Facebook Algorithm: Why You Hate It(And We Do Too)

This post was written by April Campos

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We admit it: Facebook is a leader in the social media arena. Not because it’s the most amazing marketing tool or because it offers the best user experience(UX). Facebook is a leader and a powerhouse, for one reason, it has been the only platform to market itself through the everyday, organic use of people just like us. Users became dependent on the platform after everyone they knew had signed up. So, naturally, businesses had to follow. They invested so much into developing their brands, pages, and followers, that they’re too far in to abandon it now. New businesses now have no other choice but to follow suit and sign up. 

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Photo Via Devil’s Workshop

When Facebook first came onto the scene, it was for college students only. Once it was opened up to everyone, it was a great place for friends, family, and 3rd cousins twice removed to connect every day. As the years went by, Facebook began to transform into something so much bigger that Facebook could even believe. It was not only a place for users to connect with one another, but for businesses to connect with those users. Companies created pages that interacted with users and grew their businesses for free.

As with anything that grows astronomically in a short period of time, Facebook began to evolve. As the evolution continued, the algorithm began to change. What is Facebook’s algorithm? It decides which posts to serve to users and in what order they will be served. Within this algorithm is what Facebook calls “ranking signals.” There are four main ranking signals to consider: Relationship, Content Type, Popularity, and Recency.

As the user-base grew, what seemed to be, slow and incremental changes to the layout and distribution of posts in your newsfeed. Over time, these changes began to grow. They started small, only impacting the friends on individual pages, to full blown changes to the algorithm to specifically exclude businesses from the organic feed. All the while, Facebook not being transparent about almost every single update. 

In addition to creating an indispensable tool such as Business Manager, Facebook repackaged all of this information and sold it to users as each and every account will now have their own control over the content that is seen in the newsfeed. In reality, Facebook users are being served ads based on a multitude of factors. One of which is what you are searching for on the web. On average in 2020, the Facebook newsfeed gets 60% of advertising dollars, as opposed to any other placement, such as Instagram, marketplace, messaging, or the side column*.

So, what is a business to do? If you’re not on Facebook, you’re missing out on being found by users. However, on the flip side, is it worth the time and money to spend on Facebook? 

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. There are too many missed opportunities in reach and leads to not participate in the Facebook gamut.

There are a couple of approaches you can take, but we at Emerald take a well rounded approach. The first is to create meaningful content to attract and engage current and new followers. The content we create for our clients not only tells their story, but puts their messaging on Facebook in relatable and digestible pieces that utilize the four ranking factors. Engaging with users keeps the relationship active. Dispensing relatable content ensures followers will interact and makes it popular in the eyes of Facebook. Posting new content multiple times per week keeps the content recent. In addition to the four ranking factors, the utilization of visuals cannot be understated here. The number one performing piece of content on Facebook is videos, with an average of 59% more engagement than other post types*. 81% of Facebook posts are videos, followed by images at only 18%. 

The more utilized route for most businesses is through Facebook’s advertising platform. The upsides to utilizing Facebook through advertising is the incredibly precise targeting and the fact that they average CPC is only $.97. With a planned social strategy, we at Emerald Digital have gotten that CPC as low as $.03! In the long term, it pays, quite literally, to have an experienced agency working to get every lead and conversion for as little as possible. 

So, here we are in 2021. Unlocking our phones and spending an average of 1 hour and 15 minutes every day on Facebook. While you are mindlessly scrolling through the hundreds of posts on your newsfeed, do you see a lot of ads? Are you seeing organic content from businesses that you follow? These could be your organic posts and your paid ads, reaching thousands of followers and users every day. 




April Campos

April Campos is the Emerald Digital operations manager and digital marketing expert. April has been managing digital campaigns for nearly a decade and is a client favorite.

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