Beat the Algorithm: How to get your content seen on Facebook & Instagram
Remember the days when your Facebook wall and newsfeed were cluttered with hundreds of photos of your cousin’s baby? Or the days when you had to look up your favourite Instagram accounts to see if they had posted anything new? With so much content out there on these platforms, Facebook and Instagram both knew they had to make some changes. Enter the algorithms.
All the content you see in your news feed on Facebook and Instagram now has been carefully selected by a number of influencing factors through a complex algorithm. This algorithm takes several things into consideration when deciding what to feature to you. They can be separated into three distinct elements:
- Connection – How connected is the user to the content, it’s themes, or it’s source?
- Engagement – What kind of action and what amount of action has the content attracted?
- Time – How current is the content/how long ago was it posted?
Although it may appear at first thought, that you will not be able to influence connection, there are still some things to consider in this sphere. Forget the people who aren’t interested in hotel stays and amenities, you shouldn’t be tailoring your posts to those who are not likely to book. Your audience sweet-spot are those who have already engaged with your content or those who are interested in what your brand is about. This is where things like remarketing and message tailoring come into play. Designing your message and tone to suit the audience you are targeting will increase the chances of them engaging with your content. Here are a few things to keep in mind before posting content to Facebook:
- Is this post relevant to the brand: Is the voice, tone and message consistent with other content?
- Is there value to the audience: Are they gaining anything from this or learning something new?
- Is the post easily accessible: Are the audience able to read the relevant information on desktop, mobile and tablet? Are the images high quality and without text in them? Keep in mind text in images is Facebook Ads’ enemy #1 and is often illegible on mobile and tablet devices which are the most common devices for scrolling Facebook.
- Is the information concise: Text should be kept short and sweet, attention span on Facebook is short, so the briefer and to-the-point, the better.
- Is this a unique post or have you posted this before: Fresh content is much more likely to get great engagement than something the audience has already seen. Posting the same content over and over is also very likely to lead people to become annoyed and unfollow your page.
- Is the voice and tone appropriate for social media: Keep in mind that social media has a more colloquial voice, so feel free to drop the formalities and take a more relaxed tone.
Connection and engagement go hand in hand, as quality content that your audience enjoys or feels towards will lead to them acting. Simply put, the more likes, comments, shares, clicks and reactions your post has, the more importance Facebook or Instagram will place on your content, believing it to be something people are genuinely interested in.
Beware though of the fake engagement. Facebook recently cracked down on its policies regarding businesses and pages asking for likes and actions to boost favorability. Asking followers to share your post or post something on your behalf to their own timelines is against Facebook Terms & Conditions. What you may do though, is ask followers to like the post, like your page or comment on the post, as long as they are doing it on their behalf solely. Requesting that a user tags a friend or share your post on another’s person’s page is a no-go. Running a Like & Share competition will result in a warning followed by your page’s suspension or deletion, so it’s just not worth the risk.
Fresh content here is key, simple as that. Facebook and Instagram will automatically give your post points for being new and current. If you are updating your page regularly with great content that you audience connects to and engages with, your content will be most likely to appear in newsfeeds across the platforms.
Putting the posting time aside, the content of your post is also important when talking about time. If what you post is addressing current news, sharing new information or reacting to a holiday/event (i.e. Christmas, Mother’s Day, a concert in the area…etc.), your audience is more likely to be interested in and engage with your content. Outdated information or reposted old posts will fill the emptiness on your own newsfeed but won’t likely make it into anyone else’s.
By staying true these three key elements, you can ensure that your content is visible on Facebook and Instagram, reaches your audience and continues to keep your brand in relevant on social media. What tips can you share for social media content? Let us know in the comments below.