Facebook Never Sleeps: The New Algorithm

KF Adv
31 July 2019

Mark Zuckerberg announced it. From January of this year to run Facebook is a new algorithm, aimed at fostering interactions with friends and family. The undesirable effect of this change is that brands, increasingly rare on the message boards of users, are losing visibility. The auction of sponsored brands, therefore, raises its stakes, making life more complicated for companies that choose to promote products and services on the well-known platform. In other words, brand Ads will reach a lower percentage of the audience than before.

The algorithm, in itself, verifies which content is worth appearing on a person’s feed. The relevance parameters are the most obvious ones, i.e. the interests shown by the user on social media through likes, comments, publications, and shares.

But let’s move on to the numbers. A person has, on a daily basis, more than 1500 posts. But they pay attention to only 20% of them. So the algorithm makes this 20% the first one visible to the user.

In summary, there have been three changes with the new update:

  • The number of people interacting with the post: in other words, the post at the beginning is shown to a small percentage of people (friends) and, if there will be good feedback, the visibility of the publication will increase extending to a wider audience.
  • The reactions, comments, and shares of the post: the more these actions, the more lucky the post will be. This is because each one corresponds to a score calculated by the algorithm (for example one like is worth one point, a comment is worth 6, a comment 13).
  • The actions of friends and family compared to public domain content: this is almost the only weapon left in the hands of brands. In other words, if a user shares the content of a page, this will take precedence over the feeds of the people with whom he interacts daily on the platform.

The why is clear, and we have already explained it in the article dedicated to the new algorithm of Instagram: Facebook wants the content seen by the user to be relevant to him.

How the algorithm completes this operation, then, can be explained in four steps:

  • Inventory Phase: Detection of available content
  • Analysis phase: content considerations
  • Prediction phase on user behavior
  • Overall score

So, what can brands do to overcome the obstacles posed by the algorithm? Focus everything on the analysis phase: if the algorithm judges the company’s content to be of interest to the user, there will be more chances that it will appear on its bulletin board. In other words, you need to make your posts as personalized as possible so that they “pass the Facebook controls”.

But that’s not enough.

Here’s what else you need to do to win the auction and the public’s attention:

1. Create content that delivers a real connection with the user and among users, and that generates spontaneous reactions.

2. Publish unpublished videos: they will receive privileged treatment by the algorithm.

3. Give priority, when the type of brand allows it, to live recording: they work a lot in the case of some services or products.

4. If the type of service or product allows it, create Facebook Groups that consolidate the brand community.

5. Do not publish links with low value content: you will lose the brand’s credibility and audience.

6. Humanize the brand, make it close to people.

7. If there is a lot to communicate, take advantage of stories (better if in a creative way): 62% of Facebook users claim to be more interested in a brand or service if they have seen it on stories.

8. Avoid too explicit call to action, such as “leave a comment below” or “put like if you liked it”, etc. It discourages active and passive audience actions.

In short, the new algorithm has made some significant changes. With a bit of luck, experience and skill, it’s possible that companies will also be able to take advantage of it, perhaps creating more “real” relationships with Facebook users.