How The Facebook Algorithm Works And Ways To Outsmart It
The algorithm for Facebook always seems like a mystery.
As a consequence, brands are legitimately worried about their position on the site.
You’ve undoubtedly heard horror stories of brands watching their organic scope take a nose-dive even if you haven’t been influenced by the latest algorithm shifts yourself.
But improvements to the Facebook algorithm don’t inherently signify brands’ trouble.
No, not by a long shot. Facebook is still the number 1 forum for advertisers and users alike, according to the 2019 Sprout Social Ranking.
The latest Facebook stats also remember that the site generates one of the best ROIs for advertisers when it comes to social advertising. There’s every excuse for you to be there, too, provided that your clients are already on Facebook.
The truth? To improve your organic reach, surviving the latest Facebook algorithm implies making some improvements to your content strategy.
How does the Facebook algorithm work these days?
The Facebook algorithm manages the ordering and presentation of posts, so users see what is most important.
Instead of chronologically publishing material, posts and advertisements are presented based on what Facebook sees as important to you, the user.
Marketers seem to panic every time there’s a shift to Facebook’s approach.
In early 2018, the most essential, sweeping reform occurred when Facebook revealed its pushback against sponsored content that left many companies shaking. Facebook laid down the gauntlet against advertisers and brands at large in a moment of openness from Mark Zuckerberg himself.
Instead of prioritizing spam from corporations, the 2018 update to the Facebook algorithm was designed to concentrate content around friends and family members of individuals. This placed legitimate businesses and brands in a bind, as their Facebook marketing strategies had to be modified accordingly.
Facebook algorithm 2019 changes and milestones
Quick forward to the present and the Facebook algorithm continues to evolve. A brief snapshot of some of the updates that Facebook made in 2019 is below.
Why am I checking out this post? Download Update
As of March 2019, Facebook offers insight into why users see such organic posts and advertisements. This further suggests the need for brands to reach their audience and facilitate followers’ interactions.
The ongoing fight against misinformation
The battle against “fake news” on Facebook and deceptive material is well-documented. Facebook expanded on its manual efforts to fact-check material to tackle disinformation in April 2019.
This does not appear to influence brands explicitly, but it highlights the significance of confidence and accountability on the web. Anything considered to be overly divisive or spam could, so to speak, easily earn you a strike.
Surveys to make feeds more personal
A top priority of the Facebook algorithm remains personalization and related content. Facebook announced the widespread use of surveys in May 2019 to gain user reviews to ensure that they see relevant material.
Here’s what Facebook had to say in terms of how company pages were potentially affected:
For brands that want to be seen as necessary to their fans, the lesson from these initiatives is that “likes,” feedback, reactions, and every other form of interaction are all valuable currency.
A note about Facebook responses: they are a pattern of interaction that influences the algorithm in what a user sees in their feed. But for advertisers, this suggests that answers are just another way to communicate with consumers. These icons are a hub of valuable information that allows advertisers to see how clients ‘feel’ about articles. Facebook provides businesses today with a better view of what their customers want and appreciate. Negative responses also help companies safeguard their image and resolve customer issues. Brands will optimize their messaging with reactions and adjust to elicit the emotions they most want to see.
Nine (9) strategies for adapting to (and outsmarting) the Facebook algorithm
These continuing adjustments also point to how the algorithm of Facebook requires brands to roll and move with the punches.
This may be overwhelming, but the relevance of Facebook to your social efforts should not be diminished.
Brands are supposed to encourage quality content that drives real interactions and shares as part of the new algorithm’s objective of driving more genuine businesses.
However, how can you make it happen? Nine actionable tactics to keep your brand in the good graces of the Facebook algorithm are below.
1. Time your Facebook posts to perfection
The Facebook algorithm gives priority to posts that receive engagement, which is why it is so important to time your posts.
Brands should aim to adhere to a content schedule that taps into the best times to share on social media to optimize interaction.
Although such information is not the be-all, end-all of when to publish, when audiences are usually the most involved, it sheds light on when. After all, something you can do to improve your chances of being noticed by more followers is a bonus.
By the way, Sprout allows you to plan your Facebook posts based on when the most interaction is more likely to win. This results in the “when” of your post being less second-guessed while also facilitating those ever-so-important interactions.
Instagram Followers | How To Get Followers On Instagram
Personal Account Disabled | Why and How to Correct the Problem
2. Make video a cornerstone of your content strategy
A million times before, you’ve heard it, and we’re going to tell it again: it’s now or never for advertisers to get on the video bandwagon.
However, could you not take it from us?
