How the Facebook Algorithm Works in 2021

8 Tips for Ranking in the Facebook Algorithm

It might seem like the Facebook algorithm is a giant question mark.

But through the platform’s own best practices and reading between the lines of what types of content perform well, we have a pretty good idea of how to “feed” the algorithm what it wants.

We’ve outlined eight action ways to increase the likelihood that the Facebook algorithm will favor your content. If nothing else, these tips will poise your content for more engagement regardless of your current reach.

1. Consistently Publish Content (and Don’t Sacrifice Quality for Quantity)

First thing’s first: you can’t expect to rise in the Facebook algorithm if you’re not publishing regularly.

In fact, Facebook themselves cite consistent posting as a hallmark of growth on the platform. Given the sheer amount of competition, you can’t afford to slack off or post at random if you expect to grow a dedicated following.

How often should you post, though? According to HubSpot’s research, three to four times per week represents a manageable, happy medium for most pages.

On the flip side, Sprout Social notes that daily posting is ideal (and likewise highlights global engagement data for when followers are most likely to be active).

The reality, though? You should publish as often as possible without sacrificing quality for quantity. Don’t scrape for ideas or start publishing “just because.” If providing more value to your audience means less frequency, so be it.

You can likewise look at your firsthand Facebook analytics to see if certain days, times, or frequency correlate with better performance. Once you find your “groove” in terms of posting, stick with it.

2. Publish as Much Video Content as Possible

It’s well-documented that video content is preferred and prioritized by the Facebook algorithm. 

In particular, Facebook Live is booming right now as more and more brands hop on the live streaming bandwagon.

Although Facebook recommends videos be between a minute and three minutes long, don’t let that discourage you’re creating shorter-form social video elsewhere. 

Whether it’s a live stream from your smartphone or a slideshow of tips, just make sure that your videos are mobile-friendly. Anything you publish to Facebook should be friendly to mobile users and anyone watching with the sound off. 

Beyond automatic captions, consider social-specific tools like Animoto or Adobe Spark for making bite-sized videos as well.

3. Encourage Engagement Directly Through Discussions and Questions

Remember: so much of succeeding within the Facebook algorithm is through driving engagement.

As a result, you shouldn’t be shy about prompting your followers with questions. Users are eager to share their opinions and posting questions is a simple, low-hanging way to win interactions from folks who might not even know you yet.

4. Make Sure You’re Driving Conversations Beyond Your Page

Especially if your Page is no or lacks much of a following, personal accounts and Facebook Groups are crucial for giving your presence a much-needed boost. For example, shout-outs from employees or Facebook influencers can help you introduce your brand to more followers than would ever be possible from your own branded account. 

5. Prioritize Posts That Keep Users on Facebook (Hint: Don’t Spam Links)

This is a huge tip that many brands unfortunately overlook.

Facebook isn’t the biggest fan of internal links as they bounce people off the platform.

That’s part of why questions, images, and videos are among the most popular posts on Facebook. You can likewise take the content that you otherwise would link out to and condense it into a text or image-based post.

For example, this post from Headspace could have linked out to an article. Instead, they decided to publish the tips as a succinct, friendly list that’s brimming with personality and can be read at a glance. 

Simple posts like this are easy to read and don’t require people to go off of Facebook. The platform sees that as a win-win and the post itself was obviously favored by the algorithm.

Here’s another example from Thrive Market. Again, they could have linked out to a bug spray recipe off-site but decided to condense the data in a friendly graphic. See how that works?

This isn’t to say you can never post links to your site: just do so sparingly.

6. Engage with Comments and Let Followers Know You’re Listening

Remember: the name of the game with the Facebook algorithm is interactions.

And so it’s a no-brainer that you need to regularly engage with the comments of your fans and followers. Back-and-forths with other users not only lets them know that you’re listening but also represents a positive signal to the algorithm that you’re worth talking to. 

Making meaningful interactions means personalizing each of your responses and not just answering with the same lines over and over. Each question, comment, or compliment is a chance to engage: don’t let those moments go to waste. 

7. Publish Stories to Put Your Page Front-and-Center to Followers

Although this tip doesn’t have a direct impact on the Facebook algorithm, Stories allow you to get exposure in your followers’ feeds without worrying about ranking factors. By putting yourself at the top of someone’s feed, you can drive more attention and traffic to your latest posts.

8. Analyze Your Performance to Figure Out What’s Working (and What’s Not)

You don’t really know how your Page is performing until you put your numbers into context.

Looking at your analytics data, you can figure out which types of content score the most engagement and whether or not you’re growing at a steady pace.

Make a point to check your numbers daily. Tools like Creator Studio can provide big-picture insights when it comes to how you’re doing with the Facebook algorithm…

…and you can also assess posts on an individual basis.

Are You Ready to Tackle the Facebook Algorithm? 

Rather than settle for so-so reach, consider the actionable steps you can do to grow your Facebook presence. Sticking to the tips above and keeping a pulse on Facebook’s latest features and updates can definitely do the trick. Either way, consistently posting and monitoring results can help you better understand whether you’re giving the algorithm what it wants.

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