Council Post: Seven Important Facebook News Feed Ranking Factors

By Jon Clark, managing partner at Moving Traffic Media, a boutique digital marketing agency offering PPC, display and SEO services in White Plains, New York.

There are 1.79 billion people who log into Facebook every day. That’s a lot of potential eyes on your brand!

Like Google, Facebook has its own set of metrics and analytics that it uses to prioritize the content that’s shown to users. The goal is to put the right content in front of the right person at the right time. 

While we don’t know all the secrets, we do know some. Paying attention to them can make a big difference in how your content is ranked, shared and promoted on Facebook. 

Here are the seven most important Facebook news feed ranking factors.

1. Have Active Content That Informs And Entertains

Every so often, Facebook lets us in and gives us a peek at their ranking analytics. It has a solid policy on posts from friends and family getting first ranking priority, always. But what comes next?

Content that informs or entertains — or does both. 

This is the content Facebook users are most likely to respond to. That means getting widely shared, collecting likes and reactions, and accruing active engagements. 

2. Keep It Real

The whole premise of Facebook is to connect with friends and family in ways that were impossible in the past. If Facebook started to pay less attention to user experience and more attention to companies promoting their brands, it would undoubtedly collapse.

So, while Facebook does care about how well liked and shared your content is, it doesn’t like content that is fake or that lacks real substance. That’s why if your content or link has the scent of being spam, clickbait or sensationalism, Facebook gives you a slap on the wrist by demoting your post in the news feed — or even removing it altogether. 

3. Reactions Rank Higher Than Likes

It’s been well over four years since Facebook introduced reactions in addition to the classic thumbs-up. More than 300 billion reactions were used within the first year!

What Facebook has discovered is that reactions indicate a deeper level of engagement than likes. Reactions also give clues into what type of future content that user may like.

With all this in mind, Facebook started giving preference to posts that elicit reactions, even negative ones like anger or sadness, over a plain “like.” That means for posts to rank higher, they have to engage on an emotional level.

4. Play Tag

One of the best ways of getting your post onto more Facebook feeds is by connecting your post to other pages with a similar market by just adding a tag.

Most of the time, businesses or people don’t mind if they’re tagged in a post because it usually presents a win-win situation: Both of you experience higher engagement. The key is to choose your tags carefully and make sure that they are relevant to your post and audience. 

5. Videos Need To Keep Their Attention 

We’ve reached the point where most consumer internet traffic is focused on video. It makes sense, then, that when it comes to Facebook, it’s video that really drives likes and shares. Video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined. So, of course, Facebook prioritizes video content over other types. 

It takes more than posting videos to win at Facebook, though.

Videos that are watched to completion or near completion rank higher than video content that is abandoned early on. 

Here are five tips on how to create great videos. 

6. Slow-Loading Pages Will Hurt Results

Facebook users have expressed frustration with slow-loading links that interfere with the social media experience. To achieve a higher Facebook ranking, it’s crucial that the links you post lead not only to genuine, quality content, but also to pages that are optimized to load quickly. This includes improved load speeds for mobile users, as well. 

7. Monotony Is Not The Spice Of Facebook

It doesn’t matter how well a certain post or type of content has performed for you in the past; if you repeatedly post the same type of content, it’s going to hurt your rankings. 

Think about it from Facebook’s perspective: New content is more engaging to the audience. Eventually, people just stop clicking on content they’ve already read or know, no matter how much they loved it the first time.

Changing up your content also speaks for your validity as a brand. Businesses that are not well established and spammers are more likely to post repetitive content simply because that’s all they have. 

Bottom Line

Having a strong presence on Facebook is as easy as generating great, emotionally resonant content that your market will love. As cryptic as Facebook analytics may seem, it all boils down to user experience. If you can knock that out of the park, you’ll have a Facebook home run.


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