Master The Facebook Algorithm Like A Pro
Have you ever felt like most of your Facebook fans don’t see your posts?
Ever noticed the same core people are engaging on your page? You’re not alone.
Dozens of other entrepreneurs feel exactly the same way and we’re about to explore exactly why these feelings are actually backed by the data.
Facebook’s algorithm is the only one to blame (or thank) and we’ll go into the details in just a sec.
Let’s Break it Down
Facebook’s active monthly users totaled 1.3 billion around September of last year (2014), so if you’re looking to connect with your potential customers in a HUGE way, chances are they already hang out on Facebook.
So why are so business owners completely frustrated with the platform?
In my personal experience, it’s usually based on one of these three reasons:
- They don’t understand how to make Facebook work for them.
- They haven’t put in the time or effort into testing & experimenting with content.
- They are going after the wrong kind of metrics.
There’s a million mistakes you can make on Facebook, (and personally, I’ve pretty much done them all) but instead of focusing on what you’re doing wrong, let’s focus on what to do right.
I’ll start by letting you know that growing your presence on Facebook takes time, experimentation and dedication, but if you want to achieve some massive results, it’s 100% worth it.
Why Does Facebook Even Need An Algorithm?
With over 1.3 billion active users, the average Facebook news feed (of a single user) contains over 1,500 stories from friends, people and pages.
Facebook’s algorithm helps to filter out only the posts users really want to see, so they don’t have to dig through all those stories to find what they like inside the news feed.
So how exactly does Facebook determine what content users want to see inside the news feed?
They use information from previous activities (think likes, comments, shares, tags etc.) to create a unique and individualized experience for each and every Facebook user.
Let’s Dig Into The Actual Facebook Algorithm
It’s widely speculated that Facebook’s algorithm is made up of three basic ”edges”, hence, why the algorithm is nicknamed ”edgerank”.
The sum of these edges are what determines what lands on the news feed of your fans.
1. Weigh – The amount of engagement your posts get in the form of likes, comments & shares determines a post’s weight. The more engagement your posts get, the better Facebook’s algorithm assumes your content is, and decides to either push it out into the news feed of more of your fans and their friends, or kill the story.
2. Affinity – This is defined as your relationship with each, individual user. When a Facebook user has interacted with your page, he or she is telling Facebook’s algorithm that they enjoy consuming your content. As a result, the algorithm displays more of your content to that user in the future.
This also works in reverse, when a user rarely engages with your content the Facebook algorithm assumes they don’t really like it, and the algorithm stops publishing your content on their news feed.
3. Time decay – The amount of time that has elapsed since the post was originally published. Unlike Tweets or Instagram posts, which are displayed in user’s feeds in the order in which they were published, your content can live longer inside the Facebook news feed.
All three edges play a large role in determining what gets published into the news feed, how long it lives within the news feed and also what stays out.
Over time, I’ve noticed all three edges work together to either limit your reach or increase the virality of your post.
The key here is to understand that your fans and followers have the power to deem your content as news feed-worthy, or shorten it’s life span through their interactions.
How To Master The Algorithm
Over the past few years of working with clients I’ve noticed that there is one key to dominating the Facebook algorithm. And that is…
Publishing content your fans can’t resist to interact with.
I know, it sounds simple, but getting to the point where you know your fans so well that you can easily predict what they will want to interact with, is a journey that for the most part, is full of trial and experimentation.
If you don’t test out different types of content and measure your results, you’ll likely never get to enjoy a page that is exploding with engagement.
But my Facebook fan page is too small, Kim!
I get it. We all have to start somewhere.
On average, you can expect to reach around 13% of your Facebook fans, sometimes even a lot less than that.
It’s frustrating and it’s hard. Especially if you’re first starting out. But you have to understand that Facebook is not the enemy here.
They will always protect the user experience because if they don’t, there won’t be anyone left to market to on Facebook!
So it’s about challenging yourself to become a better marketer.
