Remember, ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’? That song by ‘Snap!’ was an early 90’s hit. The minute I heard the Facebook (FB) algorithm changed (yet again), I for whatever reason, thought of that song… and now you are too, right?  But seriously that algorithm has changes more times than Justin Bieber’s haircut. As always, we want our nonprofit clients to be getting the very most out of their social media engagements, so here are the top take-aways for this new algorithm.

Most important factors:

  • Your relationship with the ‘author.’ The more you interact with a person/company, the more you will continue to see them.
  • The type of content that the viewer prefers (video, graphics/pictures, links, text only). Everyone likes different things, so it’s good to be diversified with these ensuring that a variety of followers will see your post.
  • Regency engagement. The more engagement your post has, the more likely it will be seen by many (this one has not changed, but is still important to remember).
  • Algorithm has no relation to paid ads.

Why do people engage with content (according to Facebook research team):

  • Content they think will be valuable to friends (not selling something, more informative based).
  • It defines who we are to others. This is great for nonprofits! FB users want their friends to know how altruistic they are, right?
  • Users want to make a difference, in particular a cause they care about. Again, this is AWESOME for nonprofits, but organizations must gain an ambassador base to help spread their great content.

Content specific factors to strengthen a post (beyond like, share, comment):

  • Links (to articles/landing pages/etc)
    • How long did the landing page/article take to load?
    • How long did the person who clicked through stay in the article? Too short time spent on article will actually dock the post because it will register as ‘click bait.’
  • Videos
    • Are people clicking on the video?
    • Are people watching the whole video?
    • Square format is shared 4 times more often than non-square.
  • Graphics/Picture
    • Are people clicking the pic?
    • Square format is shared 4 times more often than non-square.
  • If something is really important, try using all 3 content types!

Beat the algorithm:

  • Speak like a human.
  • Clear call to action. Don’t ask to ‘like’ or ‘share’ however. Use “Tell your friends…” or “Help spread the word…” types of language.
  • Be timely. Content has a ½ life. News-jack and share relevant articles on your timeline and for a bonus, post your unique post (on same subject) soon after.
  • Experiment and learn. Algorithm is going to continue to change.
  • Post often! It will give the current algorithm more things to pick from to show for specific followers. 2-3 times a day is new standard, but part of that should be sharing other people/company/org content.
  • Respond to comments.
  • Mention others in posts.
  • Invite people who like a post to follow your page.

Things to remember:

  • Is it shareable?
  • Is it targeted?
  • Is it emotional?
  • Is it personal? How will it affect the lives of FB users?
  • Hope travels better than doom & gloom.
  • And as always – Test & Measure.

So now that you’ve located this ‘dancer’ algorithm, get your Facebook strategy tweaked (again) and engage your supporters!

For more info, check out these articles: