Are you noticing that more and more of your posts are reaching fewer people on Facebook? Are you wondering how you can appear in more people’s news feeds?
If Facebook is one of your marketing channels, you will need to understand the Facebook algorithm which dictates who sees your content and who doesn’t – all based on a huge number of factors.
In this post, we want to help you understand how exactly your posts are being viewed across Facebook. We have gathered all the relevant algorithm information to help plan your content. Facebook, like every other social media platform, is continuously evolving so scroll down to discover the interesting (yet complex!) world of Facebook….
Facebook algorithm values
Understanding the Facebook algorithm starts with knowing the core values that Facebook lives by. These values can give you a hint of what content will perform (or not perform) for you…
Facebook’s News Feed values:
- Friends and family come first: The main objective of the news feed in facebook is to connect people with their friends and family. After all of those posts, Facebook found that people want their feed to inform and entertain them.
- A platform for all ideas: Facebook welcomes all ideas while making sure that everyone feels and is safe. They aim to deliver stories that each individual wants to see the most, based on their actions and feedback.
- Authentic communications: Facebook prioritises genuine stories over misleading, sensational, and spammy ones.
- You control your experience: Individuals know themselves best. So Facebook creates features (such as unfollow and see first) to let people customise their Facebook experience.
- Constant iteration: Facebook strives to constantly collect feedback and improve the platform.
Adam Mosseri (VP, News Feed at Facebook) recently broke down the four steps Facebook uses to rank your content in the news feed during 2017’s F8 Summit – take a few minutes to watch the video below.
The 4 steps are:
- Inventory – When you first open your news feed, Facebook’s algorithm takes an account by looking at all of the stories posted by your friends and the pages you follow.
- Signals – Facebook then considers all the available data and tries to make an informed decision about how interested you may be in a certain story. There are thousands of signals that Facebook considers to rank your content, such as who posted a story, what phone a user is on, what time it is right now, how much bandwidth you have.
- Predictions – Facebook then uses these signals to help make predictions and calculate the outcomes; for example, how likely you are to comment on a story, share a post, spend time reading a story.
- Score – After making these predictions and calculating the outcomes, Facebook consolidates the information to calculate a “relevance score,” a number that represents how interested Facebook thinks you may be in a certain story.
This ranking process occurs each and every time you open Facebook, and ultimately determines what your feed looks like.
The Facebook algorithm LOVES…
- Posts with lots of likes, comments, and shares
- Posts that receive a high volume of likes, comments, or shares in a short time frame.
- Link posts
- Videos uploaded to Facebook that receive a large number of views or extended viewing duration.
- Posts that are timely or reference a trending topic.
- Posts from pages with complete profile information.
The Facebook algorithm DOES NOT love….
- Clickbait – this includes posts with headlines that withhold or exaggerate information, such as: “When She Looked Under Her Couch Cushions And Saw THIS…”
- False news – pages that share false news will no longer be able to run Facebook ads.
- Video clickbait (Facebook will be demoting Facebook posts that pretend to be a video).
- Long web-page load time (Facebook will be showing fewer stories with links that might take a long time to load),
- Low-quality webpage experience (Facebook is rolling out an update to show fewer posts and ads that link to websites with low-quality experience).
- Posts that include spammy links
- Frequently circulated content and repeated posts
- Posts that ask for Likes, comments, or shares
- Posts with unusual engagement patterns (a like-baiting signal)
- Overly promotional content from Pages.
So, be sure to plan your content with these rules in mind to ensure that you are reaching and engaging with your desired audience.