The Facebook Algorithm: Breaking Down How It Works - Carney
Facebook algorithm deconstruction

The Facebook Algorithm: Breaking Down How It Works

Do you want your Facebook posts to be seen? You have to understand the algorithm.

I’ve been reading a lot of things like this lately. I’ll sum that up for you quickly. Basically what’s happening is Facebook is noticeably reducing the number of people who can organically see your company’s posts.

The reason is obvious, Facebook wants more companies to pay for ads. The easiest way to do this is by reducing the number of people who will organically see a post.

Right or wrong, it’s frustrating for brands.

The good news is there are still ways to get your message in front of your followers – without paying. I’ll start by breaking down the different post types.

Link Posts

First up is the traditional link post. This is the type of post that includes a link to something. Most likely, it’s going to be a link to your blog/website. Facebook really hates these posts. These are the ones that have the worst organic distribution. It makes sense, Facebook wants to keep traffic on their platform, not drive it away to other platforms.

Image Posts

On to image posts. These posts are simple, just an image. You can add context to the image. Facebook doesn’t mind these posts so much. They get a decent amount of organic views because they don’t send traffic anywhere. You can also still create value for your audience with this type of post (if you know anything about us, we’re suckers for creating value).

Video Posts

Moving on. Let’s jump to video posts. Facebook loves this format. They’re betting big on video in 2017 and beyond. The reason is partially influenced by their users and the fact that, again, these posts don’t drive traffic away from Facebook.

Like I said, users are influencing this video push for Facebook. In 2016, Facebook users watched somewhere around 100 million hours of video per day. That’s staggering. Obviously, it’s what the users want. Facebook is still concerned with user experience so they give video posts a pretty big “thumbs up”.

Text Posts

And now, for the holy grail of Facebook posts, the humble text post. That’s right, this is just a post with words, no links or images. Facebook really likes these because they’re so rare, especially from brands. Facebook wants more people and companies creating content on their platform so it makes sense that they’re going to give these types of posts the biggest boost.

So what can you do to get around all of this without paying? A few things:

  1. We found a neat trick to post links but still get the organic traffic of a text post. Write your text post, and then put your link in the comments. Make sure that you write in the text of your text post that the link is in the comments. You can even tell your audience why you’re doing that. A little bit of transparency goes a long way.
  2. A simple fix for this is Facebook Instant Articles. If you’re not concerned with traffic and conversions on your own site, Instant Articles might be the way to go. They’re great for building brand awareness and making yourself a “thought leader” (whatever that means). Facebook loves to organically distribute these posts because it keeps all the traffic on Facebook and is optimized for their mobile users.
  3. Create more video content. Facebook wants it. Users want it. Maybe it’s time to put more effort into it. We could write a whole blog about Facebook video so I won’t dive in too deep here, but it’s worth checking out for your brand. Your video doesn’t even need to be overly produced, it can just be shot with your iPhone.

The takeaway

Facebook wants users to stay on the platform in one way or another. To improve your organic reach, create more content that allows users to stay on the platform. If you’re concerned with building an engaged Facebook audience, you need to be playing by their rules.


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