Today there are over 100,000 factors considered in Facebook’s algorithm when deciding which content is shown to whom and where it is positioned in their Newsfeed.
Facebook lives by one rule: to protect the user experience at all costs. Without users, their entire business model will collapse. That being said, it is critical that the rules below are followed when considering what content to post, how often, etc.
Consider the contextual environment your posts are being viewed in. This context will be very different depending on your type of business or even by product line. If your target is 25 to 35-year-old women, there is a good chance your content is going to be smack dab in the middle of wedding ring photos and newborn baby pictures. Use this type of context to your advantage.
Provide Social Currency
Give your audience something of value. Social currency can come in many forms: humor, factoids, nostalgia, utility, etc. It is key that you post content people want to consume, not just the message you want to convey.
No Reusing or Recycling
Don’t reuse ads from other mediums. A print ad repurposed to post on Facebook is like a big flashing “DO NOT READ” sign for consumers. People don’t use Facebook like a coupon book, so don’t get lazy and force a big, busy ad down their Newsfeed’s throat. You can deliver the same message far more effectively by recreating the content to be newsfeed friendly.
Pay to Play
Pay to promote your content. With exponential growth in the volume of content being posted to Facebook and the constant space available in the Newsfeed, it has gotten increasingly more difficult to gain solid organic reach. Therefore, if promoting your content to your audience is important – and for most businesses it should be – then put some money behind promoting your posts. It can literally cost just pennies per click.
Test, Optimize, Refresh
Facebook’s now defunct EdgeRank algorithm to determine what content showed up on your News Feed was based on three pillars: an affinity score (i.e., users who regularly interact with your content have better odds of seeing your posts); “likes” and comments are highly important; and timing, with newer posts getting priority. While those pillars are no longer the only elements of Facebook’s new Newsfeed algorithm, timeliness is still a crucial element considered. Therefore, ad decay is alive and well.
Also, be sure to always test your posts against each other using multiple variants of creative and design. You can then stick with the most successful creative and cycle in new variants. This is a sure-fire way to continually improve your results and make Facebook and its users happy.