Algorithms! Ranking! Relevancy!

With social media, the filtering mechanisms of different platforms can have a significant impact on how many viewers see your organization’s posts. Understanding and utilizing these mechanisms to the best of your ability can greatly maximize post visibility on Facebook and Instagram.

What are algorithms, ranking, and relevancy, and how do they work? Banking Journal relates:

Essentially, Facebook’s News Feed is driven by ranking, a set of algorithms that places the content each user is most likely to be interested in at the top of their feed.

To do that, Facebook analyzes signals—or data points—that cover everything from how old a post is to who posted it. Then, Facebook uses those signals to make informed predictions on what content each user will like, paying special attention to how likely users are to comment or share a given story.

Those predictions are weighted and rolled into a relevancy score, which is a number that represents how interested Facebook thinks each user will be in a story. Then, each News Feeds is ordered by those relevancy scores. Recency is also considered, so the News Feed is lightly chronological.

For different platforms, different factors are taken into consideration when information is ranked. For example, Banking Journal breaks down Instagram’s algorithm according to three main characteristics.

  1. Interest – …Based on past user behavior, content likely to resonate with each user is shown highest in their feed.
  2. Timeliness – New posts are shown higher in the Instagram feed.
  3. Relationship –…The more users interact, like, or comment, the more content they’ll see from that account.

Four Factors Affecting Ranking on Facebook

When posting for Facebook, these are the key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Post more video. Videos get 59 percent more engagement than any other content type. Facebook announced last year that video would no longer, by nature, be prioritized in the News Feed. But because video continually generates engagement, it regularly gets shown more.
  2. Make videos longer than you think you should. Videos between three and four minutes generate the most engagements—and videos under one minute typically generate the least amount of engagements.
  3. Keep text short. Posts with under 50 characters are the ones that people comment or react to the most. And in fact, the more characters you add, the more engagement falls.
  4. Save the good stuff for the weekends. Saturdays and Sundays are the days when people are more likely to engage with your content. Specifically, content posted between 7 and 11 p.m. performs best.

Three Factors Affecting Ranking for Facebook Video

Another thing to note is that Facebook has recently updated their video ranking system. The three main factors affecting ranking for videos are now:

  1. Loyalty and intent – make video content that users intentionally view again and again.
  2. Video and viewing duration – (Facebook says it’s critical to maintain viewer attention for at least a minute!)
  3. Originality – Facebook “limits distribution for unoriginal or repurposed content.”

While there may be no silver bullet to outsmarting algorithms, if you keep these factors in mind you can optimize your viewing audiences on Facebook and Instagram!