There are now over 60 million Facebook Pages worldwide. With over 2.5 million advertisers using paid ad campaigns to try and grab the attention of the 2 million daily users. Many companies are analysing their stats more recently and wondering why their organic reach has fallen.
There is a reason for this. Facebook has become a science and uses Algorithms, formerly referred to as Edge Rank, to determine which articles appear in newsfeeds and which ones don’t.
In this article, you will discover how the Facebook algorithm works and how marketers can optimise their posts by maximising their newsfeed visibility.
Understanding the algorithm
In April of this year, Adam Mosseri, (Facebook News Feed Vice President) described an algorithm as “a formula or set of steps for solving a particular problem.” and broke down the algorithm in four steps:
- Predictions and
Facebook’s algorithm is intended to keep the platform effective for users, and maximising profit for Facebook as a Company. Facebook knows that most people spend time (on average 35 minutes per day) on the platform to connect with their personal network and as such prioritises Friends and Family in the newsfeed.
You log on to Facebook to see what’s happening in your world, you look at photos of friend’s children, watch funny videos, send “happy birthday” messages and comment on day-to-day activities.
The algorithm predicts your likelihood of engaging with someone based on your past activity and behaviour. Have you ever wondered how, when you click on a football article, you start to see more football articles? Or, when you click on your favourite TV programme’s page, you start to see more of the same content?
So, the more you engage with a particular friend or a business page, the more you’ll see their content on your newsfeed.
On the flip side, the more you hide someone’s content or don’t engage with it (through shares, likes, clicks and comments) the less you’ll see it in your newsfeed.
Takeaway tip: Be more strategic with your engagement. If you “like” posts that aren’t really the type of content you’re interested in then you’ll just end up cluttering your newsfeed with more of the stuff you don’t want!
How to optimise your content for the algorithm
The algorithm is getting more sensitive about cutting down the amount of promotion happening on the platform. Facebook wants to do away with business-related posts on a personal profile. They want the ‘salesy’ type posts on business pages and not clogging personal profiles. The types of posts that have “sale now on” and “buy my products” will be coming down hard on, by Facebook.
As a business, your MAIN goal on Facebook should be to provide value to your audience so that you are the place where people will want to go.
The reason you’re on Facebook as a business is NOT to sell, it’s to build a relationship with your customers, that will eventually lead to extra sales. People buy people first. You want to create content that is stimulating, engaging or entertaining. It should be timely and relevant to what your audience cares about or wants to see. This is the type of content that will appear more often.
We know from our own experience, that for businesses on Facebook, applying a value-based strategy to content creation will help you keep up your organic reach.
Applying the insights:
Instead of loathing the algorithm, we (as businesses and individuals) should be thankful for it.
The algorithm really is helping to transform your newsfeed from a forum of irrelevant offers and ads to a feed that Facebook thinks you’ll love based on your behaviour.
Here are FOUR top tips on how to apply these insights to make Facebook’s algorithm benefit your business:
- Make more video: Video is prioritised right now in the newsfeed. If you want to get more organic reach, start making more videos. A video is the best way for businesses to get their message out to their audience without it costing a single penny. Incorporate a mix of video and live video as a way of educating and showing behind-the-scenes stuff and increasing your chances of converting to sales. In addition to this, it helps your search engine visibility and therefore increasing your potential website traffic.
If your content is valuable enough then the power of sharing can also increase the organic reach too.
- Play around with your strategy: Try posting at different times of the day, on different days of the week and different amounts each day. Make a few posts outside of normal business hours. virtualassistantagency.com are the perfect go-to company for social media management. Focus on four types of content you post (videos, a written status, links, photos) to see what appeals most to your target audience. Repeat whatever works and ditch what doesn’t.
- Use Emojis: Emojis are used more than ever and are known to increase engagement on Facebook. It’s a great way to personalise and humanise your posts and they come across as more conversational and friendly. They show your audience that you’re just like them: real, honest and approachable. Keep them relevant though – if you run a solicitor firm, and your speciality is divorce, then maybe a fire emoji or a smiley face isn’t quite appropriate. Make sure you understand when to use them, and understand your brand. Warning: Use them sparingly though – too many can make you look unprofessional.
- Engage with your audience: Engagement is critical because it fuels the algorithm. Make sure to engage with people when they leave comments on your posts (don’t just “like” a comment). Be active in the engagement as it will make your audience feel valued, increasing their desire to continue engaging over time. Replying to comments boosts that post back into the audience’s newsfeed and can have a higher impact because of an increased exposure!