FacebookNews Feed Optimization (NFO) is like SEO, but specific to Facebook.

News Feed is the carefully selected and optimized content that shows on your Home page. NFO is the process of improving the visibility of your Facebook content.

Why is News Feed Optimization (NFO) Important?

NFO is important because 99% of Face book users will see your content on News Feed and not on your wall!

In fact after a person ‘likes’ your page or ‘friends’ you for the first time, they’ll probably never return to your wall again. The only way to make sure they see your updates is to ensure that your content is visible on their News Feed. And that is no easy task!

Not all your updates appear on your fans/friends’ News Feed. Face book is very selective about the content that shows up on anyone’s News Feed. They decide what they want to show you.

It is not clear what criteria they use to do this, but suffice it to say that Face book uses an undisclosed, complicated method to pick and choose the content that shows on your Feed.

Generally though, the more engaging your updates are – measured by the number of ‘likes’, comments and shares – the more likely they are to appear on other people’s News Feed.

News Feed has two components – ‘Top News’ and ‘Most Recent’ Feeds.

‘Top News’ is where you (and everybody else) want to be. It indicates how influential you are within your circle. ‘Most Recent’ Feed carries less clout.

It shows most updates displayed in reverse chronological order. However, this Feed is also censored! You might think that it includes everyone’s updates based on the time they posted. That is not exactly how it works.

For example Face book can (and sometimes does) ignore some posts altogether – posts coming from brand new users are one example. New users obviously have very few friends and fans and therefore their content is not in high demand. Face book can afford to ignore it!

So if you’re a brand new user on Face book, it is likely that your content will not appear on Most Recent Feed let alone Top News! However as your audience grows, then your content will start to show on the News Feed. Persistence is the key!

So how do I make sure that my updates show on News Feed (and specifically Top News)?

There are several things you can do to increase your chances of making Top News:

  • On Facebook, the most important thing is to expand the size of your audience. Facebook assumes that if you have a large following, then your content is in demand. Demand then pushes the supply of your content!
  • Make lots of friends on Facebook and suggest your page to them. Also, ask them to suggest your page to their friends as well. Again, Face book gives preference to people with a bigger circle of friends and/or fans.
  • Be sure to post highly engaging content. Examples of rich content are: Polls, Questions, ‘How-To’ tips and resources, free give-aways, links, pictures, videos, book or movie reviews, sharing your appreciation of other users, providing special features every now and then, and occasionally surprising your audience with new, interesting and off-topic content.
  • Get more of your friends and followers to interact with your content. Ask them to like, comment and share your content. You’ll be surprised how willing people are to help you grow your audience. Besides, social interaction is the premise of Face book so it is totally appropriate to ask! The more interactions others have with your content, the more likely that it will show on Top News.
  • Make sure that you’re always the first to ‘like’ your own content. This encourages others to do the same, and it is also an interaction – (even though you’re interacting with yourself)!
  • Try to update your posts regularly (at least a couple of times a day). While this is not a guarantee that those updates will show on News Feed, persistence does pay off especially with a good mix of content.

Once a few people start to notice your presence (measured by likes & comments) it won’t be long before others also start to notice you, and their interaction will gradually push your updates to the Top News.

  • Facebook prefers Videos and Photos to simple text updates. That’s because videos and photos are more interesting and usually receive more likes and comments than pure text. So be sure to diversify your updates by posting photos and video’s every now and then.

The key thing to remember is that NFO takes time. It takes time to obtain a large circle of friends or fans, and it takes time to build shareable content that people will interact with. So be persistent and try different things.

Finally, remember that NFO boils down to TWO things:

  • Expanding your audience
  • Posting rich, sharable content that people will WANT to like and comment about.

What tips have you used to optimize your Facebook content?