So long are the days where your News feed was in chronological order and you were able to keep check on all things friends. Goodbye to having your business posts shown on most of your followers feeds! Now, welcome to the times where Facebook alters what we see and when we see it.
What is the Facebook algorithm?
The Facebook Algorithm is a set of calculations which controls the ordering and presentations of posts within our news feed, showing users what they believe is most relevant to them and what they want to see, rather than reverse-chronological order of your friends’ posts. With this new Facebook Algorithm, your pages are only reaching up to five percent (usually lower) of your followers. Depending on what research you look at, some say your reach range can be as low as 0-1.5%. We use the term ‘new’ loosely, because the main changes actually happened at the end of 2018. However people are still not quite sure what those changes mean, so we thought we’d explain it more…
How does the Facebook algorithm work?
With this new algorithm, the Facebook news feed is based on four things: inventory, signals, predictions and score.
- Inventory: This refers to all your available content on Facebook from your friends and posts you’ve liked, to pages and groups you follow.
- Signals: Facebook uses these to help choose what content is shown to you. These are based off who posted the content, when it was posted, comments or reactions to a person’s status or photo, and the engagement level with the publisher. It’s important to highlight that conversations with people will carry more weight than those with pages.
- Predictions: From these signals and your previous behaviours, Facebook decides what to show you, the goal is to show you content they believe you will engage with more.
- Score: This is the value assigned to content that helps determine the relevancy to you, so in short, the higher the score, the more likely it is to appear in your feed.
li>It is the combination of all these features that curate your newsfeed and decide what they think is more desirable for you. The new algorithm prioritises meaningful interactions. Meaningful interactions are driven from active signals such as comments, sharing, replies, reactions and likes.
Working with the new algorithm
- Less links more photos, videos, tags etc: A study done by Sprout Social found that Facebook posts with an image have an 87% interaction rate over plain-text posts.
- Engagement is key: A way to kick start engagement is to spark discussions. This can be achieved through question-based posts where followers can interact and share their thoughts with one another. This method of posting is a smart way to encourage comments without having to beg for them (Facebook doesn’t like begging). Another way to get engagement on your posts is to get your staff involved and encourage them to like and comment on these posts or reply to comments that clients post on your Facebook content.
- Reactions score better than likes: Reactions, like the love heart and sad face, are a form of “active engagement” and help boost your posts – more so than if someone were just to “like” it.
Overall, it’s important to remember that the new Facebook algorithm favours posts that encourage high engagement levels, and favours your friends over pages. Unfortunately for businesses this means your content is not going to get as many organic views as it did before this algorithm was introduced. Therefore, for your posts to effectively reach a higher number of followers, we must create meaningful content that sparks conversations, and that produces “active engagements”. This is different for everyone, so find out what your audience is reacting with most, and post more of it.
Don’t forget though, as with everything – we need balance (especially for those potential clients simply visiting our page to check us out). So include professional and educational posts, and then also post about your staff, funny memes, important days or the posts that make your audience ‘react’. Know the algorithm, know your audience and post good, visual content, consistently.