Understanding Facebooks Algorithm for Marketers

Posted at Oct 27, 2017 3:31:14 PM by Michelle Sternbauer | Share



It is a term social media marketers are all too familiar with. In the digital world, change can leave marketers feeling mixed emotions. Are these changes good? Does it make our jobs easier or harder? Are there new restrictions? Are they introducing new ideas to leverage? In this situation, Facebook is King and we are just workers. That doesn’t mean to say Facebook isn’t here to guide us and push us to succeed. In fact, changes to Facebook are meant to be beneficial for everyone. They are here to make sure brands are publishing trustworthy, relevant and authentic content, and that the audience is consuming trustworthy, relevant, and authentic content.

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To put it in clearer terms, to understand Facebooks algorithm, marketers must tap into what the audience likes and serve them more.

Many of you might have heard in the past the best times to post, or the “sweet spot” how often to publish in a day/week or month. I’m here to tell you those days are gone. Let me tell you why…


There is No More ‘Best Times to Post’

Although Facebook still states that underneath their formula to predict newsfeed rankings it is still somewhat chronological, focusing on posting at the right times is NOT to be highly valued.

Facebook gives each and every post published a “relevancy score”. This relevancy score is calculated by indications you will likely engage with a post based off your historical behaviors. The higher the relevancy score the more likely it is to be placed at the top of your news feed, and the more likely it is to be seen. Qualifying for a high relevancy score means creating content people love. Meaning every time we open our app to engage in Facebook we will be served posts according to their relevancy score, not the time it was published. This is not to say that they will serve you a post published from a year ago, but it does mean that the publishing date is only a small portion of how Facebook will determine its’ ranking position. Focusing on audience behavior and the way they consume content online is the best way to predict what will capture their attention.

How often to post of the other hand, has been up for debate. I have noticed some largely known brands posting less frequently on their social channels and I wondered why. I then realized that with the change of Facebooks algorithm, big brands are publishing less frequently with more memorable content or focusing more on video. This doesn’t mean they are only posting once a week, but it does mean that they are cutting out any pieces that don’t seem ‘fit’ just because it fills out their content plan.

However, smaller brands and brands looking to grow as an emerging company might need to post more frequently to gain authority and get noticed. I’m going to have to agree with one of Facebooks most recent recommendations which is also listed in their journalist resources: “Post frequently. News Feed tries to show people the stories that will be the most meaningful to them. By posting high-quality content that doesn’t violate our guidelines and posting it frequently, you will increase the chance that our algorithms match your content to an audience that finds it meaningful. News Feed uses a variety of diversity rules to prevent people from seeing too many stories from a given publisher. That means you don’t need to worry about spamming your fans or followers provided that the content you post is new and high quality.”

This goes against common Facebook common knowledge- most social media marketers would suggest that posting less is more effective to avoid coming off as “spammy” or “annoying”. But as explained by Facebook, their algorithm has systems to account for over-sharing, and it’s likely that your traffic doesn’t come to your Page at all (they see your posts in their feeds), so they wouldn’t be aware of your posting frequency.


What do I want you to take from all of this?

Change. Change the way you post. Change with Facebook. After all, Facebook is King, so you either get with the times, or let the times reflect in your reports.

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Tags: Social Media, Digital Marketing

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