How the Facebook Algorithm Works

No matter how you feel about the Facebook algorithm, you have to understand it to run a successful marketing campaign on the largest worldwide social media platform.

On average, organic Facebook posts see around 0.07% engagement, and to increase that for your brand, you need to learn how to use the algorithm to your advantage.

We’ll cover how the Facebook algorithm works and how you can use it to get your content seen by the right audience and engage with your customers.

Related: Organic vs. Paid Advertising

Understanding the Facebook Algorithm

What does the Facebook algorithm do? It evaluates every single post on the platform. Then the algorithm rates the posts and arranges them based on each users’ interests. Every single time one of Facebook’s almost three billion users refreshes their feed, the algorithm does its thing.

While we don’t know the exact details of how Facebook’s algorithm determines what content to show (and what not to show), we do know that its goal is to keep users on the platform so they continue seeing advertisements.

And how it works changes frequently. The way you got your content to the top of Facebook feeds in 2021 won’t work as well this year. It’s time to learn the new Facebook algorithm.

Facebook displayed on Iphone next to laptop on glass desk
Facebook displayed on Iphone next to laptop on glass desk

How the Facebook Algorithm Works Right Now

So, where does that leave us in 2022? Other than rebranding the News Feed as Feed, these are the three aspects that Facebook’s algorithm looks at in 2022 to determine which posts make it to the top:

  1. Who posted the content? Facebook users are more likely to see posts from sources they interact with—friends, businesses, etc.
  1. What type of content is it? Users that primarily watch videos will see video content. And the same goes for users who engage with photos, text, or other media.
  1. How many people interacted with it? The Facebook Feed will prioritize posts that get a lot of engagement, particularly from the people users typically interact with a lot.

The Facebook algorithm uses these three points to rank each post and determine where it should appear in a user’s feed.

Facebook also lets users “train” the algorithm to customize their feed with these two buttons:

  1. Favorites: Facebook users can choose up to 30 pages and people to add to their favorites. When those accounts post content, it will appear higher up in the Feed. 
  1. In-feed options: Facebook also lets users choose to hide posts, telling the platform that they don’t want to see that or similar content. It uses this option to determine what advertisers users like and which ones they don’t.

And, of course, Facebook will remove any posts that don’t adhere to its Community Standards, including violence, nudity, or similarity graphic content.

Related: How to Do Keyword Research

Man looking at a Facebook ad on his laptop
Man looking at a Facebook ad on his laptop

How to Use the Facebook Algorithm to Your Brand’s Advantage

Even if we don’t know exactly how the Facebook algorithm makes its decisions, there are some ways that marketers can use it to their advantage:

 Cater to Your Audience

The Facebook algorithm prioritizes “meaningful and informative” content. What does that mean for you?

  • Facebook describes meaningful content as stories that users will either spend time reading, watching, or sharing.
  • Informative means that users will likely find the content interesting, new, and useful, which varies drastically from person to person.

The best way to post meaningful and informative content to your audience means understanding their unique behaviors and interests. Researching and learning about your target audience is key to getting your content to the top of Facebook’s algorithm.

Engage With Users

The Facebook algorithm also prioritizes content that users have interacted with in the past, meaning that how you reply to your customers is key. When people comment on your post, it’s another free marketing opportunity. Make them feel heard and engage with them to make it more likely that they’ll keep commenting on your posts in the future. 

Of course, it also comes with the added benefit of sending engagement signals to the algorithm. If you ignore engagement, you’ll likely get met with silence.

Use Facebook Stories and Reels

Stories and Reels have a huge benefit for marketers—they operate separately from the Facebook Feed algorithm, allowing you to bypass it. 

In February 2022, the platform expanded its Reels, taking it from US-only to worldwide. Half of user time on Instagram and Facebook gets spent watching videos, and Reels is the company’s fastest-growing content format.

Reels are designed to help users discover new things, whereas the Feed focuses on relevant content from brands and people they’re already connected to. It’s a vital part of marketing strategies when brands are looking to capture the attention of new potential customers. Reels can help brands of all sizes make new connections and discover new audiences.

Plus, users can share Reels to their Stories, and Facebook is beginning to suggest Reels to people through their Feed from people and brands that they don’t already know.

Go Back to the Basics

While video content might be Facebook’s fastest-growing format, that doesn’t mean you can ignore basic status posts. It can be tempting to search for Facebook algorithm hacks to get your content ranking highly quickly, but don’t forget about regular posts without photos, links, or videos.

According to Hootsuite, regular status posts get .13% engagement, followed by photo posts at .11%, video posts at .08%, and link posts at .03%.

Post Authentic, Accurate Content

Facebook users want to see genuine content—not inaccurate stories or obvious ads. Content that users believe in will rank higher in their Feeds. Meanwhile, the Facebook algorithm works to eliminate posts that people might find sensational, spammy, or misleading.

Related: The Importance of Quality Content

Your Facebook content should have clear headlines—skip the misleading titles and clickbait. The algorithm also looks for truthful content; don’t exaggerate, sensationalize, or outright lie. Making bait posts won’t help you win with the Facebook algorithm.

How do you get authentic, accurate content to share on your customers’ Facebook Feeds? By working with our team at Content Dog—See how we can take care of your content needs!

Last Updated on March 11, 2022 by Hilda Wong

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