We can all agree that Facebook is the world’s king of social media, being the most used social media platform with close to 3 billion monthly active users. However, to grow your business on Facebook, you must understand how the Facebook algorithm works.

With such a high number of active users, you can imagine the impact on organic-based traffic. If you’re like most marketers, you’ve probably noticed a decline in organic traffic on Facebook.

That’s because the giant social media platform prefers user base and advertising to organic reach. In fact, Facebook has openly admitted that “organic reach is falling short” and urges advertisers to buy ads.

That means, as a small business on a tight budget, it’s going to be more difficult to expand your organic reach, even with a massive organic following on Facebook. In other words, it will be tougher to get your content to those fans you labored and sweated to create.

But there’s hope. It all has to do with the Facebook algorithm. In this post, we cover strategies you can implement to ensure meaningful interactions with your fan base.

Facebook Stats 2022

Here are recent Facebook stats to keep in mind:

  • The daily active users on Facebook as of March 31, 2022, were 1.96 billion. (Meta)
  • The monthly active users on Facebook as of March 31, 2022, were 2.94 billion (Meta)
  • Facebook is the leading social media platform, making up 59% of social media users. (eMarketer)
  • Facebook earned $82.4 billion in ad revenue in 2022. (Meta)
  • Over 200 million small businesses around the globe use Facebook. (Meta)
  • 58% of Facebook users are young adults under the age of 35. (DataReportal, 2022)
  • 98.3% of Facebook users prefer mobile over the desktop to access the platform. (DataReportal, 2021)
  • The average time per month a typical user spends on Facebook is 19.7 hours and 21 minutes a day on average. (DataReportal, 2022)
  • In the US, 86% of marketers use Facebook for advertising. (eMarketer)
  • Wednesday is the highest traffic day and the most successful day for posting.

Many of us try to guess how the Facebook algorithm actually works to bypass it and get higher rankings in the feed. But the truth is that the machine learning ranking system is very complex and consists of many layers.

How does Facebook decide which posts to show?

The algorithm for Facebook is modified to meet the expectations of both users and advertisers. The main goal of Mark Zuckerberg’s “Fix” Facebook mission is to provide more engaging and higher quality content to the users.

As Mark Zuckerberg said, “Our goal is to reach a point where the ads are as relevant and timely as the content your friends share with you.”

But what are the Facebook algorithm changes? Let’s dive into the details step by step.

Facebook algorithm updates 2021

What is the Facebook algorithm?

The Facebook algorithm is a complex machine-learning system that decides what posts you see in your Feed. Essentially, it determines which content is more relevant to show to a user based on various factors. No wonder your Feed looks different from your friends because it’s personalized for each individual user.

In recent years, advertisers and marketers have seen various changes in the Facebook algorithm that hurt their ad performance and organic reach. The changes, which aim at prioritizing specific types of content that are more relevant and useful to users, aren’t favorable to businesses hoping to grow by targeting new and existing audiences.

While the Facebook algorithm isn’t the only factor affecting your content’s reach, it tops the list of the most important. That’s why it’s wise to stay up to date with changes and updates affecting Facebook marketing.

How does the Facebook algorithm work? So, let’s decide how the Facebook changes algorithm works today that brings so many discussions around:

Facebook Algorithm Updates and Milestones Timeline

The Facebook algorithm has come a long way, and it continues to evolve and grow. Here are some of the important milestones and updates:

  • 2009 – Facebook removed the chronological order of the news feed and started pushing for Likes. Posts with the most likes became popular.
  • 2013 – Facebook introduces “Story bumping”, where stories that users previously missed were bumped to the top of the page the next time the user logged in.
  • 2015 – “See First” feature is introduced. Users can customize the content they want to see first.
  • 2016 – Connections-first algorithm takes effect. Facebook pushed to start prioritizing posts from friends and family over those from publishers and brands. The same year also saw more weight given to emoji reactions.
  • 2017 – The era of the video begins, with an emphasis on quality videos that people watch past the halfway mark.
  • 2019 – Facebook started making feeds more personal. The “Why am I seeing this post” feature comes into effect to help users see why they fit the target audience for a specific Facebook ad. The platform continues to push other updates to improve personalized experiences like surveys and focus on video originality and quality.
  • 2021 – Facebook launches the “Favorites” tool, giving users more control over what they see.

Facebook Algorithm Explained

If you can recall, there was a time when posts that got the most likes were prioritized on your Feed. That algorithm just got a lot more complicated and now employs four factors to determine which post is more relevant to you:

  • Inventory: This is all the content available on Facebook that could show up on your Feed. It includes posts from people you’re friends with as well as content from the Pages you follow, along with the groups you’ve joined.
  • Signals: These are ranking indicators that help Facebook assess the relevance of each piece of content. That is, signals instruct Facebook on what content to prioritize on the user’s Feed. There are thousands of signals such as:
  • Who posted the piece of content, and how often did you interact with them?
  • When the post was published, and what time it is for you
  • The type of content and how you’ve interacted with similar posts
  • Quality and original videos
  • Predictions: Facebook then uses the signals above to predict what you want to see. These predictions are based on past behaviors to try to understand how likely you are to engage with a piece of content.
  • Score (Relevance scoring): The algorithm will then score each content based on relevancy. The higher the quality score, the higher the chance it will show up in your Facebook Feed.

