September 18, 2014

Beat the Facebook Algorithm With These 13 Techniques

Publisher Channel Content by
Wordstream

beat the facebook algorithm

Over the past year, Facebook has been rolling out algorithm updates that have resulted in decreased visibility for business’s organic page posts – in March, it looked like organic reach on Facebook was rapidly approaching zero.

beat the facebook algorithm

So how do you beat the odds? In my article today, I’ll cover 12 tactics to beat the Facebook algorithm and help you get your fan engagement back!

1. Share Great Content

The old adage remains true – (quality) content is king. (Sorry about the cliché, Elisa.) If you post awesome content, your chances of being liked and shared increases, boosting your presence in Facebook news feeds. Many of Facebook’s algorithm tweaks are aimed at weeding out what Facebook deems “low quality content,” like memes. For greater reach, opt instead for quality content from news sites. It’s a bit bourgeois for Facebook to assume CNN articles are always classy and memes are always pond scum, but we don’t get much choice in how Facebook adjusts its algorithm. My suggestion? Ramp up on your own original high-quality content with e-books, blog posts, white papers, etc.

2. Use Facebook Ads

With organic reach down, now is the perfect time to experiment with Facebook advertising. Facebook has revamped their ad system to be easier than ever to use. Paid Facebook ads can appear right in a user’s newsfeed, seamlessly blending with organic posts while boasting better reach. Give them a shot and see how they perform.

beat the facebook algorithm

3. Extend To Other Social Networks

Integrate your Facebook marketing with other social networks – post pins, tweet, etc. Facebook has become crowded, with organic space steadily shrinking. There’s tons of competition and it’s easy for your content to get buried in users’ news feeds. Explore greener pastures by delving into newer social media hubs like Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Tumblr, or Google+. Don’t let Facebook be your crutch.

4. Time To Get Personal

Personal account posts tend to show up more in news feeds than business page posts, so why not take advantage of your staff members? Most of them probably use Facebook, so get them liking and sharing your company content. All is fair in the Facebook wars.

5. Import Your Contacts

If you have a big email list, you can import your contacts (up to 5k names at a time) and invite them to join your Facebook page. A higher number of Facebook friends means that your content will reach more people, despite lower organic visibility percentages. The more the merrier.

beat the facebook algorithm

6. Post More Often

Increase your chances of appearing in news feeds simply by posting more. Get the odds in your favor! Posting 4-6 times a day increases the likelihood that one of those posts will get a bite.

7. Share Exclusive Content

Make your Facebook posts count by sharing exclusive content users won’t find anywhere else. Publicize flash sales, special discounts, contests, etc.

beat the facebook algorithm

8. Pay Attention To Analytics

Since organic Facebook marketing has become significantly more difficult, it’s time to start paying careful attention to your analytics. You don’t need anything too fancy – Facebook’s own analytics can show you which posts perform better than others. See what kind of content drives the most engagement with your followers. Do they respond to videos? Which articles do they click on? What topics get them excited? Look for trends and then replicate for success.

9. Go Multimedia

Don’t rely solely on text posts. Image and video posts perform exceedingly better than text posts. Share YouTube videos, Pinterest pins, and Instagram pics on Facebook.

beat the facebook algorithm

With Facebook’s buyout of Instagram, it wouldn’t be ridiculous to think that maybe Facebook is giving preference to Instagram pics over other pieces of content. Nothing official on this of course, but it doesn’t hurt to amp up the Insta-posts just in case.

10. Leverage User Generated Content

If you’re not making much of a splash on Facebook these days, at least make the attention you do get worthwhile. Take advantage of Facebook as a source of user generated content by hosting photo contests, video contests, etc. You may not get as many entries as you would have in Facebook’s glory days, but the user generated content you do get is golden. User generated content can be repurposed and used elsewhere in blog posts, testimonials, and other marketing materials.

beat the facebook algorithm

11. Engage With FB Fans

Drive fan engagement by asking questions and encouraging fan response. Try caption contests, fill in the banks, and other posts that drive user interaction. In return, it’s your job to follow suit by responding to their questions and comments and interacting with fans whenever possible.

beat the facebook algorithm

12. Give Your Page A Makeover

Make the most of the fans that interact with your Facebook page by using a powerful cover image. Try using the Facebook cover photo as a call to action.

beat the facebook algorithm

13. Reach Out To Other Community Managers

Firstly, a disclaimer – this last workaround might be considered “gray hat,” but it can work very well if handled correctly. To boost exposure for your business pages, reach out to and forge relationships with one or two other community managers in similar industries and agree to like each other’s content. Alternatively, if you’re not comfortable doing that, ask your employees to like one update per week – the increased post engagement will improve post visibility.

Facebook Photo via Shutterstock

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Larry Kim


Larry Kim Larry Kim founded WordStream in 2007. He serves as company CTO and is the author of 4 Award-Winning Books on Software Development. Larry also blogs at the WordStream Blog and practices photography in his spare time.

