Many remodelers have a Facebook Fan page and post status updates to engage prospects and keep their content fresh. But how do you get your Fan page to be more visible than your competitors’ pages?

A critical tool is the status update. But because of a Facebook algorithm called EdgeRank, which determines what appears in a user’s newsfeed, it’s likely that your status updates are reaching just a fraction of your fanbase. We’ve been managing Facebook Fan pages for several years and have learned a lot about how to use this algorithm to your advantage.

Much like the Google search algorithm, Facebook uses a weighted score to determine which messages are strong enough to be displayed in a newsfeed. The three main factors of the EdgeRank algorithm are affinity, engagement, and time.

Affinity is determined by how often viewers interact with your status updates. Engagement measures how deep the online interactions are and how much time people spend in them. Not all social media actions are valued equally. For example, “liking” a status gets a much weaker score than commenting on a status and picture. The last factor, time, measures how old a post is. The older the post, the lower its priority.

So, how can you use this information to your business advantage? Some pointers:

  • Use @tags in your posts or when you reply to comments to co-opt audience from other Fan pages.
  • Include pictures in posts. Photos are the most engaging piece of content and will help your business gain weight in the algorithm.
  • Pair images or other media with words to increase the engagement score.
  • Link to custom tab pages you created on your Facebook page.
  • Ask the audience questions or use polls using Facebook’s built-in polling app.
  • Post timely news and information about company milestones.

Remember: length counts. When posting to your page, the length of what you write affects your Edge­Rank. Media paired with more than 140 characters is more successful than media accompanied by less than 140 characters. This means that Twitter-type posts, for example, are not as effective on Facebook, so tailor your message to each type of social media. 

—Chris Marentis is founder and CEO of Surefire Social, an Internet marketing company. Click to download a special Facebook whitepaper.

More REMODELING articles about promoting your company on Facebook and other social media:

About Face: How to Set up a Facebook Page for Your Company

Post Haste: Facebook Posting Tips for Remodelers

Grand Prize Giveaway: A Novel Way to Boost Facebook Traffic