be very effective. Is this something you are doing on your page? How is it working out?

  12. [...] bruker Facebook for sin virksomheten er å generere bevissthet og oppmerksomhet. Dette påpekt av Jay Baer. Den beste måten å gjøre dette på er å vinne “Nyhetsoppdateringen”. Det virker [...]

  13. Dylan Ko says:

    Wow~!! This is a great tip !! I operate blog http://youthink.me which shares all kinds of tips and thoughts for workers. I really want to translate (not directly but with proper comment) this post in Korean. Is it OK?

    Have a nice day ~
    My recent post ?? ?? – ?? ???? ??? ?? ???? ??? ?? – ????? ????

  14. [...] How to make your Facebook content “Top News” | SmartBlog on Social Media (tags: facebook social media socialmedia) [...]

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  16. [...] How to make your Facebook content “Top News” [...]

  17. Manendra says:

    This is really cool past and thank Q for suggesting a good time to post the content.
    My recent post Why should i update Google profile

  18. Tommy Walker says:

    At the moment, no. Not with my personal brand. But I have done it with my clients and have seen it work time and time again. I’ve written more on the subject, and you can find the core of my thoughts here: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2010/10/14/how

  19. [...] Thus, the real secret to Facebook success isn’t in custom tabs and apps and replicating your entire website on Facebook’s rented land like some sort of digital sharecropper. Instead, the secret is to grow that .5% News Feed visibility rate by ensuring that your status updates generate “likes” and comments. How your fans interact with your status updates, and their historical propensity to do so, is what determines whether your missives are seen in “Top News,” or relegated to the scrap heap of “Most Recent,” left to fight it out with inane and dubious Farmville and Mafia Wars updates for scraps of attention. For more on the News Feed algorithm – called EdgeRank, see posts here and here. [...]

  20. [...] actually very straight forward. Videos and photos trump everything in terms of what you put in your status update (you can simply [...]

  21. This is a really great post. I've been trying to get my fanpage as popular as my personal page. I post similar links but I get way more interaction from my personal page.
    Thanks for the info

  22. dutch84 says:

    This is awesome. I never knew that!
    My recent post Nitpicking as a form of Passive Aggression

  23. Dino says:

    I've been curious about this because Fan pages don't always get as much love as personal profiles. Great read.

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  27. Layla says:

    Hii.. why pages who purchase facebook advertising service to their page does not have the chance to be on top news, it just feels unfair to put money on nothing, especially if you are a small growing buisness and you can't get the ammount of likes and comments to be top news?
    any comment please

  28. joomlads07 says:

    I have been using facebook and its fan page for more than one year. What I got from it is just 10 to 15 clicks. So I dropped the idea. But now I think I should start using facebook. Thanks motivating me.

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  30. Daniel Lum says:

    Any company trying to build a presence on Facebook should read this. As Facebook users face a tremendous amount of data on their news stream each day, it is important to get on the Top News stream to ensure that users don’t miss the post. Thanks for the great read!

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  34. Banners says:

    Thanks for sharing! I'm looking forward in viewing more about facebook. I'm huge into social media, although my favorite is print.

  35. asepw says:

    thnaks for article How to make your Facebook content "Top News"

  36. Facebook. Hey this is great, as I’ve been following it this afternoon. Great article

  37. Really great idea about facebook. I will try it surely.

  38. Sushi baar says:

    Facebook is taking too much time everywere. Sorry

  39. Geodeesia says:

    I try not to post on Facebook page too often. it is annoyng to the fanns. Maybe only once or twice in a month.