The Secret to Outsmarting Facebook’s New Algorithm

As of 2019, the world of Facebook advertising as we know it has ended. Last year, Mark Zuckerberg announced the Facebook algorithm would be undergoing significant changes. His goal for the platform is to “bring people closer together.” In essence, the new algorithm encourages personal connections by filtering out ads and sponsored content from businesses. That’s right – your content.

You don’t have to panic, however, even if Facebook is one of the key ingredients in your marketing campaign. You can use the new algorithm to your advantage with the right knowledge, tools, and best practices. It is still possible to make branded content visible to target consumers on Facebook if you know how to outsmart the system.

Press Play on Video Content

The new Facebook algorithm prioritizes meaningful interactions. You can find a breakdown of what Facebook now prioritizes in a Google doc posed to Matt Navarra’s Twitter. Navarra is a social media consultant who published the slides from a Facebook webinar. In essence, Facebook will use signals to determine what content to make the most visible. These signals include comments, likes, shares, shares via messenger, and engagement.

One of the best ways to stir up better user engagement on Facebook is with video content. Video ranks high in terms of shareability as part of a marketing campaign. One survey found video content to be 600% more effective as a marketing tool than direct mail and print combined. Online video traffic today accounts for about 80% of all consumer Internet traffic. Videos under two minutes long receive the best user engagement.

Increase your video content on Facebook to cinch more comments and shares, and to tick the boxes on Facebook’s requirement for meaningful interactions. Views and likes are no longer enough to keep your branded content front and center. You need better user engagement to stay in the game, and video is the way forward. Concentrate on your video marketing this year to keep up with the new Facebook algorithm.

Crank Up the Comment Section

[Part of Facebook’s new modus operandi is rewarding certain interactions more than others. While previously the Facebook algorithm considered things like views and likes, it now prioritizes more involved forms of content engagement – including comments. The comment sections on your branded content should be a space that welcomes opinions, tags, emojies, and other interactions. The more commentary your content receives, the easier it will be for Facebook to recognize it as something that promotes meaningful engagements.

How does a company foster comments? Contests and giveaways are a good idea, and always generate more comments and tags than other types of branded content on social medial. Host a small giveaway, in which you will randomly select a winner from the comment section. Ask people to like your page, leave a comment, and tag at least two friends to qualify for the competition. Other ideas for encouraging comments are asking questions at the ends of posts, or posting a hot topic that is sure to get some lively debate in the comment section.

Make It Share-Worthy

Shareability is also a main concern of Facebook’s new algorithm. Social shares and shares on messenger will increase a content’s score, meaning Facebook has determined it to be relevant to users. This will increase the odds of the content appearing in the feed. The first step in getting shares is to get people talking. Post content that is relevant, interesting, and that sparks in-depth conversations. Ask questions, post something unique, and post something that will resonate with thousands of people. Again, video content is shared more often than standard posts.

The more people share your content, the more comments and interactions it will receive. This will lead to a higher score on Facebook’s algorithm, and greater visibility for your branded content. The key is to keep a laser-focus on your customers. Only publish content they will want to read. Create posts that will add some kind of value to your readers’ lives. If the content is only serving you, odds are it will get lost in the Facebook vortex. Your content must serve your customers first and foremost to receive the engagement you need to stay visible.

Let Go of Clickbait

What sparked the Facebook revolution was thousands of social media users complaining about their feeds getting overloaded with advertisements and clickbait articles. Consumers today are not impressed with blatant advertising that interferes with their social time. Facebook has been penalizing content that takes the form of ads since 2017. It especially demotes ads that are disruptive or that have shocking or malicious content. In other words, it expanded its efforts to block low-quality advertisements.

The latest algorithm change filters out ads with even less tolerance. If you want to stay relevant on Facebook, you have to let go of clickbait article titles or advertisements. This means captions such as, “You’ll be SHOCKED at what this product can do for you,” and similar phrasing that is meant solely to capture clicks. Instead, your advertisements should take the form of interesting, relevant, and valuable content for your readers. Do not withhold information, sensationalize headlines, or create content that may come across as spam.

Track Your Score

Facebook does have a few tools to help business owners keep up with the new algorithm. The Ad Relevance Score tool can estimate how your latest post is resonating with your audience. You will receive a rating between 1 and 10, with 1 being the least relevant and 10 the most relevant. You can receive daily estimated results that can track your content’s reach and give you data on clicks, lead generation, page engagement, comments, video views, offer claims, and more.

Your ad relevance score can help you gauge what works and what doesn’t for your target audience. You can then tweak your next post or marketing campaign to better suit your audience’s needs. Facebook Insights can also give you information about the visibility of your content, under “Posts.” If you wish to compare your Facebook posts over time, use a tool such as Brandwatch Analytics to measure how your page has performed over time. Tracking your performance and progress is important to tailor your future strategy and stay on top.

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Devin Pallone

Devin is a long-time writer who truly loves the craft. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts degree from the University of South Florida, where she focused her studies on creative writing. Her adventurous spirit recently took her from Florida to California, where she spends her free time exploring the coast and getting new writing inspiration. She enjoys coming up with creative content, writing lifestyle blogs, and helping small and local businesses thrive.

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