Everyone can start a business in Facebook by creating a page, complete the profile information, upload some product’s photos, and start selling with the post & videos. However, you might find the harder part to run a business on Facebook is how are you gonna attract traffic to your page & how to increase the engagement to your page?
Before we dig into the topic, we shall first come to understand how Facebook’s algorithm works to distribute the post or videos?
Facebook algorithm values
Facebook prioritizes content that sparks conversations and meaningful interactions between real people. To do this, Facebook will increase the distribution of videos that inspire friend-to-friend or person-to-person interactions.
- Friends & family come first
The top priority of Facebook’s algotihm is keeping users connected to the people, places, and things that they want to be connected to. Facebook will put those posts related to the user’s friends & family toward the top of his/her News Feed to make sure the user won’t miss the post from the people that you care about.
- Informative stories & entertainment
People expect the stories in their feed to be meaningful to them. Facebook will always work hard to better understand what is interesting and informative to the user & predict what posts on Facebook are entertaining to their user and make sure their user won’t miss the post.
- A platform for all ideas:
Facebook welcomes all ideas while making sure that everyone feels and is safe. They aim to deliver stories that each individual wants to see the most, based on their actions and feedback.
- Authentic communications:
Facebook will show more genuine stories in the news feed. To reduce the post of which their research shows them it’s misleading, sensational, and spammy.
- You control your experience:
The conversations that happen on Facebook reflect the diversity of the community. In order to create a safe and respectful environment on Facebook, the features created (“hide”, “unfollow”, “see first”) by facebook allow all the users to feedback about what content is the most important to them & the users are able to customize their Facebook experience.
- Constant iteration:
Facebook will constantly collect feedback and improve the platform.
Facebook’s algorithm for ranking content on News Feed is based on 4 factors:
Inventory represents the stock of all content that can display to a user on Facebook’s News Feed. This includes everything posted from friends and publishers. (Stories & posts shared by your friends & family).
Signals represent the information that Facebook can gather about a piece of content. Signals are the single factor that you have control over.
**These are your inputs that Facebook interprets; type of content, the publisher, its age, purpose, and more.
Predictions represent the behavior of a user and how likely they are predicted to have a positive interaction with a content piece. The algorithm uses all of those signals to try and predict how likely the users are to engage with a post, how long time to spend on the stories or the action of “Like, shares, like comments & comments”.
Score is a number that represents how interested Facebook thinks users will be in that story.
The Signals that determine your post to shows up or not?
Facebook’s emphasis on unique content which they will prioritize video content that has strong signals of originality. Repurposed or shared content will be penalized by limited distribution while original content from creators that people watch and come back to will receive a rankings boost.
You can help give your Page a better originality signal by:
- Sharing videos that you wrote, shot, edited, and published yourself or with the support of a production partner. To make sure that your Page is participating as much as possible in the creation of the videos it posts.
2) Viewing Behaviors and Video Attributes
Facebook prioritizes longer videos (3 mins or more) that engage people and inspire them to watch to the end. (Or make your video at least 1 mins more)
3) Loyalty & Intent
Facebook is placing an increased value on repeat reviewers. Keep your viewership coming back by searching your content or directly to your page. Facebook will take this signal as strong & positive for distribution.
You can encourage these behaviors for your videos by:
- Optimizing your content for Facebook search. This includes writing clear titles and descriptions for your posts and including a few relevant tags. This can help more people see your content, both via Search results and also via the recommended videos that we show to people in News Feed and in Facebook Watch.
- Publishing bonus content (like Live videos, photos, or text posts) to stay connected with your fans and deepen engagement in between publishing longer videos.
Contents that inspire people to have meaningful interaction will gain priority distribution from Facebook.
Videos that present that Engagement well will:
1) Inspire people to have meaningful, back and forth, respectful discussion in the comments. (Not spammy or gratuitous)
2) Be authentically shared.(Not spammy or gratuitous)
3) Be engaged with. The action (“Like”, “Follow”, or “Share” & etc) helps Facebook to determine which content should get distribution priority.
Videos/Posts may face reduced or limit distribution if you do these
- Bait people
- Videos that feel more like slide shows. Videos that rely too heavily on static images can have their distribution reduced.
- Posting duplicate content.