Here’s something to think about…
Most of my clients actually have bigger fan pages than I do, and that’s OK because my strategy is about slow and steady, high-quality growth.
I get it though, getting to your first 1,000 fans is a challenge, but once you do, things will start to grow organically for you. Don’t give up. I’m about to show you how small brands are crushing it on Facebook.
Small Brands That Are Crushing It
Here is a quick example from one of my clients’ Facebook page. This client only had about 1,000 fans when we published this post and it managed to reach their entire fan base, plus a few hundred extra people with a single post, organically (meaning, without using advertising of any sort).
When people tell me organic reach is dead, I have to laugh… You know why? Because my clients are experiencing huge growth without having ginormous fan pages.
Is it harder than ever to get into the news feed? Yes. Does it take time, energy and some determination? Yes. Is it impossible? Absolutely not.
The key? Publishing content your fans can’t resist to interact with.
I’ve been working with this client for over a year and it took a few months of trial and error, but we figured out that posting content that was near and dear to our fans’ hearts was essential.
Can you see how engagement directly affects reach? Test it out for yourself. Go through your Facebook post insights and take a look at how posts with greater engagement also have a greater amount of reach.
Let’s take a look at another example.
Once again, publishing content that is timely and resonates with our audience made our post explode into the news feed.
Reaching over three times the amount of page fans with a single post is an amazing thing these days.
Examples From A Totally Different Brand
This brand is a tad bit bigger. When this content was published (last month), they had around 6,000 fans.
Engagement is good on the post, not stellar, but better than most for sure.
This second example was pretty cool. Remember, all of these posts were published organically, so the insights reflect the possibilities of organic reach.
Notice how we reached almost 22,000 people by getting 1,000 people to engage with this video post. Pay special attention to the amount of people who shared the video.
Again, the key is to get people liking, commenting and sharing content that they stand behind.
Getting Results For Your Business
Now that I’ve shown you the possibilities, it’s time to take a look at your own Facebook strategy.
Do you know exactly who your customers and fans are? Are you well aware of details, like their favorite TV shows, their marital status, how often they enjoy outdoors activities and what keeps them up at night?
If you don’t know the answer to all of these questions, you won’t see amazing results on Facebook until you start creating content your ideal customer can relate to.
The exercise I’m going to share with you is essential to developing any marketing strategy, but especially one on social media.
Creating Your Ideal Client Avatar
We’re about to create what is called an Ideal Client Avatar or Ideal Customer Profile.
Grab some pen & paper, or pull up a Google Doc and jot down the the answers to these questions:
- What is my ideal client avatar’s name? – Give them a name, even if it’s made up, giving your ICA a name will make things more personable.
- Is he/she a male or female? – Can they be both? Absolutely. If it applies to your business, go ahead and create two separate avatars.
- What is his/her marital status?
- Do they have any children?
- What blogs, magazines or publications do they read?
- What is their favorite type of music?
- What are 5 of their interests as they relate to my brand?
- What are 5 of their interests outside of my brand?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What are their pain points as it relates to my brand?
- How can I solve their problems?
If you own a B2B business, all of these questions still apply to you. You might need to tweak them a bit, but remember that businesses are also made up of people.
Consider creating an ICA for your point-of-contact with existing and future clients (ie. Sales Reps, Owners, Marketing Directors, Technicians).
Share this ICA with your team members or review it yourself before you create your content. Go the extra mile and take a look at the kind of content that is highly engaging on your competitor’s pages but also on industry leading pages.
Then tweak, measure and repeat.
If you want additional training on this topic, I’ll be releasing an awesome eBook in the next few weeks that will guide you through the process of creating an awesome social media marketing plan.
It’s a step-by-guide, jam-packed with great resources, worksheets and the same strategies I use for my own clients to leverage social media for their brands.
If you want to be the first to know when we launch, sign up here.
Disclaimer: This eBook will not be Free, but don’t worry, it’s priced with love and you’ll get 10X more value than what you will pay for it.
Can’t wait to talk to you soon,