We are always on the lookout for factors that affect the Facebook algorithm (the many thousands of factors that determine whether Facebook decides to show a post to your fans or not).
One factor that we are aware of is the need to avoid certain trigger words that appear to result in reach being choked. Typical examples are words like “Free”, “Like”, “Share”, “Buy”, “Sale” are obvious reach killers. Facebook dislikes brands trying to force reach (“Like” and “Share” being obvious examples). It also clamps down hard on what it sees as promotional content. So words like “Buy” and “Sale” are obvious indicators of that.
Conversely words like “Anniversary” seem to boost reach.
We posted an update recently about a new ad format coming to YouTube. It was a link to a reputable media/publishing site which traditionally would get us pretty decent reach.
I was therefore pretty shocked to see that 9 hours after posting, the post had been seen by only 9 people. Yet a similar post a few days ago was seen by 133 people (as a newish Facebook Page we have fewer than 500 fans so reach of 133 giving 30% reach is way more as a percentage than most Pages achieve nowadays). Both were links to news/publishing sources and both were on non Facebook social media topics – both of similar interest to our fan base. See the two posts below and the vastly different reach figures.
So what might be causing this discrepancy?
I think it’s unlikely to have been the initial engagement on the post – for the first hour it was shown to just 3 people – even Facebook isn’t going to gauge interest in a post based on a sample of 3 people. Sure the images were different, the subject matter different, and the landing pages different – so it could have been any of those things but my hunch is that the algorithm is designed to restrict reach on posts that talk about YouTube.
YouTube was used in three places on the post, including the title. We know that Facebook hugely favours natively uploaded video to YouTube clips. It sees YouTube as a major competitor in the social/online space. So not surprising really that it would choose to squash mentions of it in posts.
But what do you think? Is there something else I may have missed?
- How to set up appointments on your Facebook Page - 19th March 2019
- Social media content idea: WordSmith Cards - 11th March 2019
- Facebook for small businesses in 2019: a Q&A - 7th March 2019
- Is it best to boost a post on Facebook, promote a post or create an ad? - 13th October 2018
- What is the difference between a boosted post, a promoted post and a Facebook ad? - 13th October 2018
- How not to £@%!-up on social media! - 24th September 2018