- Posting mass-produced or repurposed clips.
- Employ manufactured sharing behaviors: This is when a Page’s content is artificially distributed through re-shares or sharing within a group, usually in exchange for compensation, in which the content is not related to any theme of their Page.
- Resort to engagement bait: This is when a Page resorts to tactics for vote baiting, tag baiting, share baiting, comment baiting, react baiting. Posts that ask people to engage in order to win a prize or vote on a topic are good examples of engagement baiting content that will earn less distribution from Facebook.
- Viral posts from unverified accounts: Since 2018, Facebook started to verify the identity of people managing Pages with large audiences and those who have a pattern of inauthentic behavior on Facebook. Facebook hopes this will ensure users are seeing more authentic posts from people, instead of ones from bots or users concealing their identity.
Pages that share content Facebook labels clickbait will find themselves penalized within the algorithm, resulting in reduced distribution within the News Feed. However, once the offending content stops posting this kind of content, their posts will no longer be penalized.
9 tips for working with the Facebook algorithm
- Reply to your audience
If a person has taken the time to talk to your brand, don’t waste the opportunity: make them feel heard, make them smile, or inspire them to screencap it and send it to their groupchat with the single-tear smile emoji. Because the algorithm prioritizes posts from Pages that a user has interacted with in the past. This means that bumping up your reply game is key, whether that’s in Messenger or the comments.
- Get your audience replying to each other
This tip comes from Facebook itself. Apparently, if a post has triggered a lot of conversation among a user’s friends, the algorithm applies “action-bumping logic” to show that post to the user again.
That means that the most interesting conversation-starters get more reach, in the form of second chances.
The algorithm values content that people want to share and discuss with their friends. (Note that this does not mean that the algorithm wants you to inspire strangers to get into flame wars.)
- Aim for love more than likes
For the last few years the algorithm has weighed reaction buttons more heavily than a simple Like. So target emotional reactions in your posts: love, caring, laughter, sadness, anger.
Sentiment analysis help you to:
A. Understand your audience
B. Improve your customer service
C. Understand where you stand in your niche
D. Able to spot the crises in the early stages & implement the rescue plan.
- Post when your audience is online
Recency is a key signal. The newest posts go to the top of the news feed.
- Skip the algorithm using Facebook Stories
The thing about facebook stories is that they aren’t part of the newsfeed. They float above it (literally and figuratively) and they aren’t governed by the algorithm. According to Facebook, they’re also effective at driving traffic: 58% of people say they’ve visited a brand’s website for more information after watching a Story.
What kind of Facebook Stories should you post? According to a study by Facebook, people say they want the following from branded Stories:
52% want Stories that are easy to understand, 50% want to see new products & 46% want tips or advice.
- Tend to your branded Facebook Group
The advantage of running a business Facebook Group is that, while it does take some care and feeding, it opens another channel for you to connect with your customers, fans, and community.
It’s also a second channel for important content to reach your audience’s eyes. The Facebook algorithm prioritizes posts from Groups users care about, so a post that gets amplified in a popular Group by enthusiasts and fans is likelier to earn more reach.
- Go Live on Facebook
Because Live video receives 6x more engagement than regular video, the algorithm really, really likes it. For brands, it takes a bit of know-how, but given the fact that virtual events don’t seem to be going away anytime soon, Live video effectively feeds two birds with one scone.
- Become a favorite
Did you know that every Facebook user has thirty slots for their favourite Pages and people? Those thirty lucky ducks get an automatic free pass from the algorithm.
This is part of Facebook’s push to let people have more control over what they see. Let your followers know that they can prioritize your content in their own timelines, if they want to.
- Make longform video that people want to watch
Watch time and completion rate are both crucial ranking signals for video because they indicate that the viewer enjoyed the video enough to watch the whole thing.
In short, the longer you keep people interested, the higher your video post will be scored by the algorithm, and the higher up in the Facebook newsfeed it will appear.
As of 2019, Facebook also scores and prioritizes the following signals for video:
-Loyalty and intent: videos that people search for and return to;
-Video length and view duration: videos that people watch past the 1-minute mark, and that are longer than 3 minutes;
-Originality: videos that aren’t repurposed from other sources and that have plenty of added value.