6 Key Tips to Circumvent Facebook

On Facebook, your business will need a very engaged audience to gain traction on your feed through organic means. That means creating posts that get shared, commented on, and reacted to by your Facebook audience. Let’s have a closer look at some key factors that you should take into account in planning your marketing strategy in order to reset the Facebook algorithm and boost your business rankings. These tips will help you shape your content to match the Facebook algorithm and reach your target audience.

1. Publish at the right time

Timing your posts is everything on Facebook if you want to optimize engagement. Just think about it. Posting when your audience isn’t online or doesn’t seem interested will result in zero engagement. 

That’s why you must focus on posting during peak engagement hours. Now, only you can know your peak engagement hours, given the unique nature of your audience. If you’re not sure what time of day your audience is most active, you can try posting at different times and tracking the performance of your posts.

Over time, you’ll discover the best time to post. You can then plan your content calendar around these times.

2. Create and share quality content

Content is king regardless of the marketing platform you use. People will only visit your website if you populate it with content they find valuable, informative, and interactive.

The same goes for Facebook marketing. Make your ads impactful, provide testimonials and improve their customer experience. Only quality content can create meaningful engagement with your target audience.

3. Post content that speaks to your content

Remember, Facebook users can set preferences for what posts they want to see. Therefore, your goal should be to research your audience, find out what they like, and curate your posts in a way that will increase engagement.

Facebook announced it will “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.” That means you must strive to create engaging content that inspires, motivates, and encourages a community or group to interact with one another.

4. Leverage original videos

If you aren’t already using video as a Facebook marketing strategy, now’s the time. Facebook notes that videos drive better engagement, which makes them one of the primary tools for engagement on Facebook.

But it’s not just any video. According to Facebook, you can help provide your Page better originality signal by sharing videos that you wrote, shot, edited, and published yourself or with the support of a production partner.”

In other words, you should focus on creating original videos. More importantly, the video should benefit your audience in some way. It could be informative, entertaining, or educational, depending on what your brand specializes in.

One excellent way to engage with your audience is via Facebook Live. It’s free and allows your audience to engage with you in real-time. It’s been shown that Facebook Live videos “get up to six times as many interactions as regular videos.”

Read also: 25 creative ways to generate great business ideas

5. Leverage your employees and brand ambassadors

Most brands don’t consider their employees a powerful marketing tool on Facebook. Yet, it’s a free and effective strategy that can amplify your reach.

As you may be aware, Facebook prioritizes posts from friends and family over businesses. That means you can encourage your employees and brand advocates to share your content with their networks to expand your reach.

But how do you get your team to share your content? It’s not like they have the time to hop on Facebook, create a post, and share it. Plus, not everyone will be for this idea.

So, how about creating a post, forwarding it to your employees, and asking them to share? Better still, find a tool that automates this process, and all they need to do is hit the share to a Facebook button.

6. Leverage Facebook Groups and Facebook influencers

As of August 2022, there were over 10 million groups on Facebook, with more than 1.8 billion people using them each month. As a marketer, this tells you there’s so much potential on Facebook Groups to find people to interact and engage with your content.

Think about creating a group that targets a community, niche, or segment of the market to help boost your engagement levels. Since the group will be filled with users who care about your brand and stories, posts shared within these groups will receive a lot of engagement.

On the same note, find influencers who have the same audience you want and are willing to interact with your brand. 

My Facebook News Feed Is Not Working. What Should I Do?

Several factors can contribute to the Facebook News Feed not working issue. The good news is that it’s temporary, and you can fix it using the troubleshooting steps below:

Solution 1: Tweak your News Feed preferences

There are various customization options on Facebook News Feed preferences, including Top stories (usually selected by default) and Recent ones. To check these settings and configure them:

  1. Open Facebook’s main page, locate News Feed, and click on the three dots.
  2. Choose the type of feed on the drop-down list, preferably the Most Recent.

Solution 2: Set the correct time

If the Time Zone on your device is incorrect, Facebook won’t be able to load posts effectively. Therefore, check your system settings and ensure the current time zone is correct.

Solution 3: Facebook could be down

Occasionally, Facebook faces downtime due to bugs or technical issues. You can use a site like DownDetector to check this fact. If there’s a large spike, it means many other people are experiencing the same problem, and there’s nothing you can do about it rather than wait it out.

Additional solutions:

  • Clear Facebook cache and data on your mobile device
  • Clear the cache on your browser
  • Update Facebook
  • Try Facebook Lite
  • Check your device’s RAM storage
  • Log out of Facebook and log back in

Final thoughts

Regardless of all the new Facebook new algorithm updates, it gives great opportunities for boosting your business on this social media platform. Try to bypass the Facebook algorithm by creating meaningful and valuable content for your audience. 

Focus on being creative and analyze your target audience more. Learn what your clients like, and what their interests are, and use this information to be unique and engaging. Start a conversation, always reply to any comments and talk to your audience.  

Facebook’s algorithm utilizes dozens of signals to show users content that’s relevant and valuable. It’s up to you to employ the use of videos, quality content, and imagery to reset Facebook algorithm and build a strong marketing strategy. That’s all that really matters.

Tetiana Artemova

Tetiana Artemova is an entrepreneur and owner of IStartHub, a business media for ambitious female entrepreneurs and small business owners.