Facebook comments beat likes with EdgerankHave you seen the post around Facebook detailing how a woman stopped ‘liking’ posts and it changed her Newsfeed? I’ve recently read it and I wondered how it worked.

I have done a little research (and I do mean a little, you only need to read up about the Facebook algorithm, EdgeRank) to find out how this could work. EdgeRank determines which content goes into your NewsFeed, and it doesn’t discriminate People from Pages (no one is immune). EdgeRank has recently become an unwieldy 1 000-factor beast that includes content quality, content origin (heed the warning Hootsuite users), and completeness of page details. The main determinants of if a post appears in your NewsFeed are still: Affinity, Edge Weight, and Time Decay.

The anti-like/pro-comment movement hinges on two parts: the Affinity score and the Edge Weight.

Affinity Score
The Affinity Score is concerned with how close/related/connected you are to an action. The more you have in common with the person or page undertaking the action, the more likely it will appear in your NewsFeed. So the more friends you have in common, the more you like or comment on their posts, the more you will see.

Edge Weight

Now here’s the thing, likes and comments are not equal. Most people know that, and let’s face it – how much effort does clicking like take compared to typing a comment? This is exactly why EdgeRank rates posts (gives a greater Edge Weight) with comments or shares higher than posts with just likes. Even the lowly emoticon smiley carries more weight than clicking the like button.

Lightbulb! To all the Facebook page owners asking their fans to ‘like’ if they see your post and still not appearing in NewsFeeds – now you know why.

Comments also provide the ability to interact with your customers, engage in conversation, develop your relationship. Even at an extremely shallow level, increase comments and therefore the likelihood that your posts will appear in the NewsFeeds.

I have mentioned previously that customers buy AFTER a relationship is developed, some researchers even say that it takes five ‘touches’ before you will get someone to buy from you. (I want to explore this further in the future) By encouraging a discussion on your posts and page, you are developing a relationship. You are opening up opportunities to educate and possibilities to introduce products.

Comments can also be seen as ‘third party endorsements’. I will pay more attention to a friend’s comment on a page than their like of a post. Why? I trust what they say and I want to know more. I understand how little effort a like takes over a comment, and I appreciate that effort. So when a friend provides a comment or feedback on a business post or page, I take notice. We all know how word-of-mouth works, and its power. So a comment on a post is more powerful than a simple like.

Now here is the issue, how do you get the comments? There are fun ways like ‘what’s your celebrity name?’ or you can ask a question. You can inject a little controversy on to your page. You can ask for advice. I have tried most of these on my other business page and to be honest, some work better than others (Your Easter Bunny name was a great one this year). As I have mentioned previously, it’s all about your customer and the voice you want to portray on your page.

I do know that comments and shares are extremely beneficial to your post reach and it has a flow on effect to the talking about numbers. The best of all is that if you discover the type of content which provokes comments, then you will find that the effect snowballs. The reach of the page I mention was previously around 10% of total likes, it is currently approaching 200% of total likes. Additionally, my talking about rate has increased from a very standard 1% of total likes to 4.5% of total likes. I will add that I have made a number of other changes, that saw an initial increase in talking about, and a subsequent change which increased the reach. Though none of them have has such a profound impact as providing content that engaged my customers and increased comments and shares.

Is there anything about running a website or social media that has you wondering? Let me know in a comment below & I will investigate and address it in future.

  • As I understand it, LIKES are used to determine what is advertised to you rather than what’s shown in your feed. And with that in mind I like absolutely anything and everything. And I manage my Facebook newsfeed with the strategic use of lists rather than their algorithm (which again suits them and not me).

    • That’s a handy insight Sarah. I turned off a lot of the advertising in facebook. I also use lists for my newsfeed, I find them useful for business related content.

  • Thanks a great post and probably the answer to why I have ‘over-delivery’ a lots of content that I’d prefer to see in much less quantity. I’d love to find out more about FB lists for my newsfeed.

    • I am so glad it has provided some clarity about your Newsfeed Judy. There are some fantastic posts out there on lists, I will see what I can find. I have tww lists, one for competitors and one for business related pages.

  • Great Post Kara. It explains a lot. I’ve also found that posts from my business page that were commented on and shared had a bigger reach than my total page likes, which is brilliant. I’m always wary of the algorithms as I feel that if I post the wrong type of thing a couple of times, it has a dramatic impact on how many people see my posts and it’s then very hard to build that back up. Also intrigued by Sarah Arrows comment about using lists to manage newsfeed – didnt’ even know this was an option! What? Where? How?

    • Hi Nicky,
      glad you liked it. I have found commenting has cleared a lot of my Newsfeed. By encouraging commenting on your business page you will increase the number of people seeing your page.

  • I ‘like’ things to show I’ve seen things, to allow others to see it without having to share and also so people can get a flavour of the kind of things I like and who I am without constantly having to make a post.

    I don’t like the idea of stopping that interaction with my friends just to try to beat the system. I get a bit fed up with people trying to manipulate corporations like Facebook and Google. They are running their businesses just as we are trying to run ours.

    • Hi Rachel
      I agree, I also ‘like’ things to show I’ve acknowledged posts & I still do this with my friends.

      I wrote this post specifically about business pages, rather than how we interact with our friends (unlike the other blogs on the topic). I have found that by changing my business posts to ones which encourage honest interaction I have an increased page Reach. I am all for helping businesses use Facebook to their advantage and reach more of their customers.


  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}