If you want to succeed with your Facebook marketing strategy, you should know about the Facebook algorithm and how it works.
Over the years, the Facebook algorithm has undergone some changes that can make it more of a challenge to work with, but the right approach will help you maximize your reach on the platform.
In this article, we’ll explore what the Facebook algorithm is, how it operates, and some tips for getting ahead with Facebook marketing.
What is the Facebook Algorithm?
The algorithm on Facebook works much like the algorithm on Google and other platforms—it uses certain formulas and rules to display content in front of users in their Facebook Feeds. The objective here is to push the most relevant content that users will likely find interesting or helpful.
The algorithm consists of several rankings and machine learning models that determine what kind of content will appeal most to users. In the process, the algorithm selects the appropriate content for users via organic posts along with other types of Facebook content.
How Does the Facebook Algorithm Work?
The algorithm on Facebook uses a combination of AI and machine learning, along with ranking signals, to determine which content is best to show users.
The ranking signals the FB algorithm uses have changed over the years, with some new signals added, some eliminated, and others modified.
There are currently three main ranking signals that influence the Facebook algorithm:
- The source of a post — Facebook prioritizes posts from people the user is familiar with, including friends and familiar pages or brands.
- The content type — The algorithm will also deliver content to you based on what type of content you enjoy most. For instance, if you tend to engage with a lot of image posts, you’ll likely see more of these over text or video posts.
- Engagement — Posts that people engage with most will also have more reach than posts with minimal engagement. This is especially the case when people you know like or otherwise engage with a post.
To do well on Facebook and appeal to the algorithm, you’ll want to gain a deep understanding of your audience.
What kinds of posts do they interact with most? What content resonates most effectively? Answering these and other questions can help you succeed in your marketing efforts.
Using boosted posts that are highly targeted, you will further increase your chances of reaching the right people at the right time with posts.
Remember that audiences can control what the algorithm feeds them to an extent. For example, they can label certain pages as favorites, hide or snooze posts and pages, and hide ads due to irrelevancy or other issues.
How Does the Algorithm Work For Facebook Reels?
You might also want to use Facebook Reels in addition to traditional Facebook. Reels is a short-form video branch of Facebook that pushes brief videos into people’s feeds.
The Facebook feed algorithm for Reels works similarly to the broader Facebook algorithm, with AI and machine learning used to figure out which content to display based on engagement.
Posts with high engagement will get more reach via the Facebook Reels algorithm, while posts that people often hide or snooze won’t fare as well.
What’s New? How the Facebook Algorithm Has Changed
Starting in 2017, Facebook started publicizing updates to its algorithm and how it works. Since then, there have been multiple notable updates that influence the way content appears in people’s feeds.
Here are some of the more important Facebook algorithm changes that have led to some pretty big changes in recent years:
An Emphasis on Personalization
Since 2018, the Facebook algorithm has made it easier for users to personalize their feeds and the content they see.
By 2019, people could respond to a survey in their News Feed to confirm what kinds of content they wanted to view. In turn, people would be more likely to see content that interested them.
This level of targeting made it more of a challenge for businesses to get as much of a reach with organic posts as they could in the earlier days of Facebook.
Facebook also made it more challenging for pages to gain traction if they came across as biased or spammy in any way, meaning businesses had to take extra care to avoid violating Facebook’s rules.
The Move From Machine Learning to AI
Another big change that’s occurred recently is the transition from ML to AI-powered ML, which gave users even more control over the content in their feeds.
Specifically, Facebook added the ability for users to “Show More” or “Show Less” for each post in 2022. The “Show More” option would increase the visibility for the respective post and show the user similar content, while “Show Less” would hurt the post’s visibility and keep the user from seeing the same kind of content.
These and other recent updates show how important it is to optimize for the Facebook algorithm in 2023 and avoid falling behind.
Tips to Master the Facebook Algorithm and Increase Your Reach
Want to succeed on Facebook by appealing to the platform’s algorithm and users? The following tips can help:
1. Know What Kind of Content Your Audience Likes
Keep in mind that Facebook wants to show people content that’s meaningful and informative. Think about what kinds of content fall under those categories according to your audience.
Meaningful content is content that inspires people to share it and engage with it through comments and likes while actively consuming the content. Meanwhile, informative content provides users with new information that users find interesting.
2. Remember, You Can’t Cheat the System
While you may want to find ways to manipulate the FB algorithm in your favor, there isn’t an effective way to “get around” the algorithm.
Attempts to manipulate the system could hurt you more than help in any way, leading you to struggle even more to get on top.
