When it comes to Facebook, the algorithm can sometimes feel a bit mysterious, even to the most skilled marketers in the game. In its most basic definition, the algorithm is how the social network decides which posts users see, and in what order, every time they log into the platform. Since 2018, the algorithm has been changing at lightning speed, as the company strives to make the time people spend on the channel more valuable and meaningful.
In 2018, Facebook changed how posts are prioritized and ordered in the News Feed. Mark Zuckerberg announced that users should “expect to see more from friends, family, and groups” and less from “businesses, brands, and media.” Then, in 2019, the company introduced surveys in the News Feed, allowing users to select what kind of content they want to see more of. Also, the ongoing effort to stop fake news inspired updates to demote “borderline content” that is sensationalist, intentionally provocative, or nearly violating Facebook’s content policies.
Many of these changes lead to a notable decline in the organic reach and engagement for Pages, creating trouble in the digital marketing community.
Now, in 2020, Facebook is focused on making its platform more transparent for users and giving people more direct control over what they see. The four organic factors that determine if a story is relevant for a user’s News Feed are:
1. Inventory: the stock of all content that can display to a user on their News Feed
2. Signals: the information that Facebook can gather about a piece of content
3. Predictions: the behavior of a user and how likely they are predicted to have a positive interaction with a content piece
4. Score: the final number assigned to a piece of content based on the likelihood the user will respond positively to it
So what does this all mean for brands who don’t want to turn every single post into a paid ad? Hope is not lost! Here are a few tips on how to beat the new algorithm.
Spark conversations that will get fans talking to each other
One of the algorithm’s biggest ranking signals is whether a user has previously engaged with your Page, and those likes and shares can go a long way towards upping engagement on future posts. Being true to your brand, whether it’s being funny, inspirational, informative, or all of the above will help create a more genuine connection. Click-bait style content is a big no-no!
Post when your fans are most active on the platform
Utilize Insights to find the best times to reach your target audience to increase engagement. Within Insights, you can also find data on how well your page and posts perform, including demographics information.
Create high-quality long-form videos
In 2019, Facebook announced that the News Feed will increasingly surface quality, original videos over 3 minutes long. Pro tip: live video averages six times more engagement than regular video on the platform!
Take advantage of Groups
Facebook said people “may see more content from Groups in their newsfeed,” so take advantage by creating a group based on your brand page. This can be a space where you can spark discussions, educate fans, and provide entertainment related to your products or services.
According to Facebook, Pages that post often are more likely to be meaningful to their audience. Creating a content calendar can go a long way in terms of creating consistency and quality of content being published.
Regardless of all the updates, there are still great opportunities for boosting your business on this platform. As Facebook continues to make updates to the News Feed this year, we’ll be up for the challenge!