How the Facebook algorithm works

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Author: Coordinate

Have you ever wondered why you see what you see in your Facebook newsfeed?

Facebook’s ever-changing, mysterious algorithm is something most of us don’t think twice about. But, is not understanding the algorithm impacting the number of people viewing your content? In short, most likely.

While the Facebook algorithm rarely stays the same for long it inevitably decides which posts users see, in what order, every time they log on to their account.

Currently, Facebook is trying to rebuild and re-establish trust with its users through transparency. In order to do this the “Why am I seeing this post?” button was introduced in March 2019, allowing users to understand why they are seeing the content that is appearing in their feeds.

When deciphering the algorithm itself, Facebook is currently ranking posts you see in the order you’re most likely to engage with them, based on ranking signals. These ranking signals include who a user typically interacts with, the type of media (photo, video, link, live video etc.) and the popularity of the post.

Key things you need to know about the ranking signals are:

  • External links will rank you lower than stand-alone content. This is because Facebook wants to keep you on its platform rather than take users off-site.
  • Video is the highest-ranking type of media, especially Facebook live!
  • Discussion and two-way engagement in the comments section is the easiest way to rank highest in the popularity ranking.
  • Comment and tag baiting (“tag your friends” or “comment yes”) will no longer rank well as they are considered spam.

So, how can you make the algorithm work in your favour? Here are our top tips!

Time your posts!

While Facebook uses ranking signals to pick where your posts sit in a newsfeed, the timing of your posts still matters. Use Facebook insights to understand when your audience is online and post during those time periods.

Start a conversation

Adding a question to the end of your posts is a great way to increase two-way engagement on your posts.

Be consistent

Posting consistently throughout the week and week-to-week identifies your page as one more likely to be meaningful to your audience. Benefit from the frequency ranking signal by posting consistently throughout the week, but don’t overdo it!

Support organic content with paid ads

Setting up paid ads and boosting posts every so often will help you expand your brand awareness and find new audiences. Spending as little as $10 on a post can help!