Top Influencers Are Beating The Facebook Algorithm
Companies are struggling to adapt to the ever-changing Facebook algorithm. As a result, business leads and customers are being lost from their content not being seen. Businesses have been using Facebook to advertise their brands for around a decade now but things have changed. A business would set up a company page. They would then make a few statuses, which were relayed into their followers’ feeds. Simple. Easy. Lucrative. Since then, however, Facebook has changed the way that it serves up content to people. There has been a monumental modification made to the Facebook algorithm used to feed posts. This has made it much harder for brands to spread their message.
People still like company pages, but with the new Facebook algorithm, there is no longer a first-come-first-served approach when it comes to what Facebook delivers. Instead, Facebook makes a conscious effort to guess what any particular user wants to see and prioritises some posts over others. Many of the people who like your page will never be given the opportunity to see your posts.
Yet many people do succeed in spreading their message. There are genuine influencers, not just on Facebook but every major social media platform. Many of PMYB’s Chromo-Influencers operate successfully on Facebook. How do they beat the Facebook algorithm? How do they manage to ensure that people see and engage with the statuses they make?
Interaction and engagement are now major factors in the Facebook algorithm. But traditional methods of growing a following have changed. Influencers, on the other hand, specialise in growing an engaged audience. They have made their names simply because of the way they engage on social media. Many of these people have managed to become brand ambassadors, as a result.
When the Facebook algorithm first changed there was a fear that brand ambassadors would also suffer. However, these people are professionals and have carefully strategised their content to ensure they stay at the top of peoples newsfeeds.
What Affects the Facebook Algorithm?
Adam Mosseri, VP News Feed, Facebook, recently shed light on the Facebook algorithm during 2017’s F8 Summit.
The Facebook algorithm breaks down into four steps:
- Inventory – the Facebook algorithm begins by examining all of the stories posted by your friends and the pages you follow
- Signals – the algorithm then uses past data to best guess how interested you will be about any particular Facebook calls this data “Signals”.
- Predictions – Facebook then uses the Signals to guess how you are likely to react to particular stories, e.g. if you are likely to comment on them, share them, spend time reading them etc
- Score – Facebook takes each story in The Inventory, and based on the Signals and Predictions, allocates it a Relevance Score. The higher the Relevance Score, the higher an item will appear in your feed.
Facebook performs this process behind the scenes each time you open Facebook.
The Facebook Algorithm uses many different types of data as its Signals. Some of these include:
- Who makes a post – how often they make posts – how much negative feedback they receive
- Average time spent on content
- Engagement that a post already has
- When a post is made
- If any friends are tagged or any recent comments are made by friends
- The type of story
- How complete a Facebook page profile is
- Whether a status is posted by a friend or a page
- How informative the status is
The Facebook Algorithm includes the following factors when it makes predictions:
- How likely it believes you are to click on a story
- How likely you are to spend time with a story
- Your likelihood of liking, commenting or sharing a story
- Whether your past actions suggest you will find this story informative
- Is this seen as click bait?
- Does the post contain nudity?
How to Ensure Your Posts Aren’t Lost on Facebook
1. Ensure Every Post You Make is High Quality
The absolute key to success on Facebook is to create posts that are relevant, valuable and interesting for your audience. Undoubtedly, quality content is the key to influencers’ success. The best influencers consistently create content that enthrals and interests their followers.
The little things count here. Remember that if Facebook receives any negative feedback your posts drop further down the feed. Proofread your posts. Make certain any links you include work and that people gain something of value by clicking these links. Also, bear in mind the audience and stay as authentic as possible.
The key aim of the Facebook algorithm is to weed out low quality, thin content. Therefore the better your content is, the greater the likelihood that people will come to like and trust your material, giving better Facebook signals, leading to improved Facebook predictions for your material, and in turn a higher Relevancy Score.
Influencers have high relevance scores because they produce such awesome content that they have a large group of people eagerly anticipating every status that they post.
Also, it’s very important to share a variety of content. Alike website content, duplicate content will be seen as spam and you will suffer because of this.
2. Personal Accounts Work Better Than Company Pages
It appears that personal accounts have a higher weighting in most people’s feeds than company pages do. Many influencers post from a personal account. To their Facebook friends, they are people – not faceless representatives of a corporate entity.
Company pages are necessary and do indeed work very well for some businesses, however, you have a greater chance of being seen if you (or an influencer you work with) posts as a person from a personal account.
3. Share Exclusive Content on Facebook
People can get bored if all of your Facebook statuses repeat what you post on your other social media channels. If you use your Facebook account to post some exclusive content it is easier to build up anticipation. It can be a great place for short-term promotions.
If you work with influencers who exclusively use Facebook you can help them to create original content which they only deliver via Facebook. Pay attention to their audience and develop content with them that will resonate.
4. Take Notice of What Your Analytics Tell You
It’s a good idea to pay careful attention to your analytics. Take notice of the types of posts that work – that are the ones with high visibility to your supporters and receive a high level of engagement. At the same time, you can see which of your posts sink like a stone, which posts limited people see or interact with.
Your analytics should also help you determine which types of content your audience like. Do they prefer posts with images? Do they respond well to videos? Which types of posts do they share most? Are there particular content topics that result in greater attention and engagement than others?
5. Facebook Loves Videos
Video performs very well on Facebook. As long as your video isn’t too corporate (unless your target audience is corporate), you have a good chance of it attracting people who will engage with it. The more people who watch and engage with your video, the higher the percentage of other people who will find the video served up to them.
6. Engage, Engage, Engage
The Facebook algorithm definitely rewards posts that result in high engagement levels. Any posts that you (or your influencers) produce need to be good enough for people to want to positively comment or share. A Like is okay – but it is a passive form of engagement so it is not as highly weighted as other types.
It is often profitable to encourage user-generated content. It doesn’t just have to be your influencers creating and sharing content about your brand – your fans can do that also.
7. It Pays to Advertise
Facebook Advertising does, of course, cost money. However, if you target your posts correctly you have the opportunity to widen the selection of people who get to see your posts. Even influencers like the opportunity to increase their already large audiences.
Facebook mixes paid posts into a user’s feed and apart from referring to being a Sponsored Post, they blend in easily with the organic posts.
There can be a flow-on effect too. If you produce awesome content and then pay for some Facebook Ads to widen your audience, you are likely to have people who engage well with it. This will send positive messages to Facebook, who will recognize the positive interactions when they try to determine a Relevance Score for your future posts.
When our clients are seeking to advertise on Facebook, after our influencers have posted the sponsored content, we like to boost the reach of their content using Facebook advertising. This form of Facebook advertising is a lot more effective because influencers are able to translate messages a lot better. 92% of consumers also trust people, compared to 33% that trust digital banners.
8. Pay Attention to Trends
The Facebook algorithm does reward those who post on trending topics. This makes sense – the very reason that people make these topics trending is that people want to talk about them.
While the posts of you and your influencers still need to remain authentic, you can gain a boost if you can naturally work some relevant hashtags into your Facebook conversations.
Conclusion – Top Influencers Beat the Facebook Algorithm
When Facebook first changed the order of its posts from a purely chronological feed there was real fear among businesses. They thought that they would have no chance of competing with all of the viral cat videos and celebrity gossip.
There was even concern that influencers would lose their status, with people would simply be fed content by close friends and family.
The reality is that the Facebook algorithm is more complex than this. It looks for quality content and tries to determine what an individual person likes.
Influencers earn that status due to the quality of their posts and through the audiences that actively look for their content. As long as influencers continue to share quality authentic material these posts will continue to reach the top of their followers’ feeds.