The explosion of content on the internet is pretty apparent. But, there’s also a flip side to that content explosion: Facebook and Instagram algorithms seem to be working harder to ensure users see content that they’ll love.
Both platforms are getting more restrictive about the types of posts that pop up in news feeds, and are giving similar treatment to content that looks like spam. And you need to look no further than your own feeds to see evidence of this phenomenon.
Here are some important tips for getting your content into people’s news feeds both on Facebook and Instagram.
How the Facebook algorithm works
Facebook takes each post in a user’s network and gives them scores in line with predetermined ranking signals, such as recency, content type, popularity, and relationship. Facebook will then reject posts that it considers a user will not engage with, determined from that user’s past behavior.
After that, it runs a more powerful series of algorithms over the residual posts and allots them personalized scores. The posts are ranked in order of value.
Finally, Facebook organizes a sample of media types and sources to allow a user to have various captivating posts to scroll through.
Factors the Facebook algorithm considers
In 2021, the Facebook algorithm mainly considers these four factors:
- Relationship: The algorithm considers whether the post is from a person, public figure business, or the news source that the user frequently engages with.
- Content type: It considers the type of media in the post, and which media type the user interacts with most.
- Popularity: It considers how the people who have viewed the post are reacting, determined by the number of likes, shares, comments, etc.
- Recency: It considers how recent the post is and places new posts higher.
Tips to rank better with the Facebook algorithm
Here are four significant tips to help you rank better with the Facebook algorithm:
1. Grow your user interactions
A fantastic way to start a conversation with your audience is to ask questions. Get creative while framing the different types of questions. Showing your witty side can also work to your advantage.
You can utilize these tactics to get authentic input from your target audience, which will also result in making personalized business decisions. Naturally, you have to come up with questions relevant to your industry.
Here’s how the Scholastic brand asked their audience a question relevant to their industry: “What will you read today?”
It not only starts the conversation, but it is a great way to know about your readers’ interests and even develop your brand identity. The rule is to make the questions relevant, fun, and easy to respond to.
You can also ask about trending topics to increase the chances of appearing in your audiences’ feeds and boosting the number of comments and shares on your post.
2. Go live on Facebook
According to statistics, live video gets 6x more engagement as compared to regular video. Naturally, the Facebook algorithm loves it.
Live videos will help you to bond with your audience in a genuine way and enable you to answer questions instantaneously. You can also use it to broadcast events and bond with your clients or leads who could not attend.
Here’s how a small marketing agency based out of Sarasota promotes and streams their live events. In their broadcast, they invited a guest speaker from HubSpot to make sure that the clients who were not present in person could still benefit from her email marketing workshop.
Live video sessions can also help you keep your audience informed on industry trends, product launches, and show off your company culture. Plus, videos naturally have more scope to make customers understand a product.
In fact, as many as 97% of customers and online marketers indicate that videos help them understand products easily.
Remember that live streaming does require specific gear and software in order to be successful. That being said, there are lots of resources available for getting started with live streaming.
3. Leverage Facebook ads
Facebook advertising is one of the best and fastest ways to increase brand awareness. They have a great ROI and Facebook’s ad revenue is estimated to be a whopping $20.7 billion.
No wonder, as many as 10 million advertisers are using Facebook to promote their products and services.
Facebook provides personalized audience targeting to help you grow your audience. From there, you can better understand the content type that works for your target audience.
You might also want to consider using a third-party Facebook ads dashboard to keep track of your Facebook ad campaigns and keep up-to-date with the trends in Facebook ad creatives.
Here are some current Facebook ad creatives trends that you need to know:
- The top brands are implementing a combination of video and static ad creatives.
- Advertisers are creating ads for the feed and stories.
- Colorful ads are more popular than regular, bland ads.
Here’s an example of Nike’s creative Facebook ad:
They switched from a plain white background and showcased their product on a colorful backdrop, thus attracting more attention in a Facebook feed that is usually full of pictures and articles.
You can refer to this guide on Facebook ads to create an eye-catching Facebook ad of your own and make the most out of it.
4. Get verified on Facebook
Verifying your account on Facebook can help give your profile credibility, or provide verification if you run a business.
Getting verified on Facebook can help you:
- Increase your brand’s credibility
- Enhance search footprint
- Gain more followers
- With early access to new features
- Get featured on brand social pages
To get verified on Facebook, your account needs to be authentic, complete, and unique.
You can follow this link to fill out the form to get the blue check verification mark.
How the Instagram algorithm works
Instagram has different algorithms, processes, and classifiers to supervise what people see and don’t see on the platform. And each has its own purpose.
For instance, The new Instagram algorithm ranking dictates the post order that a user sees when scrolling down the feed. It prioritizes posts drawn on specific signals and pushes the most relevant ones to the top.