Black-hat techniques like buying comments or creating deceptive, clickbait-y content will likely just set you back.
Instead of manipulating the algorithm, it’s best to learn the ins and outs of its function and determine how to appeal to it. More specifically, you’ll want to figure out how to appeal to your audience on the platform with high-value content.
3. Choose the Right Time to Post
You should also determine the best time to post on Facebook based on when your audience is most active.
Some audiences may be more eager to consume Facebook content in the morning, for instance, or in the evenings after a day at work. Some may also take a break at midday to look at their feeds, such as during lunch hours.
When more people are online to see your content, this can lead to more engagement with it.
4. Use Video Content to Your Advantage
Content that tends to drive the most engagement consists of videos, especially short-form videos.
You can create video content specifically for Facebook, including something like a Facebook livestream, but you can also use existing content and repurpose it for the platform.
For example, you could take a YouTube video you posted and chop it up into short, meaningful clips for use on Facebook.
This kind of content can get you ahead of competitors that stick with image or text content.
5. Get Brand Advocates Involved
Another way to appease the algorithm on Facebook is to encourage your employees to help out with your marketing.
Your team could have more influence than your page alone, primarily when employees use their personal accounts to share content with friends and family.
First, you can get your staff to like and follow your business page. Employees could then comment, like, and share your posts to increase engagement and spread the word about your content.
FAQs About the FB Algorithm
1. How do I reset my Facebook algorithm?
After posting content, you might want to accelerate things with an instant algorithm update. Thankfully, you can do so right from Facebook. It isn’t exactly a reset, but it can help.
All you need to do is click on your page’s profile picture, select Settings and Privacy and then Feed. Here, you can Snooze people or pages, add them to a Favorites list, or opt to Unfollow certain profiles.
You also have the ability to see and choose which Ad Topics to follow under your Ads section in Settings.
2. What factors does the Facebook algorithm prioritize for content visibility?
The four primary factors that determine what people see in their Facebook feeds include:
- Inventory — Facebook first identifies all content that could appear in people’s News Feeds, including content from new and familiar pages and posts from friends.
- Signals — All types of ranking signals indicate which types of content are most likely to resonate with each user. For instance, if you engage regularly with a specific page’s content, you’re more likely to see new posts from this page in your feed.
- Predictions — Based on the signals that Facebook picks up from content, the algorithm then predicts what content each user will connect with most. An example of this process would entail the algorithm predicting you want to see content from a particular friend whose posts you often comment on or share.
- Relevancy Score — The algorithm decides which content to show you based on its Relevancy Score. Content with higher scores will most likely appear in your feed.
You can also take certain steps to increase visibility for your content using tools to increase relevancy, like Facebook hashtags. Hashtags in Reels and other content could help you appear more prominently for a particular topic.
3. How often does Facebook update its algorithm and how will I know?
Staying on top with Facebook algorithm updates will help you prepare for them. However, it’s not always clear when Facebook will release an update.
What we do know is that Facebook regularly updates the algorithm to show people the most relevant content while getting rid of spam and clickbait.
Essentially, the only way to know if an update has affected your posts is to monitor their engagement. If a post had a lot of engagement in the past but suddenly hits a slump, this could indicate that an update limited its visibility.
4. Does the Facebook algorithm treat content from Pages and Profiles differently?
Generally, the FB algorithm treats all content the same, but how people display page or profile content will depend on each user’s values.
If a user tends to engage more with friends and family, they’re likely to see more posts from their friends’ individual profiles. If people like to engage with various pages, they’re probably going to see more content from these and other similar pages.
5. How do Facebook Reels influence my business’s visibility on the platform?
When figuring out FB Reels monetization and trying to get on top of this branch of Facebook, you may want to know if and how Reels impacts your company’s visibility.
The fact is that Facebook Reels is a great way to connect with users who might not encounter your brand via traditional posts. Today, around 697 million people engage with Reels, a significant number of people you can reach with this specific tool.
The Bottom Line – Facebook Algorithm Success
Want to excel with your Facebook marketing strategy? Working with the Facebook algorithm is a critical step.
Every business should use Facebook, as it enables them to:
- Maximize their reach
- Take advantage of social signals
- Gain reviews from more customers
- Increase brand authenticity
- Connect directly with audiences
- Build a loyal following
Does all of this sound like a good strategy for you? You’ll want to develop one that works best for your business and helps you connect with your unique audience.
If you need some assistance with your Facebook marketing, turn to Ignite Visibility. Reach out to us today, and we’ll help you get started on your next strategy!