You have 1000 followers on Facebook, but only 200-ish views on your stories. You know you are posting amazing content, but only to land 29 reacts. What do the rest 971 followers do? Surprisingly, very few people seem to drop a react. The reason? Your post doesn’t reach the majority of people.
This is why many businesses use paid advertising to reach more but even that doesn’t work. Because getting your attention from prospects on Facebook is hard. And, it all has to do with understanding the Facebook algorithms.
Why Is It Necessary To Master Facebook Algorithms?
Facebook wants people to use it as much as possible. But without the actual needs served, they can’t keep people glued. This is why Facebook controls which content reaches who and how many. But – in an unbiased way – by following some performance metrics.
It keeps a solid check on what content people like to see and react on. So it keeps revising the algorithm over time depending on the need of the users.
Recently, Facebook kicked the life out of businesses by announcing it will focus more on “Meaningful Interactions” on the newsfeed of the users. That means Facebook is going for its very initial goal- connecting people. So rather than filling people’s newsfeed with offers and business ads – it fills the newsfeed with posts from family and friends.
This way, people get what they want from Facebook – interaction and connectivity. That’s why, it got harder for businesses to reach their prospects through Facebook.
The Facebook Algorithm: How It Works
Not everyone on Facebook is there to connect with friends and family. Businesses are out there too and Facebook earns from these businesses too. So, there must be some criteria and methods to score high enough to be on newsfeeds. Let’s dig into what the Facebook algorithm factors in:
1. The Inventory
As the name suggests, the inventory is the total stock of posts, pictures, videos, and many things on a user’s profile. Facebook can’t possibly show the user posts from every person and business he follows.
Further, a user won’t stick around if Facebook keeps showing irrelevant posts triggering zero interest – and it can very well be from a business page.
That’s why, Facebook now focuses on showing the relevant inventory. There potentially are keywords and other content that Facebook tracks and matches with user. Basing on that, they arrange the newsfeed.
However, you can choose to view “Top Stories” or “Most Recent”. The default is “Top stories”, so being a user, you don’t really enjoy a chronological newsfeed most times.
2. The Signals
Now the question is – how does Facebook know who likes which posts or pages or profiles? Seeing their reaction to the posts, of course. Consider these reactions signals Facebook notices. There are two types –
The Active Signals: This is something everyone can see. These are the actions user take including likes, reacts, comments and shares. Facebook puts more value on shares, followed by comments, followed by reacts and likes. With all the values summed up – it decides which posts should get more exposure.
The Passive Signals: This is more like signals from introverts. The amount of time someone spends on a post, the number of times he opens the post, and so forth. People don’t exactly take action when they view these posts but they show their silent interest – not everybody drops reacts on Facebook.
3. The Prediction
Based on the similarity of posts that got attention – Facebook predicts the behavior of the user. It matches the contents of the post to other posts. After that, they decide which newsfeeds the post should reach.
4. The Overall Score
Basing on the performance of a post on these criteria – Facebook decides how much exposure a post should receive and where. So it is essential for your post to score high on all.
The Facebook Algorithm: How Do You Master It?
1. Be Relevant
As you can see, Facebook values users’ preferences. And, what do users prefer? Relevance. So first, you have to be relevant. When a user reads or sees your post – he should feel the post was tailor-made for him. And you can do that only by… tailor-making it for him. It is your target market and you must grab their attention and also Facebook’s.
For example, if you are selling perfumes, you can directly talk about the problems people usually face – stinking after playing a sport – for example. Use keywords like sweat, sport, smell, stick, and so forth. People might find you or Facebook might find the right users needing you.
You can also post team pictures, the buzz of the days, and so forth. To be relevant to everything going on – give your personal opinions as well, so people find the interest to read on.
2. Incite Response
You need to post content that make the users take an action – a positive one. For example, you can post something interesting like:
“What will be our next product? The clue is in our previous posts”
After that, you can add options in the caption section.
Whether the person is interested in your offer or not – he / she will be interested to comment just to satisfy curiosity.
Similarly, you can post content that causes engagement. You can ask questions or opinions. Whatever it is, it should be geared to stir up interest and response.
3. Follow the 80-20 Rule
This is mainly about the content you post. You cannot always make people visit your website, right? And, most people take a step back when you direct them to your website or ask them for information. But, you must take a chance, right?
And you take that with 20% of your posts. In fact, 80% of your posts should encourage involvement. You can post about the day, facts, team, products, contests, giveaways, and so forth. All should encourage are likes, comments, shares.
On the other hand, some posts should contain blog links, website links, and so on, that take users out of Facebook, where you originally do business.
4. Go Live
This is one of the best ways to beat Facebook algorithms. But to get results, you must do it right. The action is instant and the results are instant too.
First, you have to announce going live beforehand so people make time for it. Going live brings in more response because your followers get a notification when you go live – so the ‘drumming up’ is totally worth it.
Second, add text to the live video. As most people find it difficult to keep track of your words in a video – keep subtitles. Further, often users see videos on mute.
Third, encourage comments and responses. You should ask questions, read out the comments and respond. While some don’t like it, some really love the attention. Further, some people have genuine questions to ask. So reply to each comment chronologically so other viewers wait for their turn.
Lastly, keep the live video going for a while. People keep joining the video slowly and you get most eyeballs at the end or middle. Keep adding value so readers accumulate and stick by before making the offer. And then bank hard.
Understanding the Facebook algorithm is not enough. You have to know how to use it in your favor. Now that you know how the algorithm works, you have to focus on how you work. But remember to diversify your strategy – because there’s always the chance of one may perform better than the other. You might also get different responses from a diversified approach. Focus on the one that best suits you but keep others on the side for more traction.