Compared to any other type of content on the site, Facebook has noted that video content drives greater user engagement and interactions. A recent video ranking update, meanwhile, further drives home how crucial native video is on Facebook.
Marketers of all shapes and sizes can incorporate videos on Facebook, great for starting discussions and keeping your fans’ attention glued to the page. You don’t need to create commercial content for big budgets, either.
For example, on its Facebook page, check out how Sharpie double-dips user-generated video content for Instagram. These short-but-sweet pieces demonstrate that beyond in-depth productions, there is power in the video.
The platform also encourages creators to embrace Facebook Live to produce engaging content for their viewers in real-time. A bonus for making your videos stand out is that live videos trigger alerts that ping your fans and followers.
The live video represents a potent tool for brands today, whether it is an off-the-cuff vlog or a how-to tutorial like this one from Fender.
Consider quick, looping clips that can do the trick as well. Warby Parker also shares bite-sized videos that can be produced in a matter of seconds but still manage to win an engagement.
It’s not about outsmarting the Facebook algorithm in this scenario but offering the platform precisely what it needs. After all, Facebook rewards organic reach for posts that drive conversation and draw the interest of users.
With so many choices available and Facebook searching for more visual content, it’s a no-brainer to make more videos.
3. Drive discussions before dropping links
The platform is now punishing advertisers seen as attempting to game the method, so to speak, as part of the most recent Facebook algorithm update.
For instance, on posts deemed as engagement bait, Facebook has specifically dropped the hammer. While once the standard was for posts asking specifically for feedback, tags, or likes, Facebook understands how these posts mostly act as spam.
While there might still be a time and place for these types of posts, brands should aim to start conversations with clients without being shameless about it. Facebook wants us to build discussion-driven content, provided we find innovative ways to make it possible.
For instance, while letting them lead the way of conversation, you can poll your audience. In the form of comments and shares, this playful question-based post from Loot Crate scored plenty of love:
In reality, tacking any given post on questions is smart to encourage feedback without being beg for them. Check out how Milk Makeup uses a fundamental question as a sort of call-to-action in one of its posts:
Brands should also aim to post content that, where necessary, is worthy of discussion. Controversial advertising should do just that, but brands should tread lightly to risk the customer being insulted or alienated (think: openly politically charged or ‘shock’ content).
A new study by Sprout Social found that they would be less likely to buy from you or suggest your brand to others if your audience disagrees with your position on social and political issues.
Consider brands such as Delish, who frequently post buzzworthy recipes and posts without ruffling any feathers that drive a lot of conversation and sharing. To get a comment from followers, these kinds of off-the-wall posts are great.
The more you can get people talking; the more likely your content will be featured organically by the Facebook algorithm.
4. Encourage employees and brand advocates to push your content
Ever since the day you began marketing on the site, the secret to beating the Facebook algorithm has been under your nose. Yet, the workers are ignored by too many brands.
The activism of workers was never more critical than it is today. This is the perfect time to launch your employee advocacy program or rev it up if you already have one because Facebook prioritizes content from friends and family over companies.
Your Facebook page’s scope is already restricted somewhat by the number of fans/followers you have. And as you tackle these latest improvements to the algorithm, it will reduce the number of people who see your content even further.
Encouraging your team to share your content on Facebook with their networks amplifies your impact instantly. Not only that, but people would be 16 times more likely to read it because the posts come from friends and family rather than your brand.
Even if your brand has far more followers than your staff, it’s easy to see the benefit when you realize that there are more of them, and they get more significant interaction.
The challenge is getting your content to be shared by staff. Many times, it’s not enough to send an email asking people to share an article from your company. To go to Facebook, type up a post, and share it takes so much time and effort on their end. Plus, some workers will forget to share and never recheck the email, flat out.
That’s why it comes in handy to have an employee advocacy network like Bambu.
For your staff to post on their personal Facebook accounts, Bambu makes it easy to curate content. You should provide background information on what the material is about and provide suggested messaging for inclusion in your message.
Plus, they can see a pool of recommended content to share every time workers log in, which allows them to publish on their own time.
Are we interested in learning more about improving brand engagement and employee advocacy using the Facebook algorithm? Please register here for our webinar free of charge.
5. Prioritize photos and tags over external links
Conventional wisdom tells us that Facebook wants brands to retain their platform content instead of only off-site linking.
Indeed, in the case of video, Facebook’s habit of de-emphasizing links and choosing its native content is no secret.
Sure, by sharing links, you’re not going to vanish from your followers’ feeds completely. That said, keep your feed fresh with various content styles. Blasting an external link after the external link is not only wrong from a marketing point of view, but the new Facebook algorithm would also not do you any favors.
