How to use Facebook’s algorithm to your advantage.
Facebook’s algorithm is what helps Facebook personalise content to what you have an interest in. Facebook looks at every interaction whether it’s a click on a post, location, interest, age, gender and so on. This results in relevant content being put in-front of potential users. They also take note of your online interaction for example if you are interested in a topic such as skincare they will show you posts relating to skincare on Facebook.
Since 2015 more content has been uploaded in comparison to previous years. This was due to Facebook wanting to have a stand alone platform where users could get all their information in one place. News publishers and celebrities (who already had a high following) then started utilising this platform and began sharing stories, therefore resulting in the newsfeed becoming crowded. However what actually happened was the everyday user became annoyed with all this spam like content and so Facebook rolled out a feedback campaign.
Facebook carried out survey’s asking users what type of content they preferred. The results from these surveys are now visible and hence the reason you might see a drop in your page reach. Facebook now only delivers 2% of content to your Facebook audience. What does that mean for business pages? Business pages must now create content to stand out from the noise. Every minute 300 new profiles are created. To put that into context, if all those business pages uploaded content at the same time, how much time would it take a user to search through it. This is why Facebook now only shows the relevant content to the preferred page audience, the people most likely to engage and purchase from your business.
How does it work
When creating content to publish on your page you must keep in mind that Facebook now favours family and friends as the number one preference to show. Posts should inform users and not be overly promotional. Make the content compelling and relevant to your page’s audiences to entice them to engage. Please remember that the user controls their own experience
5 major tactics to improve your Facebook efforts.
- Produce thumb stopping content: Sharing content frequently can impact your overall reach but this is not necessarily always the case instead you should focus on publishing content that focuses on 3 core areas: emotion, motion and colour. Your customers are human offline which effects how they operate online and how they interact with you page.
- Video content: Now more than ever Facebook is geared towards pages that use video within their strategy. Native content which is basically videos uploaded straight to Facebook excluding the need for third party platforms like YouTube takes into account how many users viewed the video. The higher the views the better the reach for your business. Hence, why you can view viewed minutes in the insights of a video.
- Keep it relevant: Your customer’s want to find information easily and quickly, you have less than 10 seconds to make an impact with your customer. Uploading and sharing relevant trendy topic such as the upcoming festive season is one example. Many small businesses should by now be getting ready for the festive season with their marketing campaigns. Hotels offering early bird deals for Christmas parties. Another great example is in October for accountants and financial advisors posting content about the annual tax return throughout summer, this is relevant to their client. You must remember that every business is different and therefore every business has a different customer. So what works for me, may not work for you.
- And finally the biggest factor of all, Paid Advertising. Facebook as a company requires businesses to pay for their advertising, the same as offline methods such as newspapers, radio, magazines. The great thing about this online paid advertising is it’s targeted and data results are instant. Every time you place a paid advert in Facebook you receive data on how well or poor your advert has performed. It allows you to target your desired customer through the obvious location, age, interaction but also categories such as interests, demographics and behaviours. The possibilities of these are extraordinary as it’s like standing in a room with thousands of people giving them a well-structured message for a faction of the offline cost. However some businesses interpret Facebook advertising as being a boosted post. This is not the case and is a great disadvantage to businesses as with a boosted post Facebook only shows your post to anyone at that specific moment, not your potential customer whereas the Facebook Adverts allows for specific targeting that will give you higher return. That said there is no harm if your main goal is to increase interaction or reach, then the boosted option is acceptable.
The most important factors that influence the Facebook Algorithm
Time: It’s more likely to be shown to a user if the time span is less than other posts. Facebook wants to show users the newest updates locally and globally.
Engagement on average: This shows if people care about your content. Asking a question is a great way to increase the likelihood of being shown in Facebook’s algorithm.
Type of Content: How much does the user engage with that specific type of post. Example do they interact more with videos, text, caption and image, Facebook live posts, monitoring the results of these can see an improvement in your algorithm.
What does this mean for small business pages?
It gives small business owners uncertainty about how Facebook delivers its content but by producing Facebook specific content can be a great advantage.
What does this mean for a general user?
It will give a better user experience as it will produce interesting and relevant content to that users newsfeed.
Implementing these tactics will see an improvement in your strategy but it will take time and a consistent effort. You are competing, now more than ever with every other business out there, as Facebook’s users grow so too will the level of content uploaded. Resulting in the need to publish content designed for your customer so the Facebook Algorithm will show your content to your customer through its filtering process. Imagine buying a magazine with all your relevant, newest, personalised content that you want to read in one magazine, well that is what is happening with Facebook and at a minimal financial cost.
Feedback is always welcome. If you have any questions regarding Facebook’s Algorithm and how it will effect your campaigns please fill out the form below.