Factors the Instagram algorithm considers
If you are keen to promote your business on Instagram, you should update yourself with Instagram’s algorithm in 2021 and its ranking signals.
They fall under three major categories:
- Relationship: The algorithm supposes that the audience who’ve formerly interacted with your account will be interested in your new content. So it assesses your relationship when deciding whether or not to show a post to your follower. This also means that engaging with your followers will boost your organic reach.
- Timeliness: The algorithm also takes the most recent posts as important to the audience. Thus, newer posts are often pushed to the top in the newsfeed. To improve your Instagram reach, it is crucial to post when your audience is online.
- Interest: The algorithm provides the audience with posts they desire. Thus, it tracks user affinity and tries to understand what is in a photo or video. It then provides the users with posts that they will most likely be interested in.
Other factors that the algorithm considers include frequency of use, following, and session time.
Also, note that you need to create organic and quality content that appeals to your target audience so that the algorithm will show it to them.
Tips to rank better with the Instagram algorithm
Follow these four tips to rank better with the Instagram algorithm:
1. Post consistently
Posting consistently can help boost Instagram growth, engagement, and organic reach.
If you want to keep up with your competitors, it’s essential to note that most businesses post 1.56 posts on average to their Instagram feed daily.
That said, you don’t have to post that many times.
During Instagram’s latest Creator Week, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri himself mentioned that 2 posts per week and 2 Instagram stories per day are ideal if you want to build a sizable following on the social media platform.
2. Experiment with new features (like Reels)
Instagram keeps updating its features every now and then. In July 2021, it allowed text translation in Stories, making the app even more accessible to users.
Another feature that was introduced most recently in August 2021 is Instagram Reels. You most likely know about them already, but they are short, 15 or 30-second videos – similar to TikTok.
The best part? Reels have built-in editing tools that can help you create engaging and fun video recordings. You can include numerous video clips, stickers, captions, filters, interactive backgrounds, and more.
It’s also worthy to note that, Insta algorithm is boosting Reels in the Instagram explore page to make more people use the new feature.
So, now is your time to shine and use the new feature to expose your account to a new audience and get better engagement. A report suggests that the NFL team gets 67% more engagement with their average Reels as compared to their regular videos.
3. Use hashtags smartly
If you plan to take your Instagram account to the next level, then it’s essential that you make use of Instagram hashtags. Hashtags can boost discovery, encourage audience interactions, and connect digital and in-real-life campaigns easily.
Instagram allows you to include up to 30 hashtags per post. On Stories, you can include up to 10 hashtags. But you don’t have to use that many hashtags. It is usually a great idea to use 11 hashtags in a post.
Aside from regular hashtags, branded hashtags are another great option for businesses on Instagram. A branded hashtag is a unique, relevant, and consistent hashtag for your business.
For instance, the luxury cosmetic brand Estee Lauder’s branded hashtag: #EsteeEssentials
After you create a branded hashtag, make sure to include it in your bio and highlight it in your captions and Stories to let your followers know about it.
Also, consider organizing a contest with a branded hashtag. It will popularize the hashtag and even create user-generated content.
4. Do your research on your audience
It is vital to understand your audience if you want your Instagram marketing campaign to be successful. Invest your time and effort to obtain insights into their behaviors, interests, and preferences. It will help you create relevant content.
A good way to research your audience is by collecting insights via a website. You can build a survey form to collect important info straight from your target audience.
Plus, consider using third-party tools to find out what your audience talks about, what interests and engage them, what is your clients’ feedback, what discussions take place around related keywords, competitors, or topics, and so on. It will help you to implement changes to enhance social media strategies.
Another way to find out more about your audience is by conducting Instagram polls and asking relevant questions.
For instance, you can create interesting polls on whether your audience would prefer to see content in their feed or stories. Or whether they want to see editorial shoots or behind-the-scenes content? You can also get their views on what features in your product they like, and what you can do to improve, and so on.
Use the response to create the kind of content they like, improve your product, and offer a better user experience.
Here is an example of how Mimi Hammer, a swimwear brand implemented Instagram polls. They directly asked their clients what swimsuit designs and cuts they favored.
Such polls help brands understand their customers better and even connect with them in a personal manner.
Your turn to shine!
At this point, you should be able to make Facebook and Instagram algorithms work for your content and posts. Making Facebook and Instagram algorithms work for your content allows your content to get seen (and then hopefully read or watched).
The end goal of all these strategies is to increase organic engagement/reach for your content and make it possible for you to reach more of your audience. If you take some time to really understand how Facebook and Instagram analytics work and how they want you to post, you can make these algorithmic changes work for your content.
This article was written and contributed by Mark Xavier Quadros.
Mark Quadros is a SaaS content marketer that helps brands create and distribute rad content. On a similar note, Mark loves content and contributes to several authoritative blogs like HubSpot, CoSchedule, Foundr, etc. Connect with him via LinkedIN or twitter.