Facebook, like Google is fond of keeping people on tenterhooks waiting for what they’ll do and change next, never revealing their hands early if possible. This is doubly so for something as well-kept a secret as their algorithm to control News Feed. Facebook’s News Feed has some core values that guide it, and if you don’t meet these, you just won’t be showing up to the party.
These are the values that Facebook prides News Feed on providing its clients:
- Friends and family FIRST
These stories will always appear higher in your feed.
- Your News Feed should inform
This means anything considered to be informative or informational in value would appear higher in your feed.
- Your News Feed should entertain you
There should be more stories like things you find entertaining appearing.
- Your News Feed should be a platform for many ideas
This means that Facebook doesn’t care about sources or ideas as much as whether a story is meaningful to you.
- Your News Feed should provide authentic communication
Facebook believes in integrity and honesty and will only show stories that are genuine, not misleading, sensational or spammy in nature.
- You control your Facebook experience
You’ll have features like “see first”, “unfollow” and “hide” which allow you to fine tune what you see.
- Perpetual iteration
Facebook is always improving, always updating.
Most marketers are aiming for the cracks in the Facebook armor to fall within some of the reasons stated in their own values, but it’s a crowded space, and it can be hard to get seen.
Here are the best ways to get ahead and stay there; in News Feed:
1. Pay for the honor.
If they won’t let you get seen until you pay them a bit for advertising, it’s still more than a fair trade given their reach. You’ll want to avoid sinking a ton of cash into this until you know how well your ads are performing in terms of reach and engagement, when you’ll have a better idea what people are looking for and where they are. By paying a modest sum for advertising, it also helps get your name out to more people.
2. Quality counts.
This might be the time period of the Internet’s history where the internet gets picky by way of clever gatekeepers working for search engine moguls like Google. They vigorously go through all the information out there to be found by indexing, and determine using clever algorithms, which information is the very best, just for you, just for that moment…and maybe the near future. Quality of content matters more than frequent content. Just because a person posts daily doesn’t mean that they should be getting an equal amount of visitors or engagement based on the frequency. What matters is the post’s traction, and honest or genuine engagement with the reader it evokes. This usually also means it must have links to verifiable sources, and not attempt to mislead its readers.
Facebook videos bring in triple the amount of engagement than text and image posts combined. They get 1,200% more shares and native videos (videos which are uploaded directly from the user to Facebook for approval) have ten times the reach than other shared videos linked from YouTube. The big perk here is that you can see how much time people are spending on each video within your analytics tools in Facebook.
4. Be engaging
While you can’t just come out and ask everyone to like and share your posts without seeming rude or ungrateful, and also being flagged by Facebook as being a spammer, you can get around this. Facebook wants to give its users a “right here, right now” experience. This means that their friends and family can join right in with those vacation photos from Venice from anywhere in the world. You can write a caption that says, “Tag someone who should take me here” and this will encourage other users to share the post, and engage with it by creating a conversation beneath the post. This is the kind of thing Facebook loves and will create more opportunities for.
5. Be super trendy
Like fashion, a marketer has to go with the flow, and change with the times. If we don’t keep up, we find ourselves left behind, and nothing moves faster than a trend. Just look at things like pet rocks, fidget spinners, or even Chia pets. People absolutely lose their minds over these things for a while, but it’s rare when a fashion trend lasts. Be super trendy with your posts by talking about current trending topics elsewhere and how it affects some sphere of your world. This usually means you’ll want to attach yourself to Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest so you can spread those social wings wide and gather plenty of trending information to talk about.
Don’t miss our other posts about Facebook and social media tips and tools!