If you are unsure of how Facebook decides how to display content, look no further! In this blog post, I will cover how Facebook’s algorithm indexes content.
The Facebook algorithm is a machine learning ranking system with several layers that help determine the order in which posts are displayed on your news feed. The algorithm is continually changing and evolving to personalize content for the billions of people that utilize this platform. Its purpose is to ensure each individual user receives content that is specific, relevant, and meaningful to them. Overall, the Facebook algorithm ranks content based on what the user is more likely to engage with (content that would rank higher in their news feed) versus what they are less likely to engage with (content that would rank lower in the news feed).
In January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg (co-founder of Facebook), announced that the Facebook algorithm would begin prioritizing content that sparked conversation and meaningful interaction with its users. This comes after a lot of criticism regarding the negative effects of Facebook. The hope was to make the user’s experience better and more meaningful. With this update, posts from friends, family, and Facebook groups began ranking higher than content from organizations and businesses, such as your practice. In order for content from organizations and businesses to gain traction, these posts would need to receive more engagement, reactions, comments, and comment replies. This is still the case today.
So, how can your practice use Facebook’s algorithm to your advantage? With the information we do know, there are a few ranking signals to consider when creating posts, as follows:
Who users tend to interact with on Facebook and the interactions they have with one another (it’s important to note that user to user interactions rank higher than an individual user interacting with a page).
The type of content featured in a Facebook post, whether that be an image, video, or website link. How long a user spends time on a post is also considered when determining where that type of content will rank in the user’s news feed.
The response to posts through comments and/or likes, as well as comment replies. This includes posts being shared by users to their friends, meaning posts with more engagement will rank higher.
When the content was posted versus when your followers are active. When a user opens Facebook, newer posts tend to rank higher than older posts.
Now that we have broken down some of the key ranking signals, the next step is to produce great content. Stay tuned for our next post which will provide tips for helping your practice produce higher ranking content based on Facebook’s algorithm!
—Nicole Gamble, Social Media Specialist, Sesame Communications