Facebook’s algorithm analyzes a ridiculously large amount of data in order to decide what content from pages you have liked or followed is shown on your newsfeed. In the early days of Facebook, the more successful a post was, and the more popular its creator, the more likely a viewer would be exposed to the post. The most powerful factors to decide if a post will come up on your feed are how much people like you are engaging the post, how it is being shared, how recent the post is, and how you have engaged with that page and similar content in the past.
A Look at the Facebook Algorithm
A Facebook page’s reach will increase when posts get numerous likes, comments, shares, and clicks. Conversely, the reach will decrease if posts are dull, boring, and get no engagement (this is a bit more complicated than just reactions and comments – among other factors, Facebook is looking for a post that gets Facebook users talking with each other on the post). Facebook rewards Pages with engaging content and penalizes those who share vanilla content, but also those that use click-bait headlines and shallow image macro memes. Yes, Facebook organic reach has declined, but if you create dynamic content that fits your targeted audience, your Facebook business page can still get a healthy volume of free traffic out of Facebook.
Facebook Creates Two Changes to News Feed Algorithm
Late last month, Facebook announced two changes to its News Feed ranking algorithm that will consider how timely a post from a friend or a Page is when deciding whether to show it.
1) News Feed will now track the latest trends and display posts related to those topics more quickly. “This means that when a friend or Page you are connected to posts about something that is currently a hot topic of conversation on Facebook, that post is more likely to appear higher up in News Feed, so you can see it sooner.”
According to Facebook, early testing of a small percentage of posts has shown that this update on average leads to a more than 6% increase in people engaging with these stories.
2) Facebook will now be considering how likes and shares of a post diminish over time when deciding whether to include it in your News Feed. Instead of counting the total number of likes a post has received, the algorithm will observe whether the likes occurred after the first few hours of when the post was published. If engagement has declined, Facebook will consider the post less relevant.
“With this update, we are going to begin looking at when people are choosing to like, comment and share. If people are engaging with the post right after it is posted, and not as much a few hours later, this suggests that the post was most interesting at the time it was posted, but potentially less interesting at a later date. Based on this signal it is more likely to appear higher in News Feed earlier on and lower at a later date.”
Facebook will take this signal into account when considering which stories they bump in News Feed. Bumping is when they resurface stories that people did not scroll down far enough to see but are still getting lots of engagement. This is one more way the company claims they are working to identify timely posts so they can show them nearer the top of your News Feed sooner.
How This Will Affect Your Page
Facebook will be rolling out these changes gradually and do not expect posts to see significant changes in distribution as a result of this update. “If a Page posts about a trending topic or if a post sees a high velocity of engagement early on that then drops off, that post may begin to see increased distribution early on and less distribution over time. Pages should keep producing great content that is relevant and resonates with their audience.”
Facebook’s stated goal with News Feed is to show everyone the right content at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important to them.
These changes are a result of feedback claiming there are times when a post from a friend or a Page is only interesting at a specific moment, such as when you are both watching the same sports game, or talking about the season premiere of a popular TV show. There are also times when a post that is a day or two old may not be relevant to you anymore.
How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts
Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Social Media management. Socialdraft allows you to:
Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest)
Have multiple people create and post content
Pull Reports for Facebook & Twitter
and much more