Facebook News Feed: How does it work?

Kelly headshot (2)

Have you ever wondered how Facebook’s news feed work? Or how Facebook decides what content to show in your news feed?  In this blog we are going to tell you how the news feed works and how you can create more visibility for your brand


  1. Facebook decides what to show you in your news feed based on other similar content that you browse.

For example  if you spend most of your day reading articles about animals, watching videos about animals, then you will see more content about pets and animals on your news feed.

How do you get your content to show on your fans news feeds?  You need to create content that engages your users, and keeps them around.  The longer users spend on your content, the more likely they are to see your updates in their feed.

There are a few ways to do this.  Don’t use deceptive headlines, this won’t win you any points with Facebook’s algorithm.  Make sure you have great content.  You want a catchy headline that will make people click on your link, video or instant article.

How much content is enough?  Don’t make content for web and mobile too long.  The majority of people have a very short attention span when interacting with online content, especially articles and videos. While the algorithm measures time on content, there is a maximum threshold.


  1. Content Diversity

Due to feedback from users, Facebook plans to implement some diversity in it’s news feeds.  Users have complained about seeing the same content, back to back, from the same publisher, pages or sources.  Facebook learned that users want to see wide-ranging content from different publishers.

Diversity can be harder nut to crack, but there is a very simple way.  Make sure you post your blog on multiple site, get friends pages to share it, if you have partners, ask them to share your info.  The more places that your content lives, the more likely it will appear in people’s news feeds.  I do however want to suggest caution, as having your content on too many sites can damage your google search rating.  It’s all about finding the right balance.

The other thing you can do is to re-purpose old content, and share that to your page via other links like from your blog, your LinkedIn page, employees pages.  You have more content to draw from and share than you realize.


  1. Facebook wants to show you the stories that it thinks will matter most to you

This is an easy on to achieve, create stories that matter to your audience.  Are you involved in the community? write a blog about it.  Do you help out with charity drives? write a blog about it.  Did an employee of yours win an award? write a blog about it.  Creating stories is easy because there are so many around you if you just take the time to really connect with your customers and employees.


  1. Shows you content based on the friends you have and pages you follow

I’m sure you’ve seen this in action.  You follow a new business page, and BAM, their content starts to show up in your news feed.  Pretty convenient right?

Well, here’s how you can start to take advantage of that for your business.  You have all these fans, maybe thousands, that like your page and have shown interest in what you do or what you offer.  Encourage your fans to share your content.  The more that they share, the more your content will appear on their friends news feeds.  Identify who your regulars are.  Who is always commenting, sharing and engaged with your content? Give them a shout out, recommend that other people follow them.

You can also start following other businesses, recommend other businesses who you have had successful partnerships with in the past.  All of this not only helps you gain more exposure to followers of these groups, but also helps to build your brand awareness and recognition.


  1. Types of content users interact with

This one is pretty straight forward, if users tend to watch more videos on Facebook, then their feed will tend to include more video content.  Same goes for text, photos and links.

To overcome this obstacle, be sure to have a wide variety of mediums for your content.  Have a good mix of text, video, pictures and links.


  1. Engagement can beat Recency

Lets talk about engagement first.  If a post has a lot of engagement with your audience, it will be more likely to show up compared to something posted recently.  For example, if someone posted content yesterday that got a lot of engagement and you decided to share that same content today, Facebook would prioritize the post with the highest engagement to show up on the news feed.

For recency, be sure you post everyday.  If you take a few days off from posting anything, then you will be less likely to show up in news feeds because your audience also follows pages who may post more often and therefore will have a higher chance of showing up.

So make sure that you post often and that you are getting engagement on the content you are posting.


  1. Users can control their news feed

While this is an option for all users, most people are unaware of this option.  Users can hide posts from friends and pages, while still remaining friends and fans of those same pages.  Users can also tell Facebook which pages they would like to see first in their news feed.

Make the assumption that most users don’t know about this option, then tell them how they can be sure to see your content first in their news feed.  Take a screen shot of your page with the instructions of “how to see us first”  Then pin it to the top of your page or make it a part of your cover photo.


Companies like Facebook and Google are constantly changing how their algorithms work, so it can be a full time job staying on top of the changes and understanding what they mean for your business.  Keep up with the changes and adapt your content to meet those changes and you will see better results.


Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Business owners through social media for over three years. Her team now offers services ranging from training sessions for small business owners and their teams, to full-service social media account management. Visit teachmesocial.ca to learn more about our service offerings or to contact us today for a no obligation consultation, including an audit of your existing social media channels.

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