Does it feel like you are talking to the clouds on Facebook? Are you frustrated at the lack of response you are getting from your Facebook page?

If you are using your Facebook profile or business page to build influence and awareness, then you must make sure people actually see you.

Since Facebook changed its news feed about a year ago, getting the visibility you seek has been a challenging, and for some, daunting task. With over 500 million users, the Facebook community is a little crowded, and with crowds come noise, and noise makes it harder to capture the attention of your audience.

In order to address the cluttered stream (or fire hose for some), Facebook changed up the news feed into two options for a user, Top News and Most Recent. 95% of users opted to default to the top news feed, because of the convenience. Plus, they don’t have to cull through hundreds of updates, posts from their 200+ friends, and the 50 pages they “Like”.

Many users ask me, so what does it take to make it into this party called the “top news”?

Well, Facebook has an algorithm for that, and unlike Google, it’s not a secret. In fact, at the developer’s conference early this year, they laid it all out in a formula. Facebook refers to the algorithm as “EdgeRank”. Below is the actual formula.

So let’s break this down. Facebook is relying on three main properties to determine if it will show your post in users top news feed.

1. Affinity
2. Weight
3. Recency

What do these three factors actually mean?

Affinity Score: The number Facebook assigns, based on the actual connection between the content creator and the user.

For example, if you frequently check in on a connection or page, they will make that connection between the two and display the content those people or pages post more frequently in your feed.

Weight Score: Every post, share or update receives a score based on the number of comments or likes it receives. This factor reinforces the need for interaction. A post with no comments or likes will have an extremely low chance of appearing in the top new feed and will float down the stream unnoticed.

Recency Score: This refers to when the content was shared. Facebook gives another preference to recent content and will push down the older posts. Yes- older posts will show up but I rarely (if ever) see posts older than 48 hours—and they have to be from a good connection and have a lot of comments and likes.

So the perfect update, either from your page or personal profile, needs to be recent, appeal to your friends and connections and receive a lot of comments and likes. Congratulations! You just cracked the code to the top news feed.

The reason that Facebook shares this—as opposed to Google keeping the algorithm a heavily guarded secret—is because the site relies on other people to participate to make the system work effectively

You can’t force people to comment or like, but you can encourage. You can’t make bad content look good, and you can’t fake affinity or a friendship.

So you now you know what EdgeRank is, the next question is “how can I make this work for me”

It’s easy – here is the secret…drumroll please:

1. Content Is King: Create and share really good content (informative, funny, enlightening, timely, insightful)

2. Listen More: When you spend more time commenting and talking to others, you build powerful relationships

When you pay attention to others, they will pay attention to you. If you post content they like, then you will get the awareness you are looking for. So it all boils down to a little bit of hard work. There you go…secret revealed. Now go make it happen!