Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

How to Growth Hack the Facebook Algorithm to Reach Your Most Engaged Fans

It's not Mark Zuckerberg's fault that you're not up to date with how social media marketing is done in 2018.

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

is not going away, and any marketing professional or small owner would be foolish to stop using it in spite of the fact that marketing on Facebook today is not easy.

Related: Facebook Might Be Shrinking Your Audience but There's Lots You Can Do About It

In fact, for as much industry chatter that Facebook’s decision to tweak the algorithm to favor people and not brand pages has created, a recent poll in the Social Media Masterminds Group on Facebook indicated that marketers don’t foresee another emerging social network rivaling Facebook anytime in the near future.

As seen in the above video, regardless if you’re a or a Fortune 500 company, marketing on Facebook shouldn’t be centered on how you can reach the masses but rather how you can identify and retain the attention of your most engaged fans, as only 1 percent or less of page fans are currently seeing your content.

While marketing on Facebook is more complex than posting status updates and memes, the first step is to understand how the algorithm works.

To be candid, Facebook is a business and isn’t in business to help you grow yours for free. With over 2 billion daily active users, it’s safe to proclaim that Facebook is one of the best mediums to advertise online and it knows it. Despite Facebook being free to use, ad budget is required in order to get the maximum return on Facebook as a brand. 

Related: With Entrepreneurs Freaking Out After Facebook's Drastic Newsfeed Change, Here Are 4 Things You Can Do Right Now to Survive

Besides paying to play, other key factors go into Facebook determining the type of content that it shares, such as posts that are written with a call-to-action to click through to a website are penalized, as are posts that contain “engagement bait” (e.g., "like this post," "comment below," "share this post," etc.).

However, if you can strategically find a way to get your brand front and center in the newsfeed while keeping users on the platform, you’ve cracked the code. 

Below are five strategies to implement right away to help you hack the Facebook algorithm.

1. Comment farming

Think of the Facebook algorithm similar to word of mouth marketing. Facebook will feature what the algorithm thinks is relevant to you based on what others in your network are speaking about digitally. Posts that contain a significant number of likes, comments and shares will typically get higher visibility in the newsfeed for at least 24 hours provided that the post continues to get engagement.

Tip: The next time you post on Facebook, ask a question or make a statement that will elicit comments from your network or page followers. Then, reply to each comment that is made on your post to trick Facebook into thinking it has higher organic engagement.

Related: Why You Need to Stop Worrying About Facebook 'Likes' in 2018

2. Short posts

The next tactic isn’t so much to trick the Facebook algorithm as it is to trick the eyes of fellow Facebook users to see your post in the newsfeed while scrolling through. If you want your post copy to stand out, post a text-only status update at 85 characters or less. By doing so, your text font will appear to be larger than the standard Facebook font size. However, your post has to be text-only so use this tactic whenever you post a one-sentence comment or question.

3. Facebook ads

Advertising on Facebook doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, I recommend that Facebook page managers "boost" their content with as little as $10 daily or $300 per month. By tapping into Facebook ads, even with a small budget, you can use the custom audiences feature to ensure that your content is seen by the right audience. Remember, while a lot of brands and businesses are aiming for the masses blindly, you should be strategic with getting your content in front of your target buyers and most engaged fans.

Related: How to Make Money With Facebook Ads

4. Groups

While Facebook groups have not yet been adopted widely by brands, industry groups like Social Media Masterminds and others that bring together influencers, creators and marketers alike have become the new wave of sharing content and insights off of the traditional newsfeed that’s dominated by brand pages and profiles. Facebook has yet to cut off the organic reach that groups provide, which is why every brand should be finding a way to create a group of its most engaged fans.

