The Effect of Negative Feedback on Facebook

EngagementNegative Feedback to a Facebook page can now affect the page’s visibility. For several years, I’ve been preaching, to my Ninja Marketing Dojo classes, “Engagement” as the key to a successful page. Until recently though, there was no penalty for negative feedback. That’s about to change.

When Timeline launched, Facebook segregated the News Feed by adding the News Ticker to accommodate the bombardment of activity that once clogged the News Feed. While all activity from both users and pages appears in the News Ticker, only the “most important” information appears in the News Feed. For the most part, all posts made by friends do appear, but not so with posts made by pages the user has liked.


To make that critical leap from the News Ticker to the News Feed, page managers need to understand Edgerank, Facebook’s content algorithm. It’s a combination of 3 factors – affinity, weight and time decay. Affinity refers to prior interaction with a page’s post. The more users engage with content from a particular page, the more likely that page’s posts will appear.

Weight is based on engagement – likes, comments, and shares. Shares carry a larger weight factor than comments; comments carry more weight than likes. Post type, such as regular posts, pictures, videos, etc, are also considered in weight. For example, if someone shares photos, then more photos will display.

Time Decay is the 3rd factor in Edgerank and refers to the life of a post. The most recent and relevant content will take precedence over older content.

Now, Facebook is inserting a 4th factor into the Edgerank algorithm. Negative Feedback actions include hiding a page’s post, hiding all content of a page, reporting a page as spam or unliking a page. Simply stated, Negative Feedback is any clickable negative engagement action a user takes.

Negative feedback averages roughly 0.03% per post, but every page will experience some kind of negative feedback. Based on EdgeRankChecker’s study of 5000 Facebook pages, 76% of negative feedback comes from hiding the post, 16% from hiding all posts, 8% report as spam and only 1% unlike the page.

By now factoring in Negative Feedback in the algorithm, it has become increasingly more important to create engaging content that is attuned to the pulse of your audience. Use controversial content with caution. While it might result in engagement, it may also result in Negative Feedback which would have the reverse effect. Overusing sales messages can also have a negative impact. Sure, everyone wants to make sales but is one sale worth reducing visibility to nothing.

Gary Wagnon is the owner of 800biz Ninja Marketing Strategies and the Ninja Marketing Dojo, a program designed to help businesses master all aspects of online marketing.  The goal of the Ninja Marketing Dojo is to improve search engine rankings, increase web site traffic and convert more browsers into buyers.

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