The latest on the Facebook algorithm, plus how brands can work with it

We just covered the latest on the Twitter algorithm and how brands can best work with it, so we thought we’d do the same for the Facebook algorithm.

If you read our recent post on How to write a good Facebook post, this will draw from and expand on that.

Got questions or something we missed? Find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

The latest on the Facebook algorithm

While Facebook is constantly tweaking their News Feed algorithm and doing some small tests around different features (we recommend keeping an eye on Social Media Today’s 5 New Facebook Updates and Tests Spotted this Week series for keeping tabs on these smaller changes), their last major update was in August of this year, basing favored content on load time for mobile feeds. This lead some to speculate they wanted more publishers to buy Instant Articles through Facebook, which load almost instantaneously when clicked. Facebook does provide guidelines for improving mobile site load time, if you’re not a brand willing or able to buy into Instant Articles for your content.

Before that in January, they announced that posts would be weighted on the News Feed based on a variety of factors: Videos would be judged based on whether or not they’re live and how long they’re watched (or “completed”), how authentic they are (based on negative feedback like hiding your posts or unfollowing your Page), and how timely they are (especially if they relate to current trending topics).

So what can brands do to work with this notoriously tricky algorithm? Let’s talk about it.

How brands can work with it

Our best advice is to keep constantly experimenting and tracking your results on Facebook— that’s what we do.  Your particular audience might like links better than videos, even if Facebook is still prioritizing videos. You want to make sure that ultimately you’re creating the kind of content that’s the most useful to your particular audience.

From there, create some in the formats that Facebook is giving more weight to and consider tapping into some of the newer, smaller features they’re debuting and testing. Make this a regular part of your experimental approach.

There is, unfortunately, no magic answer for creating a post that will instantly (and organically) go viral on Facebook (or any other platform for that matter).

If you want to boost some posts, boost your best-performing organic posts then craft more that are similar. Experiment with organic posts based on what the algorithm is currently favoring or weighting more highly.


As always, you don’t know what’s working if you’re not measuring how your content is performing over time. We’d love to be the ones to help with that and are happy to show you a personalized demo of exactly how our analytics can help your specific brand.

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