5. Messenger

As is the case with groups, Facebook Messenger is an untapped resource for brands to organically build tribes with their most engaged fans and creators. Provided that you have a community manager who's paying attention to who’s actively commenting on your Facebook page, start forming conversations directly in Messenger with your “super fans.” As described in the video above, how much would 20 to 30 engaged fans mean to your business? With Messenger, you can still keep your loyal fans engaged, albeit through 1:1 conversation. The next time that you have a campaign or promotion running, let your fans in on the launch before the masses. Better yet, use this newfound 1:1 access to get your fans to do the marketing for you altogether.

Related: Best Practices for Growing Cash Flow With Zero Business Development

Latest

Top 3 Little-Known Productivity Mistakes

Are you struggling to stay on task? Well these three little-known mistakes might be tanking your productivity without you even knowing.

How One Startup Is Trying to Revolutionize the Low-Code/No-Code Industry

The CEO and co-founder of Zenity shares how his company is dedicated to governance and security for low-code/no-code applications.

4 Things to Do When You're in a Negotiation

The executive director and CEO of WIN Summit shares her advice for entrepreneurs looking to elevate their negotiation skills.

Matt Horn on Finding Purpose in Family and Flames

In-depth interview with CEO, pitmaster, and James Beard Award Nominee Matt Horn about growing his global food brand with social media, operating multiple restaurant concepts, and why he decided to "burn the boats."

This Entrepreneur Believes the 9-to-5 Work Week Is Dead. So She Created a Platform That Matches Talent With Project-Based Work.

The founder of NuuWork shares how her company will help people navigate the future of project-based employment.

How This Company Is Helping Ecommerce Brands Scale and Grow

The co-founder of 8fig shares how his platform is helping online sellers plan and execute their growth around their supply-chain needs.

Eitan Bernath on Becoming a Teenage Food Entrepreneur and Social Media Star

In-depth interview with cookbook author, food personality, and content creator Eitan Bernath about starting an entertainment career as a child, teaming up with Drew Barrymore, and building an inspirational business empire before his 20th birthday.

Ask Marc: Netflix Co-Founder Marc Randolph on Facing Challenges, Bringing on Co-Founders and Growth

In this episode of our new series 'Ask Marc,' the serial entrepreneur and mentor offers advice on how to get started.

3 Science-Backed Ways to Break Bad Habits

Become powerfully productive with these three patterns.

Meet the Co-Founders Making Conscious Shopping Easier

Goodbuy's Cara Oppenheimer and Cary Telander Fortin share how their browser extension helps consumers buy products with both their wallets and values front of mind.

Nina Manchev of Forte Tapas on Engaging Customers with Social Video

Interview with Forte Tapas owner and entrepreneur Nina Manchev about connecting with social media, learning to be confident on video, and appearing on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.

This CEO Believes We Need More Women In Crypto

Jaime Leverton, head of NASDAQ-listed Hut 8 Mining Corp., talks the future of digital currency with 'Entrepreneur.'

How to Create Your Path to Profit

Financial expert and author Michelle Jacobik is on a mission to help people be profitable, so she created the EnVision + Thrive Academy. She shares her journey to success, business tips and what you'll learn in her new book.

Toast CEO Chris Comparato on Why Restaurants Need a Tech Partner That Cares

Interview with Toast CEO Chris Comparato about leading with the customer in mind, having a digital-first mentality, and how technology like Toast is helping restaurants thrive.

The Science of Visualization: Maximizing Your Brain's Potential

In this video, we discuss why visualization is so effective and offer four tips to harness it.

Discover Entrepreneur Series

Whether you need advice on how to get your business off the ground or you’re just looking for inspiration, our video series have something for everyone. Browse our library below to find a series that speaks to you and your interests.

  • An original series streaming weekly where you can Click-to-Invest while you watch. THEIR JOURNEY. Your decision.
  • Your favorite pitch show is back with new entrepreneurs pitching Entrepreneur's investors.
  • Host Nicole Walters interviews small business founders to discuss their unique challenges and experiences running and growing a business. 
  • How many times have you been told “that will never work”? Probably not as often as Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph. The veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur provides a healthy dose of humor, and actionable advice that will benefit founders - and would-be founders