Are you hoping to beat Facebook’s algorithm? Users cannot necessarily “bypass” or “outsmart” Facebooks’ algorithm but they can make it work for them by adhering to best practices. We spoke with our leading experts on the best tips and ways to improve your chances with Facebook’s Algorithm. From video content to improved engagement, there are still plenty of levers to pull to befriend the social media giant.
9 Best Practices for Following Facebook’s Algorithm
Here are some guidelines for keeping your content meaningful in Facebook’s eyes, based on Matt Navara and Paul Armstrong’s coverage of Facebook’s News Feed webinar.
1. Be a conversation starter
Facebook’s News Feed algorithm favors content that fosters positive interactions between your followers and others.
Any piece of content, from products to education to entertainment — should provoke conversation.
You want your content to prompt people to stop their scroll, interact, and share with one another.
Sephora, which consistently ranks #1 in L2’s Digital IQ Index — always strikes a balance between advertising and conversation-starting with well-crafted organic and sponsored content.
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2. Focus on your audience
Your content should always be relevant to your core audience — the people you want to build a community around.
Products, education, lifestyle imagery — it should all build on your identity as a brand answering to a specific audience.
3. Put ad dollars behind content with organic momentum
The new Facebook algorithm values content that performs well organically, and you can build off that momentum by boosting or promoting that content with ad dollars.
Content that already has strong organic traction means lower CPCs — which combined with ad dollars can act as a snowball effect for your content.
“Identify opportunities for ads based on organic post engagement and tap into Facebook Ads Manager tools by leveraging these posts in ads,” says Spicer.
Conversely, don’t waste ad dollars behind poor-performing organic content. It will have higher CPCs and cost you more while offering less in return.
“If a post is performing well with engagement, likes, and shares — then there’s an opportunity to place additional ad dollars behind to drive that performance even further.”
4. Avoid clickbait
Remember all of those “like if…” and “share if you are…” posts?
This is considered engagement baiting, it doesn’t add value or interaction for users.
Stay away from asking people to “please comment, like, and share.” Your content should inspire them to engage without having to ask.
“Facebook penalizes brands who encourage comments, likes, and shares on organic and ad posts. Keep this in mind when developing content for Instagram and Facebook,” says Spicer.
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5. Track your content performance
After you’ve published your content, remember to use Facebook Insights to track the performance of your content.
Keep track of how your different content pieces are performing engagement-wise.
Learn from your Insights data and then optimize from there.
6. Be consistent with your voice and tone
Who is your brand targeting? Before sitting down to your keyboard, answer that question—it could make all the difference. So, if you want your ad copy to be memorable—for the right reasons—make sure it strikes the right tone with your target audience.
7. Using mobile friendly practices and video efforts
Facebook and Instagram continue to deliver major improvements to their video offering on both platforms, such as Shopping for Stories, video for Dynamic Ads, Carousel Video Ads, Instant Experience Ads and more. Ensure your creative and copy is optimized towards mobile viewing (i.e., shortened copy, readable overlays, shortened headlines). Now you’re ready to leverage organic content to capture attention.
8. Take a look at the competition
Facebook added a new “Info & Ads” section that enables anyone to view all of the active ads on a Facebook page—meaning you can now see what your competitors are doing. All you have to do is click “Info and Ads”* on any other brand’s page. Take a glance at what your competitors are doing (on the paid side) and see what’s working in their favor. You might be able to implement a few best practices into your own strategy.
9. Don’t copy and paste creative from other social media platforms
Keep in mind, what resonates on one media platform might not work on another. Viral TikToks don’t necessarily translate the same on Facebook [or other platforms including Instagram or Snapchat]. Make sure your create is custom-made for the appropriate audience and platform.
Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm: Final Takeaway
The new Facebook algorithm is sophisticated and there’s no way to “hack it,” but there are simple steps you can take to make the algorithm work for you.
- Keep your content meaningful by being a conversation starter
- Advocate for your audience
- Stay away from clickbait
- Boost your best-performing organic content
- Track your performance with Facebook Insights and other tools
- Be consistent with your voice and tone
- Using mobile friendly practices and video efforts
- Take a look at the competition
- Don’t copy and paste creative from other social media platforms