If you’re going to get your products in front of your prospective customers using Facebook, then you need to give the platform what it wants. Facebook sustains on advertising money, and it needs users to remain relevant to marketers. So they need to keep people coming back to the platform frequently and staying longer.
That’s why the algorithm is currently written specifically to show users content that:
- Is like other content that they’ve posted or interacted with in the past;
- Or created by people they have an algorithmically demonstrated relationship with. An algorithmically demonstrated relationship is one where they’ve interacted with each other or with each other’s content in the recent past. Recency length undetermined, but my research shows a few days to a couple of weeks).
How Engagement Happens in the Algorithm
In the back end, the algorithm keeps track of our interests, likes, dislikes, and relationships in what I like to call our shadow profile
because it used to be hidden. Now with Facebook's new transparency initiative, you can find some of this profile in your preferences
, but not all of it.
When you post on your business page
this is the lifecycle of that post:
- Facebook tests that content by showing it to a handful of BP followers.
- If they interact with it, the algorithm compares their shadow profiles to the shadow profiles of other people following your page.
- If it finds matches or close matches, it posts your content in their news feeds as well.
- The algorithm also looks through the people who engaged with your content’s friends list and shows your posts to potential matches from those lists as well. These are people who have not followed your page and may have no idea who you are. This expanded exposure is what creates reach beyond your immediate sphere of influence. The more interaction your post gets, the broader the reach and with each subsequent post like this, you increase your pool of potential customers. This interaction is what we call, engagement.