Facebook and Instagram Algorithm: A Thorough Guide to Scale your Product Visibility on Facebook Surfaces
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In today’s world, social media plays a vital role in acquiring new customers and retaining them. To help the content reach its targeted audience, the algorithm plays a critical role. It is usually an algorithm that decides what type of content appears in front of your users.
For the fact that the algorithm keeps updating, the initially followed marketing tactics might not be so effective. This is the reason that each platform needs to evolve too. When we talk about Facebook and Instagram, only posting your content is not enough. It won’t guarantee that you’ll always be able to reach your potential customers. Instead, you need to think about how you will market your posts according to the Facebook & Instagram algorithm to achieve your target. So, let’s dive down to understand more about the algorithm and how it functions.
What is Facebook & Instagram Algorithm?
The Facebook and Instagram algorithm decides the type of content to display in the user’s newsfeed when they login to the platform. All the content is ranked based on the interaction with the businesses.
How does Facebook & Instagram Algorithm work for the newsfeed?
The Facebook & Instagram algorithm works through three significant factors:
- Inventory: It is the content that you see on your newsfeed. For example, as soon as you open your Facebook or Instagram account, you happen to see a lot of videos.
This is determined by the content you search or look for in your profile.
- The audience’s interest: It is a signal received by Facebook on what type of content to show to the users.
Take it this way; you are a customer searching for accessories, so you went to the search bar and interacted with the different types of accessories from the past few weeks. Thus, the Facebook & Instagram algorithm receives a signal that you are interested in these categories. Therefore, you would be able to see similar products in your newsfeed.
- Relevancy score: When you post any of the content on Facebook or Instagram, the algorithm gives you a quality score based on its relevance to the user. The higher the score, the greater the chance it appears in the user’s news feed.
The relevancy score is mostly for the creators, influencers, or merchants who are posting with the intention to grow their followers on social media or receive more traffic to the website.
Some other factors of Facebook & Instagram algorithm that influence the rankings are:
- Frequency: How often you visit Facebook and Instagram.
- Following: You would receive the post on your newsfeed based on the account you follow.
- Usage: It determines how much time you spend on Facebook & Instagram.
The brief history of Facebook & Instagram algorithm
Facebook and Instagram algorithms were launched to personalize the users’ shopping experience by displaying the most relevant results. So, lets’ explore how the Facebook & Instagram algorithm changed over time.
The history of Facebook Algorithm
The Facebook algorithm was introduced in 2009, from where Facebook debuted a new sorting order for news feeds based on each post’s popularity. In 2015, Facebook introduced the ‘See First’ feature to let you choose which page and product you want to see first in the newsfeed. In the following year, Facebook focussed more on the posts that spark meaningful interactions. The change was meant to increase the quality of the time people spend on Facebook and how Facebook affects the users well being.
How does Facebook algorithm work for Facebook Marketplace and Shops in 2021?
To make your shopping experience effortless on Marketplace and Shops, Facebook tracks your search pattern and provides the relevant results according to your interest and clicks. This feature is called a similarity search that suggests the like-wise products to the users.
For example, suggesting the pair of shoes that are trending when you search for apparel.
Besides, in 2020, Facebook has also listed down the criteria for ranking your product or posts. Some of the features are:
- Who a user interacts with.
- The amount of the comment, likes, links, engagement received on a post.
- The popularity of a post amongst the audience.
- How active you are on Facebook and Instagram.
The history of the Instagram Algorithm
Since the inception of 2010, Instagram has proved its worth. The platform that was earlier known as a photo-sharing hub has gradually developed itself into an eCommerce platform with Instagram Shopping. Today most businesses use Instagram as a marketing tool to increase their reach across the platform. In the earlier days of Instagram, hashtags became a trend for easy grouping and searching. Later on, a feature of product tagging was introduced. It made it easier for people to search for the products. In 2016, Instagram made a major change in its algorithm. It introduced Instagram stories, live video, and new business tools to display their products and gain more followers to their profile.
How does the Instagram algorithm work with Stories and Reels?
Instagram has been continuously working to provide a better shopping experience to the users. With the launch of shoppable features like checkout on Instagram, stories, and reels, Instagram has paved a path of its own.
Instagram Stories provides a glimpse of the product and creates a more prominent story that attracts customers’ interest to the profile. The Instagram Stories that appear at the start of the feed are from the accounts you interact with the most. The algorithm also gives weightage to the timeliness as it wants to make sure that it always displays the latest stories from your favorite account.
Likewise, an Instagram algorithm for video content is similar to the newsfeed. The Instagram algorithm delivers the content that it thinks you’ll be most interested in. People can search for the product or businesses based on hashtags and keywords. With Shopping reels, users can now view the product tagged while playing the video. Thus, helping them view, buy, and learn more about the products.
Tips on how you can beat Facebook & Instagram Algorithm
If you want to grow your ranking on Facebook and Instagram, the best thing to do is drive engagements to your posts. For this, you need to build momentum with your customers and get their attention towards your brand. Here are a few tips that can help you beat Facebook & Instagram algorithms.
Create and share user-generated content
User-generated content is the images, texts, videos, and reviews posted by the followers about a specific brand. The benefit of UGC content is that it serves as the best social proof and humanizes your brand. Looking after the content from trust-worthy customers helps in building trust. If you are looking for more product visibility and engagement on your profile, you should opt for unique generated content.
