If you post an update on your Facebook Page and not a single person likes, shares or comments, did it actually happen? It’s a known fact that updates that get more likes and other interactions (aka “engagement”) get seen by more people. Why? Because that’s how Facebook designed it.
There is some serious geek magic at play here, and the magic is called “EdgeRank”. Perhaps you have read our free guide on SEO, and heard the term “PageRank” before? PageRank is a “link analysis algorithm” designed by the clever-clogs at Google with the aim to figure out which pages on the web are the most relevant for certain search queries.
EdgeRank is a similar algorithm, but instead of looking at links between pages it looks at:
- Popularity – how many clicks, links, and other actions your status update gets.
- Relevance – how popular has previous posts of yours has been.
- Recency – when was the update posted, how old is it.
Based on this Facebook then decides if your update should be shown in the news feeds of people in your network, or not. This may be a bit of a simplification, but on the whole, that’s how Facebook determines which updates are most interesting to show to people in order to drive their addiction to their news feed.
So, if you have a sneaky feeling that your updates don’t get seen by people, maybe you are right! Your EdgeRank may be too low, which begs the question how to improve it?
Based on the bullets above it follows that you need to make your updates:
- More popular: get more clicks and likes!
- More relevant: make every update count, the more posts with high engagement you have had before, the easier to get your future posts to spread far and wide!
- More recent: try to stick to a schedule of posting at least an update per day.
That’s fine and dandy, but what then constitutes a Facebook update with a good chance to score high in the constant popularity contest? The top tip is to make sure your posts have a visual component to them. Photos, photo galleries, videos or even ASCII art (where you make a graphic out of text characters) are more likely to get attention than a simple paragraph of text.
(And here’s a pro tip: did you know that if you post a Facebook update with a photo attached, you can actually edit the text later, if you need to? Try doing that on a basic text update – you can’t! For text updates you have to delete your update and post a new one…)
For your inspiration I collected a few examples of Facebook updates from well known restaurant brands where it is clear from the simple stats below each update that people enjoyed them. Clearly, these updates scored a high EdgeRank.
Remember though, EdgeRank is just some non-human math trying to be clever in an automated fashion. Great content is what it’s about. Forget about the math, and Facebook’s attempts to “drive more engagement”, and try to know your customers well enough to create content that they find worthy of their attention, and see your likes rack up.
(Thanks to Hicham Souilmi for posting the photo of the Facebook lecture under Creative Commons!)
1. Share a recipe with a great photo of a popular dish
This example is from Ottolenghi, one of my favourite restaurants in Islington. Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes are creative, exciting, unexpected and delicious. For an added conversion Kung Fu whammy, make it a link that goes to a blog on your website, where you have a higher chance to convert them to a reservation or an email newsletter sign up.
2. Let your food, glorious food, do the talking
When it comes to food, an image does indeed say more than a thousand words. Unless you happen to be Proust, writing on madeleines.
Honest Burgers regularly come up with new and amazing burger creations, and post them on their Page. I bet they are guilty of many a keyboard being slobbered all over.
3. Make use of current events, or the weather, and post appropriately
Heatwave? Frosty pints of beer. Chill? Steaming bowls of pho. Cricket win? Umm… I don’t know what goes with cricket, but if your customers are into cricket I am sure there is something that they would love. Pork Pies? I’ll leave that as an exercise for you to do.
Here an example from Dos Caminos in New York, riding on a recent heat wave to tease people with temptations of cold drinks.
4. Ask questions, but make them mouth watering
Asking questions is another of those classic Facebook update recommendations. Base the questions around your restaurant and your food, like Beefeater did here, and accompany them with a great photo. In this way you perhaps also will pick up an insight or two about what people love about your food.
5. Use the random, quirky approach
Can’t think of something? Then try something random. Post a funny photo with some sort of tie in to your style and tone of voice. Use one of the many meme generators to stand on the shoulders of internet giants. Beware though, get the meme wrong and risk ridicule!
This final example is from another favourite restaurant of mine, Hawksmoor, and perhaps one of the most random funny updates I have seen recently. I’ll just let the photo set about Lightning McQueen speak for itself.
I hope you found this useful! Now go and boost your EdgeRank!
To find out how we can work on your hospitality business’ social media, email firstname.lastname@example.org