As of 2019, according to Statista, Facebook still ranked as the top social media channel with the highest number of active users – a whopping 2414 million individuals.

Facebook users Statista chart

For your business to leverage this massive audience, marketers need to keep up with changes to the algorithm that determine who sees what on the platform.

In keeping with Facebook’s promise to give users more control over what they see, businesses will continue to find it harder to reach their target consumers organically in the coming months.

In 2018, Facebook re-organized the News Feed so that users could see more posts from friends, family and groups, and fewer posts from branded content. That trend is continuing into 2021, and businesses should make strategic changes now to prevent their organic reach from taking a nosedive.

First, ask your current followers to adjust their “follow settings.” To do this, have them visit your page on their desktop and locate the two dots on the right side of the page.

Setting Buttons on Facebook page

Click on “Follow Settings” and change “Default” to “See First.”

Facebook Follow Settings

This will ensure your followers will see your branded content before anyone else’s. Additionally, users can choose to be notified for only highlights or all posts, videos, live content, and offers.

See First Follow Settings on Facebook

Second, ensure the content you post is meaningful, engaging and worthy of a “like”, comment or “share.” More than ever, Facebook is prioritizing engaging content in the News Feed.

Be careful not to confuse engaging content with sensational subject-matter that might violate Facebook’s policies. Facebook has been cracking down on content that is misleading, controversial or inauthentic. If you’re worried your content is in violation, check out Facebook’s Community Standards.

Curious about what kind of content to post?

  1. Video
    FB Live Video performs best! In fact, according to Facebook, Live Video gets 6x the engagement of standard video.The old rule of thumb was that videos should be at least one minute long. Now Facebook is suggesting 3+ minutes to gain the favor of the News Feed algorithm. This doesn’t mean forcing your team to drone on for three minutes if the content doesn’t warrant it, but if you’ve got an engaging topic, leverage it for a longer-length video.
    FB video length
    FB is also looking more intently for original, authentic video content, so the days of repurposing someone else’s video content are over.
  1. Photos/Imagery
    Humans are visual creatures, so it’s not surprising that photos are a surefire way to keep your followers engaged with your page. Here are some examples of effective photo posts:

    1. Funny images
    2. Images with quotes
    3. Behind-the-scenes images (of your office or business)
    4. Unique, eye-catching photos
    5. Infographics
  2. Text/Links
    Remember engagement is the goal!

    1. Questions
    2. Fill-in-the-blanks
    3. Testimonials
      Funny Old Spice Facebook post

Other Considerations

  • Try Facebook Groups
    Facebook groups are getting priority in the News Feed, and users are joining and engaging in them in record numbers. Consider creating a group focused on a specific interest that your followers share. For example, if you sell athletic shoes, create a group dedicated to local marathoners. Once you create a group, you can run ads your Groups Feed, and soon you’ll be able to create brand partnership posts in groups.
  • Don’t use engagement bait tactics – You’ve probably seen other businesses try this tactic to gain followers and get more “likes”, comments and “shares.” According to Facebook, “stricter demotions will be implemented for pages that systematically and repeatedly use engagement bait to artificially gain reach in News Feed.”
    Facebook baiting tactics
    If you find yourself tempted to use the engagement bait tactics listed below, understand that if Facebook downgrades your posts, there will be even less of a chance your content will be seen by your target audience.“Vote baiting” asks followers to “vote” on one of several options by reacting to, or commenting on, a post in in a certain way.“React baiting” prompts users to give specific reactions to a post.“Share baiting” offers hidden value to users that share a post.“Tag baiting” calls on users to tag friends with characteristics defined by a post.“Comment baiting” pushes users to sound off in the comments with a particular word or phrase.

To recap, ask your followers to adjust their “Follow Settings” and work to feed Facebook’s algorithm monsters with quality content.

Engagement is crucial to staying in front of your customers on Facebook. When possible, post live video! And remember – be authentic!