[Algo]Rhythm & Blues – A Guide to the Facebook Algorithm
The Almighty Facebook Algorithm dictates what you see and what you don’t in your Facebook newsfeed. As a user this is a blessing. The content served to you is most likely what provides you with value and entertainment, keeping you on the platform for longer.
It’s another story if you’re managing a Facebook page.
“I don’t get it, this post only reached 100 people but 1000 like my page?”
Facebook has recently said that on average every time a user logs into Facebook, they could potentially be exposed to over 1,500 pieces of content from friends and pages.
That’s a lot of content!
Think about how many pages you liked back in the day that are in no way relevant to you now, or people from high school that you’re friends with, do you really want to see all of their baby photos? This is where the Facebook algorithm jumps in. It will only serve you around 300 content pieces of the 1,500 based on factors that Facebook determines are most important to you.
Facebook’s algorithm is constantly tweaked and updated but you won’t be left in the dark. Big changes are announced on the Newsroom blog and small tweaks are said to be made 2 to 3 times a week. Some changes are made based on Qualitative Feedback.
Facebook extensively surveys thousands of people to gain information on your everyday experience on the platform. You may have even seen this survey pop up in your newsfeed. It consists of rating different types of content from 1-5 based on how much you want to see them in your newsfeed. So next time Facebook asks if you want to give feedback, don’t ignore it – you can help shape a newsfeed you want to see!
So what can brands do?
If you’re scratching your head thinking how you’re going to ever get seen the ever-crowded newsfeed, you don’t have to leave it to chance, there are things you can do when to maximise your organic reach.
Engagement – Likes, comments, shares, reactions!
In 2014, TechCrunch interviewed Facebook News Feed Director of Product Management, Will Cathcart, who outlined a list of the most important factors determining newsfeed order:
-How popular (Liked, commented on, shared, etc.) are the post creator’s past posts
-How popular is this post with the people who have already seen it
-How popular have the post creator’s past posts been with this viewer
-Does the type of post (status update, photo, video, link) match what’s been popular with the viewer in the past
-How recently was the post published
Everything in this list has to do with quality content. In essence, the more engaging your content is for your desired audience, the more organic reach you will see. There are a few ways that Facebook measures your content in terms of engagement and value.
Content that produces likes, comments, shares, @ tagging friends will help improve reach. This also includes conversation between the page and user within the comments, which is why community management is such an important aspect of your social media strategy.
The introduction of reactions is another aspect in newsfeed ranking as Facebook now has a new way of categorising the content that you digest. Insights show you what type of reaction your content is inspiring and a user’s newsfeed will reflect the weighting of their reactions in their newsfeed. Reactions other than likes will carry more weight than simple likes alone.
It’s not just about what you’re posting – but how you’re posting. The post type you use is just as important as the content itself.
For example, video posts featuring a video that has been directly uploaded to Facebook (not a YouTube link) with a great deal of views, a long average viewing duration, or if lots of users have unmuted, will be rewarded with higher organic reach.
With 360° video and Facebook Live, the video options are endless.
You’ll NEVER Believe What Facebook Post Will Get You No Engagement….number 7 will shock you.
While we’re talking about post types, clickbait is just about the worst thing you can do to your page. You may think a headline like the one above is eye catching, but Facebook knows it’s not genuine, and above all else will rank authentic stories higher in newsfeeds. Don’t do your brand a disservice, if you’re relying on these types of stories to get clicks you will see a big drop in your reach.
Facebook first and foremost is a platform for social networking; people want to see posts from friends and family over a promotional post from a business. Pages that focus content on promotional posts, be it for a sale, a product with no context or even if you’re reusing content from an ad, will be punished by the Facebook algorithm.
Think of your own newsfeed and how many times you have scrolled past a big SALE image because at the time you just don’t care about it? Conversation is key, so skip the sale and give your audience what they want – VALUE; to be entertained or educated.
Test and Refine
Facebook’s algorithm is constantly in flux, so what was working for you 3 months ago might not pull the same results for you today. This means you’ll need to test and refine what works with your page’s audience, and need to be on top of the changes that Facebook releases.
If you want more detail to leverage the best results for your page you can always get in touch with me here, or if you’ve had your own experience battling the Facebook algorithm, drop us a comment below!