How to Understand The Facebook Algorithm and Engage Your Social Community
Facebook is arguably the most popular social media platform in the world. As highlighted by Zephoria Marketing, Facebook boasts a monthly user base of 1.86 billion, with 1.23 billion users logging in at least daily.
What does this tell us as business owners? Well, it means we must be on Facebook in order to reach our audience.
But we aren’t talking about creating mediocre placeholder pages here! Whether a seasoned news feed scroller, or a beginner to the platform, we’ve got you covered with the best insights for navigating, and capitalizing on, the social media powerhouse.
HAVING A BUSINESS FACEBOOK PAGE IS FANTASTIC FOR BRAND VALIDATION
When a potential customer searches for your business in Google, your Facebook page ranks in the Google search engine right beneath your website. This is crucial for social proof and the validation your brand needs.
In order to find out more about your business, and how you interact socially with your audience, many users will not only browse your website…but engage with your social presence as well. Prospects are perusing the web looking to connect with your company. They want to electronically meet you! The worst thing you can do to your prospective new customer is to stand them up online.
Furthermore, with the recent rise in social media popularity, social platforms themselves have become search engines. When a user poses a search for something your business offers on the platform they spend hours a day on, you will certainly want to show up for them to find you.
For more information on how social media and SEO co-mingle, dive on in to Kissmetric’s article all about the topic: 5 Things You Need to Know About Social Media & SEO.
By having a great Facebook presence, you will leave a lasting impression on the potential customers that find your page.
UNDERSTANDING “THE ALGORITHM”
“The Algorithm….” It sounds so official and intimidating, does it not? Put simply, the algorithm is Facebook’s formula for ranking what appears in the newsfeed for any given user. But simple, it is not. Every time you log on, one of the world’s most complicated action sequences launches into action affecting the social pages of over one billion daily active users. According to Slate,
“It scans and collects everything posted in the past week by each of your friends, everyone you follow, each group you belong to, and every Facebook page you’ve liked. For the average Facebook user, that’s more than 1,500 posts. If you have several hundred friends, it could be as many as 10,000. Then, according to a closely guarded and constantly shifting formula, Facebook’s news feed algorithm ranks them all, in what it believes to be the precise order of how likely you are to find each post worthwhile. Most users will only ever see the top few hundred.”
It is no accident that when you log on, you instantly see your nephew’s birthday pics or you favorite brand’s latest post. Understanding the method by which Facebook highlights posts in your feed is important.
The good news and the bad news is that Facebook is designed to feature real, social content. In fact, social media platforms are designed to be social! Therefore, Facebook wants to make sure that when each user hops on their phone to scroll through their news feed, what they’re seeing is relevant to them. This means posts from their family and best friends will probably show up first, followed by friends, then by brands they love.
For businesses, it is hard work creating heartfelt posts that feature meaningful content. It takes time to understand your customer and feature insights that will add value to them.
However, just because the relationship you are building is electronic, doesn’t mean that it’s much different than the in-person kind. In order to make it work you need to engage with someone in a real way. Offer them insights to help their lives improve. Make things easy for them. Be there for them. Sincerely care about their success and be helpful. Investing in your audience by providing them with posts that return value for the attention they give will build an unshakeable foundation built on authenticity and trust. So when they are looking to do that remodel, need a car repair, or just want to try a new restaurant, they know just where to turn.
WHAT NOT TO DO
Curating and posting quality content relies on understanding what Facebook’s Algorithm is all about so you can be sure to play by the rules.
Essentially Facebook wants to filter out spam and any posts that feel like spam.
What is spam, you ask? Well, it’s anything that sounds “sales-y.” Pushing products, asking for a phone call or website click in every post, and only talking about your business in a way that promotes sales are all big no-no’s in Facebook’s eyes.
Facebook is also not a fan of baiting. This refers to articles that have an empty promise headline (called click-bait) or asking for likes, shares, and comments within your posts (called like-baiting).
Speaking of articles, it’s best to not solely post links to articles. Spice it up with photos, testimonials, videos, live streams, and more in order to avoid appearing “spammy.”
In the vein of being social on social media, Facebook also loves to see proper engagement. Leaving your customers hanging after leaving you a thoughtful comment or review is also something to avoid. Instead, say thank you and spark up a conversation!
With so many posting faux paus according to what Facebook favors and what it doesn’t, you might be left scratching your head wondering what it is you are permitted to post on the site.
Our favorite way to approach social media is to think of it as a relationship-building tool. Instead of using social media as a platform for promoting your business, use it as a place to create and nurture relationships that will eventually turn into transactions.
And guess what? Facebook favors this too! If you follow a few basic best practices for how to post on Facebook, you’ll be able to sit back and watch your organic reach soar as Facebook favors your business page in the ranking of their algorithm.
By starting a conversation with your community, you are likely to get great engagement. This means asking questions in your posts, thoughtfully explaining why your business page is sharing a particular article, and providing tips, advice, and value to your audience.
At Millenefits, we work hard to understand your business and ideal clients so that we may help you start conversations and be social with your audience.
One of our top tips is to show your audience a behind-the-scenes look into your business. A huge benefit to consumers with social media is the chance to see a business’s true colors.
Introduce your team, share photos of a product in the making, or go live to discuss your flow of operations. Your audience will love getting to know you on a personal level! And if you go live, which is a feature Facebook is heavily trying to push, you will be majorly rewarded in the algorithm.
Other tactics that work great with Facebook are to make sure you are posting high resolution photos, choose relevant content that matters to your audience (not just to you), and stay consistent with your messaging and your posting frequency.
Don’t forget to add a call to action in your conversations. You can even add a call to action button on your business page!
Remember, social media is a conversation. Try creating posts by pretending you are speaking to one customer, or even a friend. This will help you with creating a conversational message instead of a sales message.
Finally, above all, we encourage you to have fun! The beauty of social media is that is a more relaxed atmosphere, one where your audience can get to know you better and truly appreciate what you offer.
Facebook’s algorithm is tricky. The biggest takeaways from what the marketing world understands about the algorithm is to avoid sounding spammy by talking only about your business. Start a conversation instead, one that helps provide value to your audience and gives them a chance to relate to you on a personal level.
What are your favorite tips for using Facebook for Business? Share them below!
Millenefits, Founder & CEO