Facebook really does care about user experience, which is why they focus so strongly on how to balance your news feed with content you want and ads that they need (remember, they are a business!).
They do a lot of testing and get real user feedback (rumor has it there about 700 reviewers called Facebook’s “Feed Quality Panel”) to determine what to change and how to build a better news feed.
This is why things change so frequently...If there is one thing constant about Facebook – it is change.
As you can imagine, if you want to be a successful marketer, you need to be up to date with every change that Mark and his team implements.
A good start would be to get accustomed to every factor that is relevant for Facebook in 2021.
1. User Behaviour
What people see at the top of their news feed is largely (but not entirely) dependent on what they have clicked, liked or commented on in the past. A recent update looks at the probability that a person will want to see the post AND that the person will want to engage with the post with comment or share.
Of course, the exact algorithm that analyses user behavior is top secret. But as a rule of thumb, you should always create content while thinking about what the audience will want to engage with the most.
2. Time Spent Reading Stories
Facebook is now evaluating how people scroll through their streams to determine the types of stories people want to see. When someone stops in a news feed to
read more from a post – Facebook knows!
Even if they do not comment or share the post – Facebook will know that they stopped to read it and will take that as a signal that they are interested in that content.
So even if you don’t get clicks or shares, it’s still worth it to create content that only gets views, if not for anything else.
3. Spam Filtering
NEVER ask for readers to share or comment on a post. Facebook will know and it is a trigger for their spam filter.
It used to be that when others like your content that their friends would see that they liked it – this was a big reason why so many brand managers wanted to increase likes – but Facebook themselves have said that they have lessened this type of post from showing in the news feed.
So if someone likes your post – their friends will no longer necessarily see it. You want people to like posts or make comments because they LIKE YOUR CONTENT ...Not because you forced them too.
So keep in mind that under no circumstances you should beg your audience for likes and shares. That’s a big NO-NO!
4. Sales Focused Posts
Pages are about sharing great content – not pushing products or services. If your post focuses on “click here to buy”, “download now”, “enter to win” or any other promotional type post – you can be risking your organic reach.
With this in mind, leave the promotional stuff for the paid campaigns that you are planning on running.
5. Native Videos
If you are creating videos and linking to them on Facebook from YouTube - you are doing yourself a disservice! With Facebook’s introduction of video upload – you should be posting your videos directly to Facebook and sharing from there.
Studies on this approach have consistently confirmed that going for native videos will increase reach and engagement. With this in mind, stick for native Facebook videos only for your social media posts.
6. Peak Hours
We know, it sounds contradictory – but by posting during peak hours, you are risking the visibility of your posts. Most likely, your posts are not being seen because of the amount of competition for newsfeed space.
If your Facebook accounts are relatively small in regard to your competition, you should avoid their posting hours in order to maximize your reach.
7. Trigger Words
It has been said that there is an Algorithm that can trigger a positive or negative reaction from Facebook in regards to post content. This was consistently proven to be true.
NEGATIVE: sign-up now, click here, enter to win, buy now, free
POSITIVE: congratulations, love, sex, champion
But don’t go spamming positive words thinking that your posts will get a higher reach. The game is more about staying away from the negative stuff.
8. Linked Posts
When you add a post and create a link to a page – these are still shown to be the top types of post that get the most reach. But as you know by now, videos get more clicks.
This is why it is critical to test and to align your FB posts to a variety of different types. But if you want the most reach, linked posts are still the top dog.
9. Text-only Posts
When creating Facebook content, aim to include more than text. Posts that are text-only do not show up as well in newsfeeds because they just aren’t that interesting.
Think about how you can integrate photos, videos, and other interesting visuals like infographics.
10. Unique Content
This was one tip we received that I was very hesitant to use. A good example is a meme – if you see one you love you may just share it with your fans and that is that.
But it has been recommended that you actually download that meme – and then add it is an image to a post – then TAG the original creator. We tried this and it works indeed. We got more engagement and likes than the traditional sharing approach.
This goes to show that the Facebook algorithm is preferring unique content. And when you post written content, you should always ensure that it’s created by you if you want the most reach.
11. Active Content
Comments by Facebook users who tag their friends will help to give you even better results. The more action that is going on with a post, the more interesting it appears to be to Facebook which means more people will probably want to see it and it will appear more often on your audience’s timeline.
A few tactics for this have emerged such as asking a question and asking to click like for yes or commenting for no.
Furthermore, you could ask a question that prompts responses or bring up a controversial topic that will spark a conversation. Anything to get interactions up is going to cause your post to appear in more people’s feeds.
When a post tags a different Facebook page, it obtains better results. On a similar note, if a page tags another page that has a similar audience, the page that’s been tagged will receive better results as well.
When pages or people are tagged it is likely to appeal to a broader audience.
Choose who you tag strategically to reach the most relevant audience.
Getting an account verified works in your favor because verified accounts appear more credible. Facebook only wants to show credible quality posts to their audience so verified accounts rank better.
No need to skip this step, just verify your account and you won’t have to worry about it again.
14. Hyperboles and Bad Links
Avoid using hyperbolic claims as they can hurt organic results. One example of such a claim would be something like “Make $1 MILLION by simply clicking this link.” Also, “spam links” or bad links that lead people to harmful websites.
Social media is all about building relationships first and becoming a trustworthy authority in your industry. This is done by posting truly interesting content related to your business, no hard selling. Facebook will thank you by showing more eyes.
15. Same Content
Similar content created from your page puts your posts lower in rankings. To avoid this, don’t make Facebook posts that are too similar to each other or Facebook ads that are the same content. You always want to switch it up with fresh, unique content.
This will also help you keep followers once you earn them as they will be interested in seeing the new content you are always posting.
16. Time Spent on Page
The more that Facebook users stay, linger and interact with your posts, the more you will be shown in newsfeeds. So when you are generating Facebook content, your goal should be to get people to interact and spend as long as possible with your posts.
Come up with creative ways to do this whether it is a video, a quiz, a story, or a slideshow.
17. Trending Topics
If your Facebook post contains a trending topic, it will receive rankings. Facebook aims to get people informed, so try to integrate trending topics where appropriate.
Head over to sites like BuzzSumo to see what is trending and look for topics related to your business. Then come up with a post that you think will attract attention to make the most out of this ranking factor.
These can be a great boost for your rankings. Just a few stipulations: the videos must be original, uploaded directly to Facebook and you need to do a lot of Brainstorming about how you can showcase your business in an engaging way.
This could be a product or service being used, best practices related to your business, behind the scenes specials, or a creative story about your brand.
19. Business Info
Facebook displays the location, business hours, and contact info for your business on the main page of your Facebook profile.
This makes it easy for potential customers to find out how to contact you, and where your business is located. But that isn’t the only reason you need to include your location and other business info on your Facebook page.
Adding your address will also help Facebook index your business for local search...And that will make it easier for local searchers to find your business page.
20. Story Type
Is your post a status update, photo, link, video, or live video? Facebook’s press release specifically mentioned live video as often “leading to discussion among viewers.”
But that is the only clue about what story types the algorithm might prioritize.
Ideally, you should mix things out and make use of all available story types, so you send the right signals to Facebook’s algorithm.
21. Informative Posts
Facebook tweaked its algorithm to highlight “informative posts” back in 2016. But, the term “informative” was based on a survey of users’ personal interpretation.
For some users “informative” could mean “news”, while for others it could mean recipes or celebrity gossip. It’s not clear whether that definition has changed since the 2018 update.
The more fields you fill out on your Facebook business page, the better. This is so that Facebook and potential followers can get a clear idea of who you are and the legitimacy of your business.