29 April 2022 | 4 Minute(s) to read
Have you ever wondered how many of your lucky followers get to see your posts? If you think the time of day is the only factor that affects your followers from seeing your posts, it’s time to think again.
We’re here to take you through the good, the bad...and the ugly of Facebook algorithms. What they are, how they affect your business and what you can do about it?
Let’s get into it.
Sorry. An alga-what?
A Facebook algorithm is a tiny, tiny piece of powerful code. It’s this lil’ bad boy that dictates both the order and the content that’s presented on any given user's feed.
Let’s put this into a real life example.
Here I am – just having taken the cutest pic of my new pup. It screams, “must show off to my social family”.
I upload it to Facebook and Instagram, expecting my work colleague, who’s sitting beside me browsing Facebook to see it instantly. But she doesn’t. Instead she’s being served an article on ‘Top 10 places around the world to travel’.
Hmm… OK, now I’m confused. How?! Why?!
Organic reach is still on the decline.
In December 2020, the average reach (the number of your followers that will see your post) for an organic Facebook post was 5.2% and the average engagement rate (people who commented or liked your content) for an organic post across industries was 0.27%. Yeah, you’re reading that right… a disheartening 0.27%. Hold on to your hats, it gets worse. In 2021, organic reach on Facebook was down to about 2.2%. That means if you have, say, 652 people who follow your page, only about 14 of them will see your post. On LinkedIn, your organic reach is around 5.3%, and on Instagram, it's about 9.4%, according to findings from Ignite Social Media.
It’s been released that the 2021 Facebook algorithm is made up of main ranking signals including: recency, popularity, content type and relationship*.
Facebook will score your post and only serve it up to those followers of yours that it’s most relevant to. After all, let’s not forget what Facebook’s ultimate goal is … keep the user scrolling.
So, I bet you’re thinking… “but, that’s great”. It means, from a user perspective, I’m only getting served content that I want to see. Yes, you’re right.. but now let’s look at how this may affect your business.
We’ll tell you what it means in very simple terms. It means, put very simply… serving engaging, relevant, creative and timely content has quickly become your next priority.
How can I make the ever-changing Facebook algorithms work for me?
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of helpful hints and hacks so you can make algorithms work for you, not against you:
- Keep your audience engaged. If they interact with you - interact right back. Reply and react to their comments – build a relationship with them. This will also help to keep your post being seen.
- Create a content strategy that focuses on mixing it up. This is your opportunity to truly get creative. Create or share videos or use multiple images.
- Gather some data on when your audience is online. (Hint: in the left hand menu on your business page click INSIGHTS then POSTS to see the stats). If you’re posting when they’re online, you’ll be ticking that ‘recency’ box.
- Don’t limit yourself to posts. Utilise all the other great features on Facebook, such as stories or Facebook live. You can find more on other Facebook features here, in a previous blog.
- Don’t post it unless you mean it. Keep it relevant and keep it real and authentic. Turns out Facebook is pretty smart, it knows spam when it sees it so avoid sharing misleading or fake news.
- Tag those you really want to reach. If you are announcing a competition winner or you have attended an event and have a picture with someone, tag them in it so their followers will also see the post.
- Avoid Phishing - avoid phrases like “share this video”, “comment below” or “tag your friends”. These phrases will decrease the number of people it shows your videos to. Instead, use different phrases like “sharing the love” or “smash the heart button”!
So now we’ve schooled you on ‘how-to’ play the algorithms to your advantage, it’s time to put it into practice. Take a look at your social media and see what new strategies you can adopt to help combat these algorithms.