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Facebook ranking. How News Feed algorithm works

Written by: Galina Kulakova

How many times have you wondered why your post reach is only 5K, when you have 50K followers? Who can actually see your latest post? While working on offering the content of high quality, we should remember that there are other aspects that affect ranking of your posts.

We got used to hearing about Google ranking, but there is another algorithm we should keep in mind. If you want your Social Media Strategy to be effective, you need to understand how it works. We will not bore you with the reasons why to use Facebook; the importance of this platform is no secret. Instead, we will tell you how the most important Facebook algorithm works –  Facebook News Feed.

 

So how does Facebook News Feed algorithm works?

Every time your followers open Facebook, it creates ranking for all posts of their friends and Pages they follow. The aim is to answer one question: Which stories are likely to matter most to your followers?

To answer this question, the posts go through 4 steps.

Step 1. Inventory

Facebook ranking algorithm collects all existing stories from friends of your followers and Pages that they decided to follow.

Step 2. Signals

The algorithm considers all information available about the post. Many things can be signals: the date of publication (whether it is old or new), the author and his relationship with the follower (friends and family come first), even smaller things, such as the internet connection users have when they scroll through the News Feed.

You should take these signals into account and create your post accordingly. Try answering these questions:

When are your followers active? – don’t make your posts age before they can be seen by your followers

Where are they most likely to check their News Feed? – mostly users access Facebook from mobile, so it is important to understand the type of internet connection they are having

Are followers interacting with your page? – followers who interact with your page are more likely to see your posts on their News Feed

How many interactions are there with one particular post? – posts that have more interactions (likes&shares) are more likely to appear on News Feed of more of your followers

What is the subject of your post? – target your posts to specific interests to reach more followers, use targeting tools

The most important signals include the feedback of the community. Facebook relies on it to understand what content might be problematic in order to distinguish and deal with violent content, spam, clickbait and false news.

There are many more signals that together help Facebook understand the purpose and the content of a post; and to rank it. Use Facebook Analytics to get valuable insights about your followers and personalize your posts to your target audience.  

Step 3. Predictions

Facebook looks at all your posts separately and tries to evaluate them in order to find the ones that are likely to be the most meaningful for each of your follower individually. What does meaningful mean? – Its main component is the likelihood of a follower to engage with your post.

Taking into account hundreds of thousands of signals, the algorithm then has the ability to make informed predictions about each story.

Examples of what Facebook predicts

 

Likelihood to click

Likelihood to spend time with this story

Likelihood to like, comment and share

Likelihood followers find this informative

Likelihood this is clickbait

Likelihood this links to a low-quality web page 

Step 4. Score

After making the predictions, using all consolidated signals, the algorithm develops a Relevancy Score – a number that represents the likelihood of a particular post to be interesting and meaningful for each user.

Facebook does it for every post, for every user, every time they open up their News Feed. The process is repeated over and over again until all available posts are evaluated. Then, News Feed is formed, and the order of the posts is dictated by their Relevancy Score.

 

To use the tools well, you need to study them thoroughly and understand how they work. Now, we hope, you can use Facebook for your Inbound Strategy better, taking into account all insights we just gave you. Create meaningful content for your followers and get more followers to see it. You already know how the algorithm works, now you need to find out the techniques you can use to reach your goals.

 

 

Publish valuable and consistent content on social media

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