Demystifying The Facebook Algorithm

The algorithm for Facebook's ever-changing News Feed is arguably one of the most mysterious (and sometimes frustrating) challenges internet marketers are up against. Apart from the occasional searches users conduct to visit specific pages, the all-powerful News Feed dictates exactly what users see on a daily basis. In order for your business page to help you build customer relationships and generate revenue, your posts have to make it into your followers' feeds so that they can see and interact with your content. 

This week, our social media marketing company is here to examine some of the factors leveraged in Facebook's algorithm and how you can use them to your advantage.

Why We Need The Algorithm

Facebook's algorithm is one of the most heavily guarded secrets of the World Wide Web. The simple fact of the matter is that there isn't room in your feed to show every post published by all of your friends and every business page you follow, so Facebook uses a sophisticated algorithm to select which posts display in your News Feed. Out of the thousands of posts that Facebook indexes, you will likely only see the top hundred or so. As Facebook's user base continues to increase, the algorithm becomes increasingly complex. 

The Algorithm's Goal

While the success of your company's Facebook presence relies heavily on its visibility in News Feeds, the algorithm is not designed to focus on your business. Instead, its focus is centered around Facebook users. First and foremost, the algorithm is designed to enhance user experience by displaying the posts it determines to be the most interesting and relevant to each individual user.

That's right - the algorithm works such that each person's News Feed is specific and unique to that person. 

Factors The Algorithm Considers

The truth is that there are literally hundreds of factors Facebook's algorithm takes into account. It would be impossible to discuss all of them in a single blog post (partially because no one outside of Facebook knows what all of them are), but we can take a look at some of the more prominent factors.

Before we dive into some of these individual components, we need to take a quick look at the concept of relevancy. The overarching goal of Facebook's algorithm is to prioritize the posts it believes to be the most relevant to each individual user. After scanning every single post published by every friend and business page you are connected with, Facebook assigns each post a "relevancy score."

Here is a quick look at some of the different factors that are considered when assigning a post's relevancy score:
  • Whether the post is published by a friend or a business page
  • How recently the post was published
  • Who published the post and their relation to you
  • What type of content the post is
  • How much time you typically spend on this type of content
  • How you have interacted previously with this type of content
  • How much engagement the post has already received
  • How recently the post received engagement
  • How likely you are to engage with the post
  • How likely you are to find the post informative

The posts you see then appear in the order they are scored. That means that the post that appears in the very top of your news feed is the post that Facebook has determined is likely to be of the most interest to you.

Of course, the algorithm isn't perfect. It constantly updates to reflect your changing preferences and accompanying actions, and Facebook is always tweaking the algorithm to improve user experience.

What This Means For You

Understanding some of the factors considered in Facebook's algorithm is only part of the equation - as a business owner and online marketer, the next step for you is to learn how to use these factors to your advantage.

The unfortunate truth is that a few years ago, Facebook heavily prioritized posts by individual users, making it much more challenging for posts by business pages to appear organically in News Feeds. If you want to guarantee that your post appears in News Feeds, your best option is to boost the post for a few dollars. However, there are ways you can increase the likelihood of your posts appearing organically as well. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Focus on the quality of your posts rather than the quantity
  • Experiment by publishing multiple types of content
  • Study your insights to identify which types of posts generate the most interaction and publish more of those types
  • Use Facebook's organic targeting option to deliver specific posts to specific demographics
  • Look at your insights to determine when your fans are online and publish posts during those times

As we mentioned, Facebook's News Feed algorithm is adjusted regularly as Facebook strives to constantly improve users' experiences. Don't be discouraged if your posts aren't gaining a lot of organic reach - instead, get creative and try publishing different types of posts to encourage more engagement.

We're Here To Help!

You've got a business to run, and staying on top of the latest social media tips and techniques can be time-consuming. If you're having trouble finding the time to dedicate to your social media campaign, consider reaching out to a social media marketing company. At MSW Interactive Designs, we make a point to stay abreast of the latest strategies so we can position your company's online presence for optimum growth. For more information about our social media marketing services, visit our website or call (573) 552-8403. 

~ Post by Bailey Puppel, Internet Marketing Specialist
Phone: 877-211-5492


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