Are you looking to understand how Facebook algorithm works to outsmart it? Let me enlighten you, you are not alone. Timely, relevant content for organic reach isn’t good enough anymore for a small or local business. Facebook has through its Facebook algorithm decided to favor larger companies with an active fan base over small companies who are trying to increase their fan base through clickable content.
If you use or planning to use Facebook for marketing, one thing that you might want to understand is the Facebook algorithm.
In order to help you understand how your Facebook posts get viewed on Facebook I’ve collected the most relevant Facebook algorithm factors, updates, and changes for easy reference.
Overview of how Facebook algorithm works
Here’s a quick overview of how the Facebook News Feed works, according to Adam Mosseri, VP of Product Management for News Feed: News Feed: Getting Your Content to the Right People
Facebook has made significant changes to their algorithm
Besides that Facebook aims to prioritize paid stories, stories from bigger brands and ads first, and than later on, stories that each individual wants to see the most, based on their actions and feedback, here’s a summary of all the changes that are relevant to social media marketers.
- One of the main objectives of the news feed is to connect people with their friends and family this is why posts from friends and family will rank higher in the News Feed.
- People who don’t have a lot of content in their news feed will see multiple posts from the same source.
- Facebook is prioritizing genuine stories over misleading, already seen, or published somewhere else and spammy ones.
- Shared content such as photos, videos, or links will be more visible.
- Facebook uses news feed options (see first, default, or unfollow) to let people customize their Facebook experience.
- Your friends/followers will not see in their news feeds the posts, images, or videos that you have ‘liked’.
- News that is trustworthy, informative, and local will be prioritized.
- Posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people are prioritized.
- Pages that use engagement bait are down-ranked.
- Pages that share false news will no longer be able to run Facebook ads.
- Posts that pretends to be a video will be demoted in the News Feed.
- Posts with links that load slowly on mobile will be shown less in the News Feed.
- Posts with clickbait headlines will rank lower in the News Feed.
- Posts that link to websites with low-quality experience will rank lower in the News Feed.
- Authentic and timely posts will rank better in the News Feed.
- Long, engaging videos will rank better in the News Feed (than short, engaging videos)
- Posts that are informative will rank higher in the News Feed of people who might find them relevant.
- Posts from friends will rank (even) higher in the News Feed.
- Posts with links that keep people engaged will rank higher in the News Feed.
- Live videos will rank higher in the News Feed when they are live-streamed.
- Facebook launched Reactions to help businesses understand how people are responding to their posts.
- Facebook uses surveys to improve News Feed ranking.
- Facebook makes it easier for people to control what they see on their News Feed.
- Facebook now considers more actions on videos while ranking videos in the News Feed.
- Time spent on stories becomes a ranking factor.
- Facebook updates how Likes are counted.
- Hoaxes will receive less reach and have an added warning.
- Video is growing and getting priority in Facebook.
- Overly promotional posts will receive less reach on Facebook.
- Facebook will be considering the rate at which people interact with posts.
- Offensive or inappropriate ads will be shown less or stopped.
- Facebook will look at the bounce rate to determine if an article has a clickbait headline.
- Facebook can now rank videos uploaded directly to Facebook better than links to video sites.
- Posts that explicitly ask for engagement will be ranked lower in the News Feed.
- Facebook has developed a new algorithm to find and show high-quality content to users
How does this affect your Business?
- Your relevant and well-constructed content will NOT be missed by people who haven’t less content in their news feeds. However, these people must already be a fan and, if you’re a small local business, they are unlikely to have liked your page.
- If your fans do not share your content to their own Facebook page, it will not reach to their friends. This means that your Fans must ‘share’ your content to reach fresh new followers.
- ‘Liking‘ or commenting on something is no longer relevant to the reach of your content.
Brand pages which relayed on their fans to increase their already dismal reach will now experience another drop in numbers. Quality content which may have been interesting to the friends of your fans will no longer be visible in their news feed.
How do you create successful posts in Facebook
- Engage your posts with lots of likes, comments and shares by sharing your content with your friends and also via sharing your post in different but related facebook groups.
- Create post types that people interacts with in an easy yet interesting way.
- Create post types that users seem to prefer more than others (e.g., photo, video or status update).
- Create engaging videos on Facebook that receive a large number of interaction.
- Create posts that are timely or reference a trending topic.
- Make sure to publish posts from Pages with complete profile information.
What you should watch for before publishing a post on Facebook
- Make sure your post are not Clickbait, Like-baiting or include spammy links.
- Do not create posts that are frequently circulated content or repeated posts
- Be careful with posts that are frequently hidden or reported (a sign of low quality)
- Ignore publishing posts with unusual engagement patterns (a like-baiting signal)
- Overly promotional content from Pages — pushing people to buy an app or service.
“The impact of these changes on your page’s distribution will vary considerably depending on the composition of your audience and your posting activity. In some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline” – Facebook
After investigating the changes mad lately by Facebook it seems that the leading social media channel today is making it harder for marketers with limited or no budget to success in their channel. Basically, what Facebook is saying: If you don’t have an already ‘huge’ fan base like Coca Cola, Nike, BBC or magazines such as National geographic where regular content is ‘shared’ in large numbers, you are very unlikely to get fresh new fans onto your page. If you are a small or local business, your reach will decline and increasing the number of fans on your Facebook page will become almost impossible.
DON’T worry; it’s nothing new
Social media strategies continue to change as the internet giants evolve their algorithms. It’s important to amend your content and how it’s shared with your friends, fans and potential clients. It’s a continual battle which can be won with the right tools and shareable content.