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The Facebook Algorithm – You Don’t Need To Be A Rocket Scientist

by Simon Clark on 20th September 2017

Facebook is forever changing, or should I say evolving and this is happening daily but to users you are only witnessing the aesthetic changes like the layout of the page, its various features and also the new options for creating a background image for your status updates. (I quite like these but this is just a fad and likely to disappear soon!)

Behind the scenes (for an admin of a business page) there are also changes taking place on a regular basis. Some of them look great and really help you run your business page effectively whereas some are a little confusing to grasp.

One of these elements to grasp is the Facebook algorithm, which is a formula used by Facebook which gets your page posts seen by those who like your page. Let’s go back to the beginning……

How It Used To Be

When Facebook first launched in 2004, its initial intention was to create a networking site where people could connect with each other. Businesses were using a personal profile page but this wasn’t ideal for the platform therefore it enabled individuals to create s dedicated business page. This was likely to be the eureka moment for Facebook as their advertising platform was then born to monetise the business.

For a business page owner, you would normally post to your page and it would immediately appear on the news feed of those who liked your page. This meant that posts were posted in ‘real time’. This was perfect for business owners and enabled you to get your message seen straight away.

Things soon started to change.

The Algorithm

In more recent times, your posts from the business page are more likely to be NOT seen in real time like before.

No-one really knows the full extent of the algorithm so many blogs and articles that are written are based on expectations and experience. (A bit like this one I’m afraid!!) I say, ‘full extent’ because if we did, then this would almost be like having the numbers in your hand for this weekend’s lottery.

As an avid reader of various blogs from social media experts around the world, there is a lot of talk about the word ‘reach’. This is a term used to show the number of people who have seen your post. Often, this can often be a low number compared to the number of people who like your page.

For example, if you have 100 people who have liked your business page, your posts may only be seen by 20-30% of these. Conveniently next to this figure, you will see a ‘Boost’ button which enables you to pay to have your post seen by more people who like your page or through targeting.

Earlier this year, Facebook released figures to show that it made a £2billion profit in the first quarter through its advertising platform. Yes, £2 billion!!!

Fake Fans Do NOT Help

I wanted to add this little section into my blog because I thought it was important to cover. You may or may not know this, but you can pay companies to provide you with more fans. This is likely to cost you in the region of £5-10 and it will increase the number of likes to your page. This looks great (vanity!) however Facebook respects how real people are connecting with real people and pages so having many fake profiles liking your page is likely to harm the reach potential. Just think, you will still get the same number of people seeing your posts as you originally did because the number of real fans is still the same.

How To Increase Your ‘Reach’ Without Paying Facebook

Facebook is about two entities connecting and communicating with each other. Whether that is two people or someone connecting with a business page. So, to get your posts seen by more people, you need to be more engaging and ask people to comment or communicate with your post. On your business page, it is very easy to just simply post factual content each time and hope you get people to engage. This is not the case.

The more likes, shares and comments you receive on your posts, the more Facebook will see that this content you have shared is what people ‘want’ to see so therefore the algorithm will share this out further to the community of friends your fans have. On your personal account, you will often see ‘Joe Bloggs commented on this post’ – this is Facebook showing you what your friends are doing on Facebook and inviting you to join in.

If you are promoting news items in your posts, my advice is to tell people what YOU think to this news article (within reason as you do not wish to make your comments political that could harm your brand).

Ask people to join in with the discussion and to give you their thoughts. If you are an avid Facebook user, you will have seen various pages asking you to tag your friends as well. This helps increase the reach as more and more people will get to see the original post.

Example – let’s say you own a chocolate retail outlet and you are posting your latest product. This is what you could post…. ”Are you a chocolate lover? Our latest hazelnut whirl is now in stock for just £2.49 on our website (add link). Tag your friends who love chocolate”

There Is Another Option For You

I am a firm believer that everyone has their own forte. I am not a plumber so I will not try to attempt to fix that leaking pipe under the sink. I also do not have the time to do this or would even know where to start.

Posting out to your social media channels should be carried out on a regular basis. The more you post, the more chances are of getting more reach thus helping you to generate brand awareness and hopefully sales. So, consider outsourcing your social media to a team of professionals.

This is where we can offer our services to you for as little as £149 per month. We are happy to run a free 14-day social media trial or book a free performance review of your accounts.

Get in touch through our website and we will give you a call straight back to discuss.

Until the next blog….

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