Struggling to keep up with Facebooks algorithm? Don’t worry… you’re not alone. Since 2017, Facebook have prioritised user experience over businesses emphasising the importance of ‘meaningful social interactions’. It’s caused businesses and marketers all over the work to rethink their marketing strategy to align with Facebooks new consumer-focused stance.
It might sound overwhelming but that’s where we come in. We’ve read over all the algorithm updates, so you don’t have to. Carry on reading for our top 6 ways that will help your business beat the Facebook algorithm.
Optimise Your Facebook Page
Facebook prioritises content from pages that have properly filled out all necessary information boxes. It tells the algorithm that you are not only a legitimate business but that you want to provide value to those who visit your page. Filling out all the info boxes helps new followers quickly understand what your product/service is and how it can benefit them. Thankfully, Facebook is good at reminding you to fill in any missing information so keep an eye out for their prompts. In the meantime, here’s some of the most important page details you’ll need to fill in.
Profile and cover photo
- Your profile photo should be your logo and your cover photo should showcase your products/services.
- Ensure your profile picture is high quality as it will appear on every post you upload.
- Change your cover photo seasonally or when your business has a special event or important news.
- Profile picture: 170 x 170 pixels
- Cover photo: 820 x 312 pixels
- Description: Your description tells people what your business is and what it offers. It can be up to 250 characters, but we would recommend keeping it to 1 or 2 sentences.
- About section: This includes your businesses telephone number, email, social media accounts and opening hours.
- Call to action button: Such as ‘Book Now’ or ‘Visit website’.
Post Visual Content (Especially Videos)
Facebooks algorithm prefers visual content to plain text and links. Strong visual content gives your audience a reason to engage (like, comment, follow) and hopefully convert into a paying customer. Plain text and links are not very attention-grabbing and often get lost amongst other posts on the newsfeed.
Facebook especially rewards video content over still images. Databox conducted a study which showed video ads produced twice the number of clicks, and 20%-30% more conversions compared to still image ads. You don’t have to create an expensive commercial video ad, either. A simple lopped video is enough to catch the attention of the average Facebook newsfeed scroller.
Don’t Post Spammy Content
The Facebook algorithm praises posts that provide value. A post with lots of likes, comments, and shares tells the algorithm that it’s showing valuable content. Posting too frequently doesn’t give your audience a lot of time to engage and therefore encourages the algorithm to supress your content.
In addition, posts that directly ask for engagement (e.g., ‘like now’ or ‘share now’) are also not favoured by the Facebook algorithm. As of 2017, Facebook cracked down on what they call ‘engagement baiting’. They describe it as ‘spammy posts that goads people into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions. For example, “LIKE this is you’re an Aries!”.’ In a bid to foster more authentic engagement, Facebook are actively demoting posts that are seen to be engagement baiting.
Instead of engagement baiting, try posting content that encourages a bit of debate. It can drum up more like, comments, and overall engagement. But don’t be too controversial, a Sprout Social study showed if your audience disagrees with your stance on social and political issues, they’ll be less likely to buy from you or recommend your brand to others, having the opposite effect on your engagement.
Utilise Relevant Platform Updates
Social media platforms are constantly releasing new features to keep their sites relevant and interesting. Facebook often announce new features on their social media platform accounts and their Meta for Business website so keep your eyes peeled for new updates. It can be daunting getting to grips with a new feature but being one of the first to use it can expose you to new audiences and increase your reach.
A feature that isn’t used by enough businesses is Facebook Live. Facebook live is a live-stream video function where viewers can watch and interact in real time. Businesses can use it to perform demonstrations or to present shows. Facebook urges businesses to get involved with Facebook live advocating its ability to increase brand awareness and even revenue.
Invest in Paid Social Media
Facebook ads are used by 92% of social marketers (Invesp) and there’s a good reason for it! Using paid social is a fast-track way to pretty much guaranteed engagement and conversions. Facebook ads can be expensive, but they are known to produce excellent return on investment so if you can afford to invest in paid social, we would more than recommend it.
Facebooks vast targeting options make it one of the best ways to increase brand awareness, engagement, and conversions. But this isn’t to say you should neglect your organic reach efforts. Ultimately, using paid social in conjunction with organic social media is what will get the best results.
Analyse and Improve
Like most things to do with social media you must regularly analyse your performance to see what’s working well and what you need to improve on. Facebook are always looking for new ways to improve their algorithm so keeping up with their updates is paramount to running a successful social media account. Engagement rates below 0.5% are considered low and suggests you should realign your messaging to better appeal to your target market.
Facebook makes it easy for you to check your analytics. From your news feed, just click ‘pages’ in the left menu, go to your page, and click ‘insights’ on the left. Here, you’ll be able to see information about your page’s performance such as demographics and other engagement metrics.
The Final Takeaway
That’s a wrap! We hope after reading our article that you feel more confident about the Facebook algorithm. All you really must remember is that Facebook will always prioritise the user experience so if you’re producing interesting content that engages the consumer then you’re on the right track.
A good way to check if you’re keeping up with the rest is to keep tabs on your competitors. They’ll give you a good idea of what type of content consumers are expecting in your industry. Other than that, be consistent with your brand voice, keep your content meaningful, and keep track of your analytics and algorithm updates and you’ll always stay ahead of the algorithm.