The Facebook algorithm is continually evolving to ensure that users of the platform stay engaged and that means showing them content that will be of most interest to them. Although this is improving the experience for Facebook users, it often means that organisations have to work harder to appeal to their audiences in order to be heard over content from family and friends. So how do you work with the Facebook algorithm instead of against it to ensure your content is seen?
Of course, paying to boost posts will always help you to rise above the algorithm if you have the budget to do it - you can find our tips on Facebook boosting here.
But for those looking for a more sustainable and long-term strategy for overcoming the limitations that the Facebook algorithm puts on reach, incorporating these 5 tips will help! ⚡️
What is the Facebook algorithm?
The Facebook algorithm is a formula that Facebook uses to rank all available content on the site to decide which users' newsfeeds it should be shown in.
The algorithm is designed to show users only the most relevant and interesting content to them in an effort to keep people engaged with the platform. While this is great news for us as Facebook users, it can make social media managers' lives a little more tricky as content from organisations is often de-prioritised in favour of posts from individuals which are deemed more interesting. 🤔
Facebook have confirmed that their content ranking algorithm is based on the following factors:
- Inventory - assessing the content available on Facebook at that point.
- Engagement signals - to determine the quality of the content and how interesting/relevant it is.
- Engagement predictions - Facebook then predicts how many other people in your audience would find that content interesting depending on the initial engagement levels.
- Overall score - the content then receives a total score which determines which newsfeeds it appears in.
Tip 1. Share less links that take users out of Facebook
When the Facebook algorithm works so hard to keep people engaged on the site, why would they want to show content that encourages users to leave Facebook and head to your website?
When you think about it like this, it's easy to understand why posts containing links that take users away from Facebook don't generally perform so well.
While we're not suggesting that you never post links back to your website again, it might be worth considering cutting down on how many non-Facebook links you share. Maintain a healthy balance between content with links and content without throughout the month and remember that there are always creative ways to share the same information including:
- Share links as text in images instead of the text of the post 📸
- Share links in the first comment under your post ⬇️
- Ask your audiences to private message you if they want further details 📩
Tip 2. Use organic targeting
Another great option to work with the Facebook algorithm is to capitalise on organic targeting.
If you're not familiar with organic targeting, it's simply the practice of presenting different messages to certain sections of your audience, segmented by demographics like:
- Age 👦👵
- Gender ♀️♂️
- Relationship status 💍
- Education 🎓
- Interests 🏊♂️
- Location 🎯
This allows you to push certain messages to specific segments of your audience rather than your entire following. By working in this way, you can provide each of your audiences with the information they want and need without spamming your other followers with content that might be of no interest to them at all. Ultimately ensuring your content is relevant which is a key factor that the Facebook algorithm looks for when deciding whether the quality of your content.
Related Content: Why You Should Be Using Organic Social Media Targeting 🎯
Tip 3. Encourage your colleagues to engage with your content first
As soon as you post a piece of content on Facebook, the algorithm starts monitoring how many people engage with it to determine it's quality and decide whether to display it to more of your audience.
A way to ensure that your content sends those engagement signals to Facebook is to ask your colleagues to provide initial engagement. Your team are often an untapped resource when it comes to improving your engagement score and getting your message out there.
It's natural that some of your colleagues will either already do this or feel comfortable getting started on their own, but for others who are less familiar with social media, it can really help to provide some initial training and guidance.
Similarly, sharing links to your Facebook posts that you want your colleagues to like, comment on, or share through a weekly email or on an internal messaging forum can be a really easy way to get teams involved.
Related Content: Maximising Employee Advocacy To Grow Brand Influence
Tip 4. Incorporate more video content
Video content on Facebook is great for many reasons, it's a medium that's likely to encourage more engagement and help to bring more personality to your social channels, but did you know that Facebook also takes watch time as an indicator of engagement? 👀
That means that even if your audience don't always like, share, or comment on your videos, just watching them gives Facebook an indication that the content is relevant and potentially worth showing to others.
So if video content isn't already part of your Facebook strategy then it's worth thinking about how you can start incorporating it into your content! 📹
Tip 5. Spark an emotional response!
Our final tip is to create content that makes people feel something. People use Facebook for many reasons but in lots of cases they just want to pass the time and be entertained. After all, there's a reason why cute videos of dogs and cats perform so well - they make us feel warm and fuzzy! 💕
The more engagement your content gets, the higher Facebook will rank it and the more people will see it. So consider how you can bring more emotion into your content using these three tactics:
- Nostalgic Content: this tactic is all about evoking memories and a sense of pride or fondness for yesteryear. This theme not only encourages people to get involved in the conversation and share their own memories but in selecting content from different periods, you can actually focus on different audiences. Getting involved in #ThrowbackThursday each week or every other week is a great way to start to test this tactic out.
- Wow and WTF!? Content: these are moments where you might think, that’s outrageous, hilarious, or awe-inspiring. Consider the fact that if you think it’s crazy or incredible your audiences probably will too. This kind of content creates a fantastic talking point, even if people just want to share their disbelief! It’s important to remember that Facebook users generally visit the site when they’re looking for a distraction or entertainment and so don’t be afraid to meet that need. 😲
- Awwww Content: tactic three is all about the cute stuff. Whether it’s adorable kids, animals, or heart-warming interactions, it’s hard to ignore content that is just lovely and connects with us on a human level.
Those are our 5 top tips for battling the Facebook algorithm to ensure that your content is seen and your messages are heard! But we want to hear from you - have you found certain strategies that can improve your organic reach? Let us know @CrowdControlHQ or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 📩