The News Feed is the most important element of Facebook's success. You write a post and it appears in the feeds of those who've Liked your page. Intuitively it feels like a post would appear in everyone's feed the moment you post it. But that is far from the truth. The News Feed is fed by an algorithm that tracks each user and serves them the posts that they are most likely to engage with.
This has caused concern about privacy issues, but has also made it really difficult for anyone trying to promote their game or other content organically on Facebook. Writing and posting content is more than enough work and now you're at the mercy of this algorithm? Or worse, forced to buy "Boosts" to get your posts noticed?
How does News Feed work?
Facebook says the average user has access to about 1,500 posts per day but only looks at 300. To ensure that those 300 posts are more interesting than all the rest, Facebook says it uses thousands of factors to determine what shows up in any individual user’s feed. The biggest influences are pretty obvious. How close you are to a person is an increasingly important metric, as judged by how often you like their posts, write on their Timeline, click through their photos or talk with them on Messenger. The post-type is also a big factor, as Facebook tries to show more links to people who click lots of links, more videos to people who watch lots of videos and so on. The algorithm also assumes that content that has attracted a lot of engagement has wide appeal and will place it in more people’s feeds.
But there are other, less intuitive factors to the algorithm. Writing “congratulations” in a comment signals the post is probably about a big life event, so it will get a boost. Liking an article after you clicked it is a stronger positive signal than liking before, since it means you probably read the piece and enjoyed it. Since April this year, the time spent reading an article plays a role as well.
New changes are pushed out every couple of weeks and it is a day job to keep up.
What to do?
- To up your chances of engagement, find out when is the right time to post based on YOUR audience behavior. You can easily find out by going to your page Insights, click on Posts, then look at the tab "When Your Fans Are Online".
- Spread your posts with cadence throughout the week if you can. Facebook's news feed algorithm often gives the most visibility to the last 50 people & pages a user interacted with. As a Facebook marketer, you want your page on as many of those lists of 50 as possible.
- Make sure you follow Facebook recommendations: e.g. Facebook recommends making images 1,200 x 630 pixels. The Facebook algorithm gives better visibility to posts with images that are sized according to their specs. There is a great overview of always up to date specs at
These algorithms change every couple of weeks. And this post may very well be out of date soon. Try to keep an eye on Facebook's recommendations and try to follow them where possible. That will no doubt optimize your results.