Comment on the posts from relevant brand and users
You should engage with your audience at the maximum. Build a relationship by interacting with your customers outside of your content by leaving engaging comments on the relevant posts. This strategy helps you gain more followers on Instagram and provides wider product visibility.
For example, as a merchant, you can occasionally conduct question and answer sessions, ask for a poll, and maintain the craze amongst the audience for your business.
Harness hashtags and images to reach your target audience.
The hashtags and images improve your product visibility and make it easier for people to find your product. For this purpose, community hashtags, location hashtags, geo-tags, and brand hashtags are quite popular.
Besides, images prove to add value to your content. Facebook & Instagram algorithm pays more heed to visual content. According to the recent survey by Buzzfeed, it is assumed that the visual content tends to get 3.2x more engagements than the content without images. So, as a brand, you should add more images and hashtags while posting on Facebook and Instagram.
Post when your audience is most active
Surfacing your content to the right audience should be your focus. Since the Facebook & Instagram algorithm considers timeliness as an essential factor, you need to be more active. Make sure that you post at the peak of the hour when your customers are most active.
- To find your peak posting time, you can start with Facebook and Instagram analytical reports. Go to the Audience tab in your Insight and scroll down.
- You’ll be able to see a section where your followers are most active.
- Segregate the information based on days, hours, and weeks.
Hop on to the live video bandwagon
A video plays a vital role in your business’ online marketing strategy. On Facebook and Instagram, videos happened to become one of the primary engagement tools.
Seeing the craze for the videos, Facebook has introduced a live shopping feature and later on Shopping reels on Instagram. The live shopping feature allows you to have one-on-one interactions with people, share more information about your products, answer questions, and respond to your customer’s reactions.
Avoid engagement baits
As a business, your motto is to get maximum traffic to your brand. But while posting your content on your Facebook Shop or Instagram profile, avoid being too promotional. The new Facebook & Instagram algorithm focuses more on the authenticity of your content. So, whenever posting on Facebook or Instagram, make sure to provide information about your services, products, or business in your description rather than using engagement baits.
Some of the examples of the engagement baits are:
- Like this post, if you want to grow your business.
- Comment to get more ideas on how to increase product reach
- Share this post to get your business a boost up.
Increase your engagement through Stories
Facebook and Instagram Stories are the most effective way to get hold of your audience’s interest in your products. Your Facebook & Instagram algorithm ranks the stories according to how active a shopper is with your brand. Stories are the fastest way to provide the details to the audience and build trust., resulting in static Instagram posts and increased reach.
You can use Stories in the following ways:
- Spark conversation with exciting stickers. You can include polls, emoji sliders, and questions in your Instagram stories to keep up the discussion with your followers and customers.
- Target local audience. Use location hashtags and stickers on Instagram stories to grab your audience’s interest.
- Repurpose your content through the Stories and get traffic to your website. Repurposing helps increase engagement and get the audience’s attention to your pre-existing products or content.
Look for Facebook & Instagram Insights
Tracking and monitoring how your content performs across Facebook surfaces is one of the most reliable ways to take on Facebook & Instagram algorithms. Having an understanding of what is working for your business will help you funnel your business strategy. Thus, saving you from extra time and effort.
By diving into Facebook & Instagram insights, you can know more about your business activities like profile views, website traffic, product reach, and customer engagements.
Embrace direct messages
Due to the increase in the number of new chat features on Facebook & Instagram, the trend of private messaging is gaining popularity. You can use the feature of direct messaging for outreach. More and more customers prefer sending direct messages to ask questions and get in touch with the businesses. As direct messaging allows you to have a longer conversation and builds one-to-one relationships, you can use this feature to your advantage.
Leverage Facebook groups
At the Facebook 2019 F8 conference, it was concluded the Facebook groups proved to be one of the useful sources for customer engagements. Facebook concluded, “people may see more content from Groups in their newsfeed.” People can now interact with new communities with the suggested groups in the newsfeed.
With Facebook & Instagram algorithm prioritizing the group content, as a brand, you should take advantage of this opportunity by creating a group or page from your brand’s name where you can foster discussion with your customers.
Why is it essential for businesses to work according to the Facebook & Instagram algorithm?
As a business, you desire to gain accessibility to a more extensive set of audiences, grow product visibility, and have an incremental profit. The Facebook & Instagram algorithm helps in fulfilling your motto. By following the algorithm, you can get your eCommerce business to your potential customers and grow your business across Facebook commerce surfaces like Facebook Marketplace, Shops, Page Shop, and Instagram Shopping. Helping you in the process, Facebook listing partners assist you in having an effortless selling experience.
Facebook & Instagram algorithms may keep updating, but the motto remains the same.
Being a business owner, you need to focus on building relationships with your customers and provide them with valuable information. As it is said that every good thing needs to change, similarly Facebook & Instagram algorithm changes will always happen, but the motto of the algorithm to improve the user’s experience on social channels will always remain intact.
As a business, if you adapt to the constant development of Facebook & Instagram algorithms, you’ll find surprising ways to reach your intended audience. So, fasten up your seatbelt and get ready to take your business on a rollercoaster ride across social channels with Facebook listing partners.