How it works: The Facebook algorithm

At Squirrels&Bears we believe in simplicity and we like to provide clear answers to your questions. In our #howitworks series we focus on simple explanations of various aspects of small business, highlighting the basic facts, what works and what doesn’t. And we hope to make your life a little easier.

The Basics:

  • The Facebook algorithm controls the ordering of posts in the feed, so users see what is most relevant to them.
  • When you post an update, Facebook shows your post to a smaller group of users at first to see how it holds up for engagement before it shows it to a larger group.
  • The goal is to drive more authentic interactions, meaning that businesses have to create great quality content that drives real interactions and shares.
  • Interactions include comments or likes on another person’s update, including when someone shares a link on Messenger to start a conversation.
  • The key factors affecting content ranking in your feed include average time spent on the content, overall engagement, the timing of it and the quality of the content.

Do:

  • Keep your feed updated with different types of content. Only posting external links doesn’t work well with the algorithm.
  • Focus on visual content as it gets 87% more engagement – so make sure you accompany your updates by a visual.
  • Use video content. According to Facebook’s own words, vide content drives higher engagement that any other content.
  • Start a conversation – it’s not about you, it’s about creating a place for your audience to communicate.
  • Use native content – Facebook prefers to keep content on their platform versus linking to another site.
  • Include relevant hashtags and tag others.
  • Time your posts – the algorithm prioritises posts that receive engagement, so timing is critical.
  • Keep your page credible by being active and having all page information filled out – your credibility as a brand affects your content ranking.
  • Consider Facebook ads to promote your content. Data shows that they produce an overwhelmingly positive ROI, being used by 93% of marketers.

Don’t:

  • Ask people to like, comment or share your post – it makes the algorithm mark it down as it’s seen as spam.
  • Just use links to your site.

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