As marketers and business owners we have a hate-love relationship with Google’s search algorithm PageRank. We love how effective it is in producing the right results for searchers, we hate how every other marketer and their brother is competing to rank first.
Considering the conflicted feelings we all have for algorithms, each announcement that the Facebook news feed algorithm will be changing has us asking questions.
How will this affect my promotional posts? Will my audience still see my updates? Is my website referral traffic going to drop?
No fear- we’ve got you covered.
First off, how does the Facebook news feed algorithm work?
Like Google’s PageRank, Facebook’s algorithm is ever-changing. In order to keep their grip on dedicated users, they need to show only the most interesting and relevant posts first (and they’re doing a good job with this!).
The top factors that come into play are..
- Creator: Who’s posting and how much they interest you.
- Type: The type of content you prefer- image, text, link, etc.
- Popularity: How the post is performing by engaging other users.
- Recency: When it was posted, newest first.
“Facebook is conspiring to make us purchase ads!”
Increasingly over time, Facebook has sifted Facebook Pages posts from the news feed.
Is Facebook conspiring to make Facebook Pages buy ads? Let’s not bite the hand that feeds us.@OSC_WebDesign
Besides, there are a few logical reasons for this. For example, did you know that every 60 seconds on Facebook 510 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded?
Yes, more and more people are joining Facebook every moment and businesses are getting on the social media bandwagon too. There are a lot of posts to engage with but we can’t engage with them all.
Making the Cut
Keeping the top factors in mind, how can your business continue to reach followers and avoid being filtered from the Facebook news feed?
- Determine what kind of content you target audience prefers. The majority of people would rather look at an image than read a word-heavy update.
Content with relevant images get 94% more views than content without relevant images.@OSC_WebDesign
- Encourage engagement with content that asks for interaction. If interesting articles and images aren’t cutting it, have a contest or ask your audience to vote on something in the comments. This will increase your post’s popularity and consequently have you show up in more news feeds.
- Publish your posts at the right times. Research which days and time of day your audience is on Facebook the most. What does their day consist of? If they work 9-5, your best bet is to catch them at lunch, before work and after. Remember that recency is a factor so you should aim for interaction before your post is outdated.
According to 6 studies, the best days to post on Facebook are Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sun. The best times are at 9 AM, 1 PM & 8 PM.@OSC_WebDesign
Is the Facebook news feed algorithm foolproof?
As Facebook acknowledges themselves, the algorithm matches users preferences “sometimes.” So.. we’ll take that as a no.
One thing we can count on is that Facebook is innovative. There’s no doubt they’ll continue improving to better meet the needs of their users. What that means for us as businesses is more optimization, more research, more work, but hey- that’s the nature of progress.