We know there is a lot of information, both truths and rumors, about the mighty and confusing Facebook algorithm. The algorithm is powered by machine learning so it is constantly updating, which is why you always hear about “changes”. These changes are meant to be improvements in the social media apps, but they are often looked at in a negative way.
First we should explain how the Facebook and Instagram algorithms work, in simple terms:
The algorithm’s job is to get a user to stay on the app as long as possible, and to enjoy the app while doing so. This means the algorithm will start pushing content to the top of a feed that is similar to content that the user has previously engaged with. If the algorithm thinks the user likes a certain type of content, and in an effort to keep them on the app longer, the user will see more of their favorite types of posts, so they don’t get bored and move onto another app. So this brings us to our first Truth:
TRUE: This is true for a different reason than you may think. Algorithms aren’t necessarily pushing videos to the top of a user’s feed because it thinks videos are better than images.
Videos are proven to capture a user’s attention quicker and retain their attention longer. So if an individual is staying on a video post longer than on a status or image post, that is telling the algorithm that they enjoy videos and want to see more of them. This would explain the popularity of IG Reels, videos on Facebook, and TikTok (an entire app dedicated to short form video).
Although currently on Instagram, Carousel posts (which have up to 10 images or videos in one post) are performing well. This is because a user lands on the first image/video and then chooses to scroll through the following content to see more.
The next rumor we wanted to confront also has to do with video. We often see creators and businesses creating a fun and engaging video on TikTok. Then they download that video to their camera roll and then reposting it on Instagram. I know we just talked about how videos perform better, but this is what we found:
TRUE: Including a TikTok logo or music from another platform can harm your post’s performance because the Instagram algorithm doesn’t want to promote a competitor.
The better thing to do is to replicate the video and build it inside of IG Reels. I know this may sound like a lot more work, but if you’re just uploading the same individual video and adding in Instagram’s Text, Music, and Effects, your post will perform much better in the algorithm.
Next is a rumor that often causes quite a bit of confusion. There are a lot of opinions that post Saves on Instagram are more important than other engagements. So we did some research and found this:
TRUE: Saves are not more important than Likes. Comments, Likes, Reshares, and Views are the most important engagements to feed ranking. Source via Creator’s Instagram.
Saves are great because that means a user wants to reference your post later. But the original engagements are still the most important.
Lastly we have to face the lie!
FALSE: The type of account you have (Business / Creator / Personal) doesn’t make a difference on how it performs in the algorithm. A user’s feed is customized to them. Meaning if they are more frequently engaging with business accounts, the algorithm will start showing them more posts from business accounts.
Even if the user does not know they have a preference, the algorithm will detect patterns. It will then adjust to show them exactly what it thinks will keep them on the app.
As a business, it is important to know how the Facebook algorithm works so you can get the most out of your posts. Oftentimes growing your audience on social sites, and having more people view your content, leads to more sales.
Here are some tips to get on your audiences’ algorithm’s good side:
- Create engaging posts that are likely to stop the user from scrolling. And get them to read, Like, and Comment on your post.
- Add a CTA in your caption, asking the viewer to either Like, Comment, send to a pal, or head to your profile. This will show the algorithm that your content is being enjoyed.
- Know your specific target audience so you can create content that speaks directly to them.
What I want you to take away from this blog:
- Don’t believe everything you hear when it comes to algorithm changes. A lot of marketers speak out when they see something change in their algorithm (announcing there is a big change happening!), but that doesn’t mean it will change for everyone.
- An algorithm is based on how an individual user is using their Facebook and Instagram apps.
- Focus on creating content that is built for engagement. This will help your posts perform better in the Facebook and Instagram algorithm.
Ok, over to you! I want to know…
Have you caught on to which of your posts perform well for your audience? If ‘yes’, let us know in a comment below, or DM us on Instagram so we can check out your posts and engage with them! If you need some ideas on what to post about to get ahead in the algorithm, check out 100 Engaging Social Media Post Ideas for Retailers; a blog we wrote sharing ideas created to stop the viewer from scrolling.
We can’t wait to see you at the top of our feed!