For example, visual content goes hand in hand with the best practices of Facebook by garnering 87 percent more interaction. That’s why some visuals should accompany every message, be it an infographic, .gif, or an otherwise eye-popping image.
You also have the option of using hashtags to beef up your descriptions or shouting out another tab, all of which will further broaden your scope.
Again, promoting interaction is your end-game. Links do not exactly scream “look at me” on their own, do they?
6. Make each post unique to Facebook.
It is common for companies to run out of their content to advertise, as brands must regularly post to Facebook day after day.
Ultimately, by posting the same pieces over and over or not having enough mileage out of their content by posting just once, this results in brands repeating themselves.
To start with, consider developing unique explanations for your posts to reintroduce them without being redundant to your followers. You could mix it up with a tag or query the second or third time when you could have used a quote the first time.
Repurposing material is another technique for reintroducing older bits into your feed without repeating yourself.
There are plenty of Facebook resources out there that will help you turn your parts into something completely different in no time flat.
For instance, using Canva or Adobe Spark, you can transform a quote from an article into a custom graphic. You may likewise use Lumen5 or Animator to repurpose a blog post into a video.
Oh, and you can make a personalized content calendar with social scheduling through Sprout that lets you keep track of what types of content you’re uploading to Facebook, too.
7. Start conversations in Facebook Groups.
The reported decline in the Facebook page’s reach, with some reports citing organic reach as low as 2% in 2018, is arguably the biggest blow to marketers of the algorithm.
Does this mean that you should completely give up on the Facebook page of your brand?
Not, however, it does illustrate why many advertisers instead move to Facebook groups. As fans and supporters, when they join, they effectively “opt-in” to a group and agree to discussions inside it. Customers who join your community are arguably the most likely to engage with your company’s quality in a certain way.
Groups can be better tailored to your strengths, rather than starting a page from scratch, for marketers focused on problem-solving and informing communities.
8. Narrow down your audience targeting
Facebook’s beauty is the opportunity to zero in on your viewership.
Consider narrowing your audience down by preferences or geography if you have a large audience. You have an option on Facebook (and Sprout) to set these preferences and restrictions per message. However, this may limit your reach initially. As a result, it may increase your commitment. Think of it as the importance of particular fans being fine-tuned.
If you’re a national organization that holds activities across different cities, a fair use case is. It does not matter to anyone in Cincinnati that you are hosting an event in Miami.
Limiting the audience only to Cincinnati fans ensures that you only serve the post to those who attend. This raises the probability of greater involvement in such blogs.
9. Invest in paid promotion on Facebook
Although brands should concentrate on improving their organic reach, Facebook advertising’s power is not to be denied.
The good news here?
Data tells us that, with 93% of advertisers already on board, Facebook advertisements generate an extremely optimistic ROI. Combined with so many innovative choices, laser-targeting, Facebook ads, unlike any other ad network, give marketers freedom.
Double-dipping some of the above ideas, you can create a video ad that attracts your followers’ attention.
Of course, there are also collections and carousel advertising that works exceptionally well and have a low CPC for Facebook notes.
Coupling Facebook advertising with your organic efforts will give you the best of both worlds. The writing has been on the wall for brands to accept Facebook as a forum for “pay to play,” so playing with advertising is now a long-term sound idea.
You will learn more from our guide to coming up with a Facebook advertisement plan if you are new to paid marketing on Facebook. To help assess your ROI, features such as Sprout’s Sprout’s paid performance report will break down your paid and organic campaigns.
And we’re wrapping up our list with that!
How do you feel about the new Facebook algorithm?
Like it or not, marketers need to reconsider their marketing strategies with the ever-changing Facebook algorithm.
Now, this rings true and is likely to ring right months down the road. It is adapting to the essence of social marketing as a whole of these kinds of shifts.
And marketers who remain in line with the best practices of Facebook are more likely to be rewarded with scope.
Be truthful, though: how do you feel about the new improvements in the Facebook algorithm? Uh? Confused? Oh, hopeful? In the comments below, let us know!
I hope this post was helpful? show your support by sharing these articles to your friends who might need it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram using the share button below.
Copyright & Warning: Published contents on this blog may not be reproduced, republished, redistributed either in whole or in part without due permission or acknowledgment.
The contents on this site is written and published with good intentions. If you own this content and believe that your copyright was violated or infringed, please contact us via [admin(at)buzzfeedng.com] to file a complaint and actions will be taken with an immediate effect.