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August 29, 2018
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Tiffany Houkom

Understanding How Facebook's Algorithm Impacts Your Business Page

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been discussing the importance of building out your Facebook Business Page, and developing a consistent posting schedule. However, posting on your page does not mean your followers will actually see your content (say what?!). Today we’ll take a quick look at Facebook’s algorithm (i.e. how it serves content to its users), and how it impacts who actually sees your posts.

The algorithm explained

According to Brandwatch, the Facebook algorithm is a set of calculations used to decide what content you see. The content you see from the profiles and pages you follow (friends, family, and brands) is distributed through your newsfeed. The order and content within the newsfeed are based off the following four components:

  • Inventory: All of the content shared by a users’ friends, groups, and business pages they follow.
  • Signals: The current engagement on the posts shared by friends, groups, and business pages (i.e. comments, likes, shares, friend’s likes, etc.).
  • Predictions: Based on previous behavior, Facebook will attempt to serve content it believes users will interact with.
  • Score: A specific value assigned to a piece of content that will determine its relevancy to the user.

So, what does all of this mean for Business Pages? Facebook chooses which content to serve to your followers, which means that just because you post something on Facebook does not mean it will show up in your followers’ newsfeed (again, say what?!). In fact, it’s estimated that Business Page posts only have an organic reach of about 2%. Organic reach refers to the number of followers who will see your posts without you putting money towards it.

Why limit organic reach?

There are two main reasons for the low organic reach of Business Pages. First, Facebook wants to serve users more content from their friends and family members. There was a significant algorithm update at the beginning of 2018, in which Marc Zuckerberg stated, “You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.” Think about it, if your feed was full of promotional content from businesses, the Facebook would begin feeling spammy, and you’d be less likely to login.

Also, Facebook is a publicly traded business, so they need a way to make money. Facebook doesn’t charge users to have a profile, nor does it charge businesses to have brand pages. Zuckerberg has even stated there will always be a version of Facebook that is free. Since there currently isn’t a paid version, the only way for Facebook to make money is through advertising. By knocking down the organic reach of Business Pages, it forces brands to put money towards their Facebook strategy in order for it to be worthwhile. This is where boosted posts come into play.

For example, with an organic reach of 2%, if you have 100 followers, only two of them will see your posts. Developing a content strategy for two people is a complete waste of time. Facebook offers businesses the opportunity to “boost” their posts, which helps get your content into more newsfeeds. While it costs money to boost a post, it’s an excellent way to:

  • Ensure your current followers see important posts
  • Get your message in front of people who don’t currently follow your page
  • Start getting more followers

In our next post, we’ll provide tips on how to boost your posts so you can get the most out of your social media strategy, and more importantly, your precious marketing dollars.

Looking for additional ways to improve your overall strategy? Get your free copy of our whitepaper, Key Strategies to Promote an Informed and Efficient Community.

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