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Navigating Facebook and Dodging the Algorithm

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

About the author:

Codie Henry is a former stylist based in Arizona and the Vice President of The Sovereign Stylist. Having finished his bachelor's degree in public relations, he is working in the field of public relations. Codie’s blogs are typically focused on legal issues, marketing, and public relations topics. Codie believes that knowledge and language is the strongest weapon one can wield and that people always strive to be lifelong learners.

Facebook is an interesting beast in terms of demographics. While statistically, it looks great to market to 13-35-year-olds, it's actually a bit of a lie.


The average age of Facebook users is 40 years old. Why does it not fit the numbers? Well, the younger generations have moved to Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok. The numbers detail the age range of accounts and not activity.


*Takes a deep breath*

Essentially, Generation Z (those born in and after 1996) have decided that Facebook is for old people. For the most part, if you can remember Myspace, you probably use Facebook - religiously.


Is Facebook still Worth Marketing On?


Absolutely! Regardless of what those youngins think, Facebook is still the second most used social media platform in the U.S with YouTube being the #1.


The Algorithm


Since 2018, Facebook's Algorithm does not like branded content. But fear not, PR and

Marketing professionals truly hate ourselves and have been finding ways to game the system with each annual change. And while it's true that no one really knows how the algorithm works (we would be beyond rich is we did), there are patterns that have been observed through trial and error.


First, though, You Need a Target Audience


To borrow from my previous post regarding Instagram:


Whom are you trying to reach? If you are aiming for 21-year-olds, then, sadly, Facebook isn't gonna be the best platform. If you just shotgun it and try to target everyone, you are shooting into outer space while hoping to hit stars. Having a ten year age bracket is best as well as a gender and a few possible interests in mind. Let's say you want 28-37-year-old women who are interested in the latest hair trends.


Expand it out a bit more and create a persona. Sally is a 35-year-old straight woman who loves watching Guy Tang videos on YouTube. She works full-time at a bakery job and has some college experience She loves colorful and fun hair.


Do you see how focused this allows you to be?


Step 1: What should you show Sally to make her stop scrolling through Facebook and look at your picture? What about a comparison shot between a Guy Tang creation and your interpretation of it? Or a short video showing a recreation of a Guy Tang original?


Step 2: How do you ensure Sally will see your photo? Hashtags. #mydentity and #guy_tang will ensure you are in the same vicinity as Sally's timeline.


What You Need to Start


  1. To get started you will need a business page. You can learn how here.

  2. Learn how to be Adaptable

    1. Due too how strict the Facebook Algorithm is as well as anti-marketing, businesses need to roll with the punches as they come over the years.


The Good Stuff


Now that we have the details out of the way, here are some tricks to game the Facebook Algorithm:

  1. Videos

    1. Facebook loves video content, and Facebook admits that videos see more user engagement than any other type of content.

  2. Indirect Calls to Action

    1. Typically in PR and Marketing, we push the idea of telling potential customers what to do: "comment below," "share this with your friends," "Give us a (reaction) if you want to see more content." However, Facebook's lovely damn algorithm has caught up with that and now classifies such material as spam and keeps it from users.

    2. Facebook values content that drives discussion. So, posing a question and having people naturally answer it gives you a boost in who sees the post.

  3. Use Employees and Friends

    1. Ask friends and employees to like and share your business page posts. This tricks the algorithm into thinking your content is something people are interested in.

  4. Use External Links Sparingly

    1. Facebook is selfish and egotistical. It loves content that is made within Facebook. Posts that link to blogs, YouTube videos, or anything not branded with 'facebook.com' is placed on a low priority compared to native Facebook content. It's ok to post external links once in awhile but ensure you break it up a bit with photos or other content.

  5. If you Repeat, then also Rephrase

    1. Slow times will happen, which will prompt you to repost something that shared before. This is acceptable, but you must rephrase the caption you used previously to be different. Or else, you guessed it, the algorithm eats it.

  6. Find the best time to post

    1. Generally, The best days and times for Facebook posts are: Wednesday and Friday between 10 AM and 5 PM.

    2. The worst day for business posts are Sunday and everyday before 8 AM and after 5 PM.

    3. Generally, The best days and times for Facebook posts are Wednesday and Friday between 10 AM and 5 PM. e of the best engagement on Sundays. So, feel free to play around with timing, just keep track of what works and what doesn't.


Go ahead and say it, "this algorithm sucks!"


Honestly, I agree with you. The best workaround may be to create a Facebook Group for your business and put more focus on that while still keeping things fresh on your business page. Due to clients opting into your group, there is a higher chance that any content posted is seen by your audience. Just keep in mind that unless your settings are strict, people will be able to freely join your group and post content, which may not fit your brand or could even hurt your business.


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