Social Media 101: The Facebook Algorithm in 2020
So I promised we’d revisit Facebook, so here we are. 2020 has been an interesting year, to say the least, and social media has changed right along with the times. From at-home photoshoots to remote work content, brands have had to shift their posts just as much as the rest of the world had to adjust when COVID-19 hit. This has surely shifted the social media algorithm since so many people have spent more time online. At the end of 2019, brands could only expect about 5.5% of their followers to see their content in their timeline. Reach was down and the Facebook algorithm is constantly evolving to make content more valuable for its users. One of Facebook’s goals of 2020 is to make their platform more transparent by including surveys and a button to click to gather more information on why a post shows up in your feed.
One of the things that are important to understand about the Facebook algorithm is ranking signals. Ranking signals are data points about a user’s past behavior and the people they interact with. For a brand, this would be data points about the users that interact with their page and the other brands they interact with as well. There are three categories of ranking signals: who a user interacts with, the media in the post, and the popularity of the post. For a brand, this would be the customers interacting with the posts on Facebook, the type of post (video, picture, graphic, ad, etc.), and how well the post did in comparison to other posts on the same business page. It’s oddly specific but needs to be in order to give insights to the page owner.
Now that you understand a little more about Facebook’s updated algorithm, how can you take advantage of it as a business page? A starting place is tracking your analytics and optimizing the tie you post. You need to post when the majority of your audience is online. If you post in the middle of the night or early in the morning when the timeline isn't showing your posts to your followers, then they can’t engage. Ask questions and get your audience to respond. Start conversations that prod engagement. Post videos, I repeat POST VIDEO CONTENT, especially those three minutes or longer. The Facebook algorithm favors quality, original videos measured by three different ranking factors. These include loyalty or videos that people search for and return to, video length and view duration, and originality. This might sound like a broken record, but remember consistency? Well, that applies to all content, whether it’s a video, blog posts, or graphics. Finally, don’t overlook Facebook groups. Creating a group, building membership, and posting consistently in it has appeal because it can be marked as “exclusive”. It’s a place where the newest information is shared, the coolest content is posted, and it can be a “fan club” to rally around your brand. This may not work for every business, but maybe it could work for you.
2020 has brought many changes to social media, one of which was an updated Facebook algorithm. Now that we’ve spilled all the tea on how to navigate uncertain waters, it’s up to you to experiment and start creating content to see what works best for your brand.