This article will discuss how to outsmart the Facebook algorithm. The Facebook algorithm can be a tough one to grasp. As a result, brands are rightfully worried about their presence on the platform. You may be reading this and thinking what is the Facebook algorithm. Well, it is a process that ranks all available posts that can display a user’s News Feed. This is based on how likely that user will have a positive reaction. Surviving this algorithm means making some changes to your content strategy in order to bolster your organic reach.
9 Strategies for outsmarting the Facebook algorithm
These ongoing changes all point to how the Facebook algorithm forces brands to roll with the punches and adapt. This may be daunting. However, it should not diminish how important Facebook is to your social efforts. Part of the new algorithm’s goal of driving more authentic interactions. Therefore, brands are expected to promote quality content that drives real interactions and shares. How do you make it happen? Check out the tips below!
1. Time your Facebook posts to perfection to outsmart the Facebook algorithm
The Facebook algorithm will share the posts that receive engagement. This is why timing your posts is crucial. To maximize engagement, brands should strive to stick to a content calendar. One that taps into the best times to post on social media. Such data is not the be-all, end-all of when to post. However, it does shed light on when audiences are typically most active. Anything you can do to boost your chances of being seen by more followers is a bonus.
2. Make video a cornerstone of your content strategy
It is now or never for marketers to hop on the video bandwagon. Facebook itself stated that video content drives higher engagement and interactions from users. Videos are perfect for starting conversations and keeping your fans’ eyes glued to the page. Marketers of all shapes and sizes can incorporate video on Facebook.
For example, Sharpie double-dips use user-generated video content from its Instagram on its Facebook page. These short but sweet pieces prove that there is power in video beyond in-depth productions. The platform also greatly encourages creators to embrace Facebook Live to create compelling, real-time content for their audiences. The fact that Live videos produce notifications that ping your fans and followers is an added bonus. Whether it is an off-the-cuff vlog or a how to tutorial, live video represents a powerful medium for brands today.
Also consider simple, looping videos that can do the trick. In this case, it is not about outsmarting the Facebook algorithm but giving the platform exactly what iw wants. Facebook rewards organic reach to posts that drive discussion and hold users’ attention, after all. With so many options available and Facebook explicitly looking for more visual content, creating more video is a no-brainer.
3. Drive discussions before dropping links to outsmart the Facebook algorithm
The latest algorithm update means Facebook is now punishing the marketers trying to game the system. For example, Facebook has explicitly dropped the hammer on posts deemed as engagement bait. Posts asking outright for comments, tags or likes was once the norm. However, Facebook recognises how these posts often serve as spam. There may still be a time and place for these types of posts. However, brands should strive to start conversations with customers without being shameless about it.
Facebook wants us to create content that drives discussion, granted we find creative ways to make it happen. For example, you can poll your audience while letting them lead the way in terms of discussion. Brands should also try to post content that is worthy of debate when appropriate. Controversial content can do just that. Although brands should tread lightly as not to run the risk of offending the audience. Brands like Delish regularly post recipes and articles that drive a ton of discussion and shares. These types of off the wall posts are perfect for getting a response out of followers. The more you get people talking, the most likely the Facebook algorithm is to feature your content organically.
4. Encourage employees and brand advocates to push your content
The key to overcoming the algorithm has been there since the day you started marketing on the platform. Yet so many brands overlook it- your employees. Employee advocacy has never been more relevant than it is today. Facebook is prioritising content from friends and family over businesses. Therefore, this is the perfect time to begin your employee advocacy program. Your Facebook page’s reach is already somewhat limited by the number of fans/followers you have.
Encouraging your team to share your content with their networks on Facebook instantly amplifies your reach. This is because the posts are coming from friends and family instead of your brand. In other words, people will be 16 times more likely to actually read it.
The challenge is getting employees to share your content. Just sending an email asking people to share an article from your company is not enough. It requires too much time and effort on their end to go to Facebook, type up message and share it. Plus, some employees will just flat out forget to share and never check the email again.
That is why having an employee advocacy platform like Bambu comes in handy. Bambu makes it simple to curate content for your employees to share on their personal Facebook page. You can give background information as to what the content is about to include in their post. In addition, every time employees log in, they will see a stream of recommended content to share. This allows them to post on their own time.
5. Prioritise photos and tags over external links to outsmart the Facebook algorithm
Conventional wisdom tells us that Facebook prefers brands to keep content on their platform versus solely linking off-site. Facebook’s practice of deemphasising links and preferring their own native content is no secret. This is particularly in the case of video. Sure, you are going to totally disappear from your followers’ feeds by posting links. That being said, keep your feed fresh with different types of content. Blasting external link after external link will not do you any favors if you want to outsmart the Facebook algorithm.
For example. Visual content goes hand-in-hand with Facebook’s best practices by garnering 87% more engagement. That is why each and every post should be accompanied by some kind of visual. For example, an infographic, .gif or an otherwise eye catching picture. You also have the option of beefing up your descriptions via hashtags. You could also shout out another page here. Both of these ideas can expand your reach even further.
6. Make each post unique to Facebook
Brands are expected to consistently post to Facebook day after day. Therefore, it is common for businesses to run out of their own content to promote. This ultimately results in brands repeating themselves by posting the same pieces over and over. What is the solution? To begin, consider crafting unique descriptions for your posts. This will help to reintroduce them to your followers without becoming repetitive.
A strategy for reintroducing older pieces to your feed without repeating yourself is repurposing content. There are tons of Facebook tools out there. They can help you to transform your pieces into something totally new in no time. For example, you can turn a quote from an article into a custom graphic using Canya or Adobe Spark. You could also repurpose a blog post into a video using Lumen5 or Animoto.
7. Start conversations in Facebook Groups to outsmart the Facebook algorithm
The reported drop in Facebook page reach is arguably the biggest blow to marketers. But does this mean you should entirely give up on your brand’s Facebook page? Of course not. However, it does explain why many marketers are migrating toward Facebook Groups instead. As fans and followers essentially ‘opt-in’ to a group and commit to discussion within it when they join. This is a great way to outsmart the Facebook algorithm. In a sense, customers who join your group are arguably the most likely to engage with your brand’s content. If you are a marketer who wants to focus on problem-solving and educating communities, try Groups. Groups may be better suited to your strengths rather than starting a page from scratch.
8. Narrow down your audience targeting
The beauty of Facebook is the ability to zero in your audience. If you have a widespread audience, consider narrowing your audience down by interests or geography. Facebook provides you the option to set these preferences and restrictions per post. Whilst this may initially narrow your reach, it may increase your engagement as a result. Think of it as fine tuning the relevance to specific fans.
9. Invest in paid promotion on Facebook
Brands should focus on improving their organic reach. However, there is no denying the power of Facebook ads. What is the good news? Data shows that Facebook ads produce positive ROI. Do this to outsmart the Facebook algorithm. Laser-targeting combined with so many creative options, Facebook ads offer marketers freedom unlike any other ad platform. Couple your organic efforts with Facebook ads. This can give you the best of both worlds. The writing has been on the wall for brands to embrace Facebook as a ‘pay to play’ platform. So, playing around with ads now is a sound idea for the long-term.
This article discussed how to outsmart the Facebook algorithm. Whether you like it or not, the ever-changing Facebook algorithm means brands need to rethink their content plans. Adapting to these sorts of changes is the nature of social marketing as a whole. Marketers who stay in line with Facebook’s best practices are more likely to be rewarded with reach. Now you know how Facebook’s algorithm works and 9 ways to outsmart it! Best of luck!