Mastering the Facebook Algorithm

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I am sure you keep hearing about the “Facebook algorithm updates” and how it affects our Facebook marketing, so now it’s time to understand how it really works.
Let’s look at all the ranking signals and how to crack the code!

What is a Facebook Algorithm?

According to Facebook, the algorithm is simply a formula or a series of particular steps they follow to solve a problem.
It has been created to help them sort the abundance of available content and its importance and relevance to every user. It helps them decide what we should all see in our news feeds.
In theory, the Facebook algorithm should help users stay more engaged on Facebook by finding the right content on their news feeds.

How Does The Algorithm Work?

Facebook is explaining the Facebook algorithm as a series of three main steps. Steps:
1) Inventory: All the posts/content from your friends and Pages
2) Signals: Available information to make decisions (e.g. recency, relevance, device usage,
feedback from community, misleading or hateful content)
3) Predictions: How likely you are to comment or share a story
At the end of these three steps, you end up having a relevance score for each post.
4) Relevance Score: The score that predicts how likely you are to be interested in a story

Top Ranking Factors

Engagement (number of comments and reactions) Shares (and engagement on shares)
Relevance
Credibility
Recency

Explaining the Top Ranking Factors

Engagement – Facebook prioritizes content that has lots of comments and reactions. If there is a conversation going on in the comments, that’s even better. It’s not just about people tagging others, it’s about starting a conversation!
Shares – If a post has many shares and these get additional engagement, then this post will show up more often in news feeds.
Relevance – Are your posts relevant to your followers?
Credibility – Does your page share quality information or does it get too many reports for spam and irrelevant posts?
Recency – The chronological order of the posts still has some importance in the algorithm, but it’s not the main ranking factor.

Others Ranking Signals
Here are more things to consider:

Time spent on content
How informative the post is
Content-type (videos and especially live videos can bring further engagement) Completeness of a Facebook Page profile

How Does The Algorithm Affect Pages?

Facebook’s latest big algorithm change was in January 2018 and it caused a sudden change in reach for most Pages (i.e. lowered organic reach to under 10%). However, several Pages managed to recover by adhering to the latest guidelines.
Organic reach is becoming more challenging without boosting your posts, but this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to find organic success.
Here are the key things to focus on…

The Focus on Engagement

Facebook keeps highlighting the importance of “meaningful interactions”
➢ Comments your posts have
➢ Conversations that take place in your post’s comments section
➢ Reactions your posts are having
➢ Post shares in Facebook Messenger
TIP: Create content that will be engaging for your target audience. Don’t just ask a question, make sure that you know what will spark a conversation. This can take weeks of split testing content and tracking via Facebook Page Insights.

The Focus on Videos

Video content can be more engaging.
Facebook has been focusing the last few years on making our news feeds skew toward more video content.
That’s why it’s a good idea to invest more time on video creation.

The Focus on Local Content

People want more local news and community information on Facebook.
That’s why the algorithm is prioritizing local posts!
Local businesses can benefit from this
Try to narrow down your audience
Think of what your local community wants to know Promote local events
Publish local stories

How Does it Affect Your Facebook Marketing?

You can’t succeed on Facebook without playing by their rules!
Many Pages have been affected by the constant algorithm changes and therefore have struggled to reach their audience.
➢ If your Page has been hit by the algorithm, then it’s time to focus on the ranking factors that can boost your exposure!
➢ If your Page is still performing well, start being more creative to improve your performance even more!
Learn more about your audience to improve the engagement and meaningful interactions via Facebook Page Insights and split testing targeting in Facebook ads.

Tips to Beat the Facebook Algorithm

Build a community – Use the power of Groups to boost your Page Be engaging – Create content that will start a conversation without imposing it
Turn your supporters into your advocates
Create more videos
Narrow down your audience with local interests
Make more ‘shareable’ content but don’t ask people to share it in your captions Combine organic and paid techniques to improve your success
Keep your content native to Facebook – Avoid too many links and videos that lead to other sites, and make sure to upload your video files to Facebook (no YouTube links) Read Community Standards and Ad Policies to stay up-to-date

Things to Avoid

Engagement bait – Don’t ALWAYS ask for people to like, comment, share (e.g. “Like if you agree”). Make them do it naturally with high-quality content. Clickbait – Teasing people with exaggerating titles to click on a link does not work anymore (e.g. “You won’t believe what this man did” or “This is the best story you’ll read…”
Fake, misleading or harmful information – Focus on quality
Sharing too many memes and content that is not yours – authenticity is important

BEST PRACTICE: Surviving the Algorithm Update
Things to consider when posting on Facebook:

Engagement
Authenticity
Relevance
Quality content
Videos (especially live streams) Local interest

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