Cracking the Facebook code: understanding the social network's algorithm will help your content be seen.
If you’re a Realtor or mortgage lender, you’re probably active on Facebook as a way to connect and engage with potential clients. It’s definitely a vital platform for marketing, with more than a billion Facebook users in the world and 128 million active users every day in the United States. But you also have some stiff competition, with 18 million business pages on Facebook – many of them belonging to other real estate agents and loan officers – not to mention people doing business via their personal profiles.
Just getting the attention of your Facebook friends and followers is half the battle, with the average user seeing about 1,500 stories and pieces of content showing up on their News Feed with every visit.
So, how can ensure that the content you post is reaching the greatest number of users?
It’s important to understand how (and why) Facebook content appears on a user’s timeline. In fact, each social media platform has its own algorithm for determining the placement and relevance (and, therefore, exposure) of your posts and content. And no algorithm is more complex than Facebook’s, with more than 100,000 factors that play into how each and every photo, post, or update ranks with other users.
While it would be impossible to evaluate them all, we do know that posts are given preference based on how other users react to them in certain ways.
Facebook’s algorithm has also undergone recent changes, moving on from a system called Edge Rank that followed a (slightly) simpler formula.
Edge Rank gave prevalence to content according to:
Posts in your Facebook News Feed will also rank based on:
Furthermore, posts are weighted according to these factors:
-Average time spent on content.
Websites rank much higher on Google when viewers spend more time on them, as the search engine algorithm deems them more useful and helpful to users. The same is true with Facebook, which rates a post by the average amount of time a user spends viewing or engaging with the post. (For instance, a video post will rank higher if the average user watches the whole thing instead of clicking away in the first few seconds.)
-When it’s posted.
Posts that go live at peak times (when more users are online and using Facebook) receive more weight. So, posting in the middle of the night may mean you have less competition for your viewers’ attention, but it will also rank worse with Facebook’s algorithm.
Type of content.
Facebook assigns a different value to various forms of content. For instance, we know that live video gets priority with their algorithm, followed by video, then posts with photos, posts with links, and, finally, all text. Furthermore, Facebook gives credence to those who post a variety of content, mixing it up and not posting the same form all the time.
The completeness of your page profile.
If we’re talking about a business page (not your personal account), the more fields you fill out and the more complete it is, the higher your content will rank. That makes sense as it signals to Facebook that your business is legitimate, and you’ve invested more effort and care into your page.
How informative the post is.
Facebook’s algorithm underwent some significant changes in 2016 and again in 2018, revamping how it perceives informational posts. But what still holds true is that useful, informative, and factual (hopefully!) posts show up higher on other users’ timelines.
Clicking on ads.
Facebook's algorithm for how ads show up in your timeline is totally different than how organic content appears, but the latter is somewhat influenced by the former. So, if you click on an ad for fishing rods and a friend posts a photo and story about their day at the lake fishing, it will more likely show up higher on your timeline.
Your device and even Wi-Fi speed.
I didn't know this, but Facebook actually gauges what device you're using and takes into consideration the strength of your Wi-Fi signal! They do that because certain content (like high-res live video) requires a strong internet signal and also may not be playable on older smartphones or mobile devices.
Last Actor & Story Bumping.
Facebook recently rolled out two innovations. Last Actor measures your last 50 Facebook interactions and uses that as a guide for what to show on your feed next. Meanwhile, Story Bumping actually gives older posts a chance to reappear in News Feeds when they get new likes, comments, and other interaction.
Need more help with Facebook and the rest of your marketing? Hit me up! Info@REMnorm.com