Nov 10, 2020

10 Engagement Hacks for the Facebook Algorithm

Written by Hafsa Naseem

Our DMI member, marketing specialist Hafsa Naseem, wrote this handy 10-point guide to getting full Facebook engagement. It's all yours to play for, so if you want to get in the digital marketing game and make an impact Share your Own Work for publication in our Community Insights!

Facebook organizes the content shown to its users based on certain rules. These rules, or “Facebook algorithms”, are a set of calculations used by Facebook to decide the content we all see. It is quite a complex matter which can either increase the value of your content or even push it into the dark completely.

As a digital marketer, you would like to increase your reach and views on your content, and boost your results. To achieve this, you should know how the Facebook Algorithm works.

Here is a look at key elements of the Facebook algorithm and 10 great hacks to help you attract more viewers!

Hack 1: The Frequency of Your Posts

What’s the best frequency for your posts? One, two, or three posts a day?

The first post matters the most. Every subsequent post is likely to get 60 fewer clicks than the previous one. Hence, in reality, the less you post, the more you get!

Ideally you should post once or twice a day. Aim to post the second one at least six to nine hours after the first one.

Pro Tip: Use Facebook Stories

When you have a lot to share, add a Story! Keep the best content for your feed and add all other things to your Story. This will help people get to know you, trust you, and like you! Surveys have shown that 62% of people using Facebook are more likely to engage in a business or product that pops up in a Story.


Hack 2: Provide Value in Your Posts

Think about ways your posts can help people. Post content that is different but still valuable to help keep your followers engaged. If your posts provide value, users will continue to follow you.

Pro Tip: Don’t be Hung up on your Brand

It is very important to have a brand, but it’s more important to have valuable content. Always look for what your followers respond to and then start working on how to work your brand in.


Hack 3: Create Genuine Conversations and Ask Questions

Facebook is a platform that aims to bring the world closer together and the algorithm fulfills this purpose. Facebook wants its users to create conversations that are authentic. Asking questions and encouraging discussion on each of your posts will get a lot of attention from your audience.

Pro Tip: Try beginning your questions with:

  • Who…?
  • Would…?
  • Should…?
  • Which…?

Also, remember that questions starting with “Why?” or “How?” can be either a blessing or a curse. This is because they need a longer answer, so very few people would like to provide one. Facebook likes longer comments as it sees your post as more valuable. Giving your audience options to choose from or giving out a ‘string’ to cling to for answers will give them a direction in which they can contribute their thoughts.


Hack 4: Don’t Use Links in the Description

You should not use links in the description of your posts, ever. Facebook does not like its users to leave the platform. Thus, when the Facebook algorithm even “smells” a hint of any link, it stops showing it to the users. Once you focus on the rules, you know how you can achieve your goals.

Pro Tip: Put links in the comment section

You can respond to each comment with your link. But before that, ideally, create conversations and add value before you finally “reveal” the link to those who are curious.


Hack 5: Create evergreen content

It might take a long time, sometimes between 48 to 72 hours, for Facebook to show your posts to others. The simplest way to plan for this, and ensuring full content value, is by creating content that is relevant even after days or weeks it was posted.

Pro Tip: Create conversations in the comments

It is important to keep the post running in order for it to be seen by more people. For this, you need to reply to some comments one day, and to others another day. This will help make your post look relevant for a longer time.

Always remember that if your content is not getting enough engagement, it might affect your page. So, if a post does not get a good response after 72 hours, you might choose to just delete it.


Hack 6: Length of Your Videos

Most people often ask how long your videos should be. The length of your videos really matter, but it depends on the content. Facebook supports videos that are almost 10 minutes long, however, if you don’t have much to say you can keep it short, or even record a longer one if you have a lot to say.

Pro-tip: Be “unfiltered”

Sometimes it is perfectly okay to go natural and “unfiltered”, without a lot of editing. This helps to connect with your audience to the next level but again, you need to see when you can use this and when your brand calls for perfect editing.


Hack 7: Post your Video Vertically

Nowadays, most experts record their videos in vertical mode. This way it feels native to social media apps like Facebook and Instagram. Yet sometimes, landscape mode might also work better so it is totally up to you.

Pro tip: Suggest the viewer taps for sound

A neat way to work around the silent auto-played Facebook videos is to suggest viewers tap for sound with a pop-up. Pop-ups can sometimes be annoying so it has to be designed and timed appropriately to create a non-disruptive effect

Hack 8: Avoid Phishing

It is not recommended to use phrases like “share this video”, “comment below” or “tag your friends”. Not only should you refrain from writing them but also saying them in your Live videos since the algorithm is “listening” to every word you say. And such phrases will decrease the number of people it shows your videos to.

Instead, use different phrases like “sharing the love” or “smash the heart button”!

Why does the algorithm do this? Only because it wants to promote real content for professional conversation starters like us.

Pro Tip: Try using Graphics and Emojis

You can substitute words with certain emojis - like using a sun emoji in place of an “o” when you want to write “comment below”. This way you show some personality but don’t overdo it, or it might make your content too spammy.


Hack 9: Training the Algorithm

Engaging with some key contacts a few minutes before posting your content might be beneficial. Go to your Facebook Messenger and see who is online and say “Hello” to them. This helps in warming up the Facebook algorithm.

Next, post your content and start replying to the comments under it. The more active you are; the more views you are likely to get!

Pro Tip: Comment and like on other people’s posts

Before you go posting on social media or doing Facebook lives… make sure you comment and like on other people’s posts
Facebook rewards those who engage – not just expecting others to engage with you.


Hack 10: What is the Best Time to Post?

A lot of people suggest posting your content when more people are online. Yet posting outside of business hours can give great results.

Pro-tip: Try posting between 9 pm and 11 pm instead of the usual 11 am, 3 pm, and 7 pm.

The Facebook algorithm is consistently looking for valuable social connections among its users. This is the main reason it exists and hence does not promote “tactics” of artificial engagements. The best way to get your message across on this powerful social platform is to genuinely indulge in conversation with your potential audience to make sure they see everything you post.

Hafsa Naseem
Hafsa Naseem

As a content marketer and strategist, Hafsa has spent more than a decade creating content for businesses across the globe. Certified as a DMI social marketing specialist, she has been channeling her expertise and knowledge into training and coaching for entrepreneurs, business owners, and marketing departments for valuable content creation to enable them to communicate like a pro behind the screens. She also assists entrepreneurs with their content marketing strategy and social media content creation. Her website is CareeHer.

Upgrade to Power Membership to continue your access to thousands of articles, toolkits, podcasts, lessons and much much more.
Become a Power Member

CPD points available

This content is eligible for CPD points. Please sign in if you wish to track this in your account.