Here is the most impressive Facebook statistic: 2.23 billion people connect to the platform every month. Chances are your customers use Facebook, just like your competitors.
Facebook is the first social network in the world, accused of many evils, it also generates a lot of fantasies and misunderstandings about its goals but also about how it works.
Its main goals
Facebook wants you to spend as much time as possible on its platform. Why should you do that? This allows it to refine the organic content it offers you, but also which ads it decides to show you.
To do this, the Facebook algorithm will offer you different contents (photos, videos, your friends’ status, display your friends’ answers on a popular post…) that it thinks will interest you, and extend as much as possible the time spent consuming and interacting with its contents and members.
In addition, Facebook is aware of the sites you visit, even when you are not connected. It’s an incredible source of data to refine your profile. It knows everything about your interests, your purchases, your schedules, your geo-location… These elements are also decisive in modeling your profile.
Time spent is a goal in itself, but more than just time spent, Facebook also wants you to be engaged.
Commitment is the Grail because it makes you an active transmitter of data. But what is commitment then?
Engagement is all the interactions you can do. Likes, comments, sharing, clicks, videos seen, messages exchanged…
This allows the Facebook algorithm to understand what makes you react, and in the hierarchy of personal data collected, the commitment is stronger than the time spent. Time spent has a passive side, which gives it less impact than engagement.
If it’s free, then you’re the product. Have you ever heard this adage?
Facebook couldn’t embody it better. Facebook is a company that makes its money by collecting your data, but you already knew that. How does it do it?
With points 1 and 2. Time spent + commitment (data collection) = the perfect combination to sell you to advertisers around the world.
Every day, millions of advertisers spend money that even the biggest TV channels or the most prestigious communication agencies could not dream of.
The reason for this is that the advertising platform Facebook offers to advertisers is devilishly formidable. I’m not talking about the Boost function of your pro page, which by the way is a trick, we’re talking about Facebook’s business manager.
This advertising platform is so efficient that it could have generated mass manipulations on political issues. But for SMEs, this platform is too often misunderstood or largely underused.
The life cycle of a Facebook page post
Here it is a page and not a personal account, even if the mechanism is pretty much the same.
Let’s take the example of Jérémy who, on the advice of his friend Marc, created a Facebook page in 2014 for his carpentry company, which employs about ten people. Jérémy sometimes publishes on his page to keep his subscribers informed of his company’s news (promotions, new products, etc.).
For a while now, Jérémy has seen that very few fans see his page publications, and wonders why.
Let’s take a closer look behind the scenes.
When Jeremy makes a post on his company’s page, this is how the algorithm will work:
The Facebook algorithm will select a representative sample of about 5% of the fans of Jeremy’s carpentry page, and broadcast the publication on their news feed.
the post does not generate any interaction:
- Facebook will stop broadcasting on Jeremy’s fan page news feed after 10 to 15 minutes
- The algorithm will replay it at another time to people who have engaged at least once with your page in the past.
the post generates interaction :
- the algorithm decided to extend the distribution of the post to about 20% of the fans of Jeremy’s page:
- if the rate of engagement (likes, comments, sharing, clicks) with this new audience weakens, Jeremy’s post will stop being circulated.
- If interactions continue with this new audience, then Jeremy’s page post will be shown to more and more of his fans, as the algorithm will then have detected that this post generates time spent and engagement with the people to whom it is posted.
The engagement rate (clicks, likes, comments, sharing) is the key to an optimized organic (free) diffusion. Here are a few tips for a publication to generate engagement:
- Draw attention to something the fans on your page can recognize themselves by
- Don’t promote your products or services too openly.
- Ask a question to ask the fans on the page what they think, so they will be more likely to comment (and therefore increase the reach of the publication to more people).
- Use a mobile format visual (i.e. square)
- Don’t post at 5am on a Saturday, choose the time when your fans are the most present (you will find this information in the statistics section of the page