How To Use Facebook’s Algorithm To Your Advantage

By @TheMarkDalton

Over the past number of weeks I have spoken to three business owners who bizarrely decided to ditch their Facebook business page from their social media strategy because, and I quote this bit – “Facebook was conspiring against smaller businesses and hiding content from family, friends and customers.” Let me start by saying this, Facebook doesn’t have an agenda against your business. Facebook has a ranking algorithm which decides what content gets displayed in each news feed.

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Organic reach for businesses is slowly declining, going forward you are going to need to think about what you are posting, how you are posting as well as combining that with ad campaigns. Running Facebook ads are still the best way of getting your content to show up. However, there are things that you can do to help your content rise up the algorithm ranks.

Don’t ditch your Facebook page!

It may feel like Facebook is working against you, but don’t ditch your Facebook page. By getting rid of your page you are losing vital information and fantastic opportunities. You lose the chance to run Facebook contests to the largest social network on the planet, you lose the ability to integrate Facebook apps and you also lose detailed insights and analytics into how people engage with your content.

You can get the most out of your page by keeping it updated. Make sure all the relevant fields and information in your profile have been filled out. Have a call-to-action button set up on your Facebook page, update with new content every single day.

If you have ditched your Facebook Page for your business then you need to go back and get it because there is no real reason not to have it. Just to give you an idea of the power Facebook has in terms of traffic – around 70% of last months total traffic to Mark Dalton Media was from Facebook.

Talk to people

When you post content to your Facebook Page at the start it is highly likely that not many people are going to engage for a few weeks to a few months while you are building a presence online. It may feel as if you are posting to nobody in particular. However, at some point people are going to start responding and finding your content.

When people do start to engage, don’t ignore them! Talk to people, respond, engage and focus on building a community. When you put time and effort into building a rapport with people online, they will then spread the word of what you are doing and will recommend you to other users online.

Jump in to conversations on both your own page and other pages to answer questions, talk to people and help others out. This will also help to establish yourself as an authority figure in the industry.

Experiment with new Facebook features

When new Facebook features arrive, use them! See how they can work for you. People are starting to pile onto Instagram now which is a Facebook product, think about how you can use that for your business. Live streaming is also going to hit soaring heights on Facebook so start experimenting with that too.

I know a business owner who bakes cakes from home and they are absolutely stunning. She truly has a talent for it however she recently ditched her Facebook Page because she felt that Facebook was against her and hiding her content from others.

My advice in a scenario like this would be to update your content daily, post photos of your work to Instagram and use Facebook’s live streaming to stream content from your kitchen as you are creating cakes, answer questions, engage with commenters and show them how you work. Do this consistently and put work into engaging and interacting and I can promise you will be crushing it very soon.

Use the tools you have been given by the platform. Instead of just posting direct to Facebook, imagine if you were also cross posting from Instagram and live streaming. Your rank in the Facebook algorithm would improve dramatically.

Ask your followers for their help

Believe it or not there is a way you can get your content to be automatically prioritised ahead of other content in their feed irrelevant of the algorithm. Quite a few people have used this tactic with great success and it is as simple as asking your followers and fans to enable one setting in their Facebook app.

Ask them to go to your Facebook page, hit the follow button and then select the “see first” option from the popup which you can see in the images below. This will mean that your posts will not be prioritised over the Facebook algorithm and will appear at the top of news feeds every time you post new content which ensures they will never miss an update.

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Think about your advertising

Facebook has one of the best ad models on the planet at the moment. The ROI is incredible for businesses both big and small. If you are going to use Facebook ads, and you should use them, then you need to be clever about it.

A client recently told me how she ran a Facebook ad campaign and she found it to be great, but she didn’t target the ad as effectively as she could have done. She could have seen phenomenal return if she had really gone into detail when setting up her ad campaign.

Think about who you are targeting, what kind of message you want to convey to that audience and how you want to grab their attention. It’s your business, make every penny count!

Don’t target people on Facebook who you you know won’t show an interest in your product, go after a demographic where you know people will be interested in what you are producing and will want to buy what you are selling.

Think about where you are targeting ads. So for example, I was speaking to a client recently who has been developing a brand presence through Facebook ads in the South Dublin area and the Wicklow area. She has run several campaigns now for these locations so now she needs to start targeting new places. She needs to consider targeting North Dublin and different counties.

Reach out to areas through Facebook ads where people are not familiar with your brand, that is how you will spread awareness around your product to new people.

Stop crying about the way it is

Here is the long and short of it – bullshit business owners cry about the way it is instead of reacting to the way it is. You don’t decide your product is great, I don’t decide my blog is great, nobody in Irish Tech News decides we are the best – the market decides.

Stop whining and crying about the way things are because the reality is that technology and social media platforms don’t care about the way you want it to be, they just do it the way its going to be. Instead, you need to figure it out and adapt, when a social network changes how something works on their platform don’t start whinging about it and delete your page. Go back to the drawing board and think about how you are going to leverage those changes for you and your business.