No one knows what goes into the Facebook algorithm (or Google’s, for that matter). Not really. All we know is that lots of people used to see our posts and now they don’t.
Facebook is a business. It had to have a source of revenue. Guess what? Ads are it.
As disappointing as that is for those of us who love free, it’s become our new reality. Want more exposure? Run a targeted Facebook ad. But if you’re stuck on increasing your organic reach, read on.
Super Secret Facebook Algorithm Tip
Just as a child might shake a wrapped gift trying to figure out its contents, we can analyze how many people our posts reach and get some insights into the algorithm. I’m not referring to seeing how many shares or interactions you get. I mean the number of “people reached” that Facebook reports under each post. This number indicates those streams that carried your content.
That’s where your interaction starts. It makes sense that people who don’t get to see your content, can’t interact with it.
The Facebook Conundrum
Facebook wants its users to only receive information in their streams that the users will find valuable, but Facebook can be a bit of a jealous friend making all sorts of assumptions about what you want and don’t want. It decides what you see. If you interact with the content, it says it will show you more. However, you can’t interact with content you never see.
Perhaps a member followed you (and several other organizations) and maybe they’re dying to see your content, but Facebook doesn’t think they’ll like it. The member would share the content all over the place but they don’t know it’s out there. Since they’re not sharing it (because they’re not seeing it, but who’s counting), Facebook doesn’t think your content is relevant to that person. That’s the Facebook Conundrum.
However, you can beat the conundrum by teaching members how to see more of your content in their streams. They just need to tell Facebook they want.
Since Facebook uses interaction to partly gauge what users see, it’s important to take a look at that number of people reached again. I came across a pattern in the reach and the media type posted for several of my clients. From a percentage perspective of those who liked the pages and the “people reached” I noticed fewer people were reached when I posted blog articles than images. This is not factoring in engagement boosts or paid advertising. This is what I found with my clients:
While the percentages are not the same, the correlation between the types of media shared and the percentages of reach seem to be. Notice the smallest percentage of people reached is in their blog posts for all 3 sites.
All of these blogs are basic small business blogs. They post consistently 1-2 times per week. Each business has a statistically significant different number of fans but they all post daily to Facebook.
Notice the importance Facebook places on images and article posts from well-ranked sites (like Forbes and Entrepreneur). That’s a considerable difference.
Take a look at how many people your posts reach organically. Are you seeing a trend based on type of media? After seeing this, I’m considering a strategy change on what types of media to share on Facebook.