26 Reactions

  1. I really like #7. Knowing that you’re finding a deal that others might not have access to will make more people share it (a win) and more people will act on it (double win).

  2. Ever since Facebook implemented its algorithm, and I started noticing how poorly my page was doing, I did seek additional platforms, Tumblr being one of them.

    I also told myself I wouldn’t pay a dime towards advertising on FB, but it’s something I’ve been reconsidering recently.

    I’ve also very recently started posting more often.

    • I’ve paid as low as $1 to experiment for a day lately on different posts. It’s such a hit or miss but I figure it’s only a buck if it doesn’t get more visibility.

      • $1 a day, John? I really didn’t realise it was that affordable. Do you have to pay for a minimum of 7 days or something, or can you literally pay for just one day?

  3. Is it of any use to try to “beat the algorithm”? ;) As you have have clue, the folks at FB are throwing a new thing on the wall, in order to see if it sticks…

    When should we start update content for readers, not robots?

  4. Some good tips. These should work, until FB decides to change the rules again. But in the words of Littlefinger “chaos is a ladder”, well for some anyway, for others it is a slide.

    • I think we should be used to FB changing the rules by now. I mean, Google does it and we’ve survived. One day, Facebook might just end up wearing itself out what with all the changes — then there’ll be no more changes. The end. (I can dream, can’t I? :-) )

  5. Don’t use Facebook ads ..

  6. So many of these recommendation are great, but a lot of them seem to miss the larger point. If you want organic growth, you’re not looking to inspire folks to like your page via facebook ads. In my own experience, I’ve only seen lasting success using facebook ads to promote events. On far, far too many occasions have I seen businesses gain page likes and exposure on facebook thanks to buying into the ad system… and then, a few months after they stop paying for advertising, have 80-300 followers disappear, while making no changes to their page settings that would inspire this change.

    Further, some recommendations don’t do well when you put the reader in mind. Post 4-6 times a day? Most people stop following brands that post too often, because it is annoying.

  7. It’s so true that the feeds will be overloaded with ads and feeds you want to see as well as don’t want to see. And people have the option to unfollow your business page as well. Rather than fighting the algorithm, I’d say this is a great way to leverage it. Great article Larry! By the way, we’re not related in case you guys are wondering. We may be distant cousins based on the village our ancestors came from in Korea haha. I digress but read more below.

    Especially with ads, I’ve paid as low as $5 and even $1 to boost certain posts and my page. One post went from 263 reaches to 3370 reaches in the last day or two with 7 new Likes from none followers. If you’re not getting new Likes, one great way to get more Likes is to message that individual directly to invite them to your page personally rather than through the general invite link we just click. I had approximately 250 Likes from my friends list out of approximately 400 friends about 4 years ago when I was running my health and fitness coaching business from private message. But do not despair if they don’t like you, they may not be the right market to reach out to where then that individual just becomes a # on your page rather than a follower / contributor. And also the reason I’m leveraging Instagram and learning Pinterest to reach people.

    Social media evolves and progresses month-to-month or some even daily. Lot to keep up with so it gets really frustrating at times.

  8. I think we will be in a never ending catch up with social networks changing the goal posts over time so maybe diversifying posts across different channels is the best bet.
    Tumblr has worked exceptionally well for some people and Twitter has always been great for click throughs for most.

    • Tumblr’s really worked for me. I think I actually prefer it to Facebook pages. I just can’t seem to get with Twitter though I’ve had an account there for months.

      I do want to get to the point where one of my other social media presences is more active than my Facebook page. I eventually want my FB page to be a secondary social media platform for me.

  9. Great post Larry. I suppose “Import your Contacts” is not available to all kinds of pages right now. I remember using it for a couple of pages I managed quite a while ago, and then it was done away with. Has it been reintroduced, or was it never removed from certain kinds of pages?

  10. FYI, the “Import Your Contacts” function is not working for about 1 month or 2 now… These were the good days :)

  11. I absolutivly agree, there are very good advise in this article, but post 6 or 7 time a day is not !

    • How many times a day do you think companies should post on their business pages? I think anything more than 3 is excessive. Quality trumps quantity.

  12. Hi, Thanks for the tips. I want to try #5- importing a contact list of about 2,ooo people from vertical response. But, when I press ‘Build Audience’ there is no “import Contacts” option like your picture shows. Is there any other way to do it?
    Thanks,

  13. Amazing post!

    Lots of great ideas to use to stay front and center with your Fans and even your friends.

    I just noticed that this post has well over 1,000 shares. WOW!

    Thanks again, Larry.

    The Franchise King®

  14. Posting 4 to 6 times a day? That seems a bit excessive. Thoughts, social media marketers?

  15. Over 2000 new Likes this week, and my reach has dropped even further. I’d have to say that tactic is less than effective.

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