How Does Facebook Know Which Stories to Show?

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I’ve been playing around with the Facebook boost and really loved it – initially.  Now I’ve noticed without the boost, my views are lagging on my Got Clicks page on Facebook.  Why??  Here’s my video of using Boost:

I did some digging around and connected to Facebook for Business which has some great content for those of us wanting to know the Holy Grail of Facebook Algorithms.  Here are some great pointers that we know instinctively, but also, there are some new algorithms Facebook has just trotted out:

Content:
Whenever someone “hides” your comments from their newsfeed, it’s a ding against your page and will lower your ranking for Facebook.  Your content will either appear lower down on the newsfeed or not at all.  So, to avoid this penalty, follow these tips:

– Make your posts timely and relevant
– Build credibility and trust with your audience
– Ask yourself, “Would people share this with their friends or recommend it to others?”
Think about, “Would my audience want to see this in their News Feeds?”

How Does News Feed know which stories to show?
By letting people decide who and what to connect w/ and by listening to feedback. When a user “likes” something, that tells the newsfeed they want to see more of it. When it’s hidden, of course it tells newsfeed to display less in the future.

How Does the News Feed Algorithm respond to signals from you?                                                                                                                                 Facebook responds by the actions of you and your followers:                                                                                                                                                           – How often you interact w/ a friend, page or public figure                                                                                                                                                                 – The number of likes, shares and comments a ost receives from the world at large, as well as your friends
– How much you’ve interacted w/ this type of post in the past
– Whether you and others are hiding or reporting a given post.

There are also some new features on Facebook that will change the playing field a bit:  Story Bumping and Last Actor:

Story Bumping –
Allows engaging posts you haven’t seen to be bumped up to the top of News Feed later in the day.  There’s more on this in Justin Lafferty’s article that I’ve picked the highlights from below:

Lars Backstrom, Facebook’s Engineering Manager for News Feed Ranking, discussed Story Bumping with reporters:

What can we do to make it so people aren’t missing these important stories? Maybe the position 1 and position 2 stories were a little bit better, but that story that was just below the fold, we really would’ve preferred to see that rather than (another story) … which just happened to be the newest thing. So we had this idea, “Let’s change the model slightly.” Before, I said, whenever you come to feed, we’re going to take all the stories that are new since your last visit and put those at the top. Let’s just tweak that a little bit, and instead of taking all the new stories, we’ll take all the stories that are new to you.

Last Actor –
Takes the last 50 engagements a user has performed and gives those users a slight bump up in News Feed ranking.

I’m bummed that my Facebook page isn’t getting as many eyeballs as before I used the Boost, however, I recognize Facebook needs to make a buck as we all do.  Content is King, however, dollars may speak a bit louder…

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