Key Tips to Engage the Facebook Algorithm

Every marketer wants to beat the Facebook Algorithm. It’s a quick way to generate massive amounts of user engagement and an effective way to supercharge a Facebook marketing campaign.

This article explains basic concepts every marketer and social media manager needs to master to generate favorable results. It will explain the FB algorithm and why it’s important to beat it. Let’s begin.

television showing man using binoculars
Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

What Is the Facebook Algorithm?

The FB algorithm is a series of logic filters determining the best way to present content on an individual user’s newsfeed. In order to understand the algorithm’s purpose, it’s important to understand Facebook’s business goals.

First, Facebook is a Software-as-a-service (SaaS) that generates revenue by selling ad space to companies and marketers. There are two types of content:

  • Organic – which includes user-generated content.
  • Ads – which marketers and businesses pay to have FB show to users.

Facebook must balance these content types to satisfy individual users and marketers. On the one hand, pushing too much organic content hurts their revenue. On the other hand, pushing too many ads hurts the user experience, which will cause users to leave the Facebook ecosystem.

The algorithm is a way to strike this balance by determining the order, sequence, and content type users want to see on their feeds. 

How Does the FB Algorithm Work?

Have you wondered why you see the content of some friends but not those of others? If the Facebook platform is the biggest social media platform known to the Digital Age, why is the content on your newsfeed limited?

It’s simple. The average Facebook user spends 4 minutes on average on the platform. The algorithm determines the best posts to show in that short time.

Imagine that there are hundreds of posts vying for a user’s attention. How do you select the posts to present to a user if he only has time to look at four posts? – Simple, you pick the content the user will most likely enjoy and engage with.

The FB algorithm uses these as the sources of user information:

  • Page followings
  • User interests
  • Previously read and shared articles
  • User interactions

How the Facebook Algorithm Ranks Content:

The process of ranking relevant content includes four general steps. These are:

  • Taking inventory – when the algorithm collects all possible content based on user data, network, and behavior.
  • Checking signals – the algorithm uses signals to decide which content to prioritize.
  • Making predictions – the algorithm tries to figure out how a user’s reaction to a post.
  • Scoring content – the algorithm then sets a score for each post, effectively ranking them in the order optimized to reach a specific user.

How Do You Use the Facebook Algorithm?

Most marketers will want to use the algorithm to reach their target audience with their ads and content. If you want to increase your reach, it’s imperative that you follow these best practices.

1. Post Only Relevant Content

The main point of Facebook’s algorithm is to make sure that the most relevant content shows up on a user’s news feed. If you want to create brand exposure, it’s important that you post content meaningful to your target audience. Not only is relevant content valuable to a user, but it also means they stay longer on the FB platform.

2. Use Video Content

The majority of viral content is video content. Many studies show that video is the best-performing content type across all social media platforms, including Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. 

Users enjoy video content because it’s an efficient way to absorb information, and it is leaps and bounds more entertaining than plain text. Moreover, Facebook enjoys original videos because they encourage users to spend more time on their news feeds.

3. Focus on User-Generated Content

User-generated content refers to posts from authentic Facebook users. These types of posts tend to encourage more interactions because they offer something valuable to other users. 

Brands can use this to encourage users to comment and react to their posts. It is also a way to receive honest feedback from your users while also promoting brand awareness and nurturing customer relationships. Don’t forget to tag users as well. This will get the algorithm to show your content to their network, who might also like your brand. It’s a good way to start building up the number of your followers.

4. Track Your Analytics

Never underestimate the value of tracking conversations and interactions. Tracking your analytics allows you to identify the posts that people relate with most. This will allow you to optimize your marketing strategy to yield higher engagement and conversion numbers.

5. Avoid Posting Fake News

Fake news is one of the things that can turn a user away from the platform. This is especially true for political periods where groups of people tend to spread misleading information on Facebook.

The issue was so impactful that it prompted Facebook to add a change to the algorithm that prioritizes detecting and removing misleading content. Moreover, Facebook encourages users to report any content that spreads fake news. 

Spreading fake news will only get your content unranked and may even get you banned from the platform.

6. Avoid Clickbait and Engagement Bait

Clickbait refers to a post that is made with the sole purpose of arousing emotion rather than sharing valuable information. It refers to any content that is over-sensationalized and over-exaggerated. This type of content almost always fails to meet audience expectations and thus, holds no value to any user.

On the other hand, engagement bait refers to content that outright asks users to interact with the post. The platform discourages engagement bait because it encourages spam, and it does not reflect the post’s impact on users. 

8. Observe Facebook Community Standards

Finally, always adhere to community standards. Whether you’re using Facebook or any other social media platform, these standards help guide users on the content to produce. These guidelines help make these platforms a safe space for users.

Avoid sharing content that shows violence, human exploitation, nudity, and copyright infringements. While the algorithm might miss violations every now and then, Facebook users can still report your post. 

Posts that incur a high number of reports get a lower “algorithm score,” which, in turn, decreases their views. In some cases, Facebook may decide to remove a user from its platform.

The Bottom Line

The Facebook algorithm is an important component of the platform. It’s what ensures that users get the best experience, but it also has a direct impact on Facebook’s revenue

Remember that Facebook wants its users to enjoy their time on the platform so it can present more advertisements to users. The algorithm determines the best mix of content to present to users in a limited time.

Keep these simple tips in mind if you want to get the best chances of ranking high on Facebook’s news feed. Remember that Facebook is the world’s biggest social media platform. You wouldn’t want to miss out on engaging with a user base of 2.934 billion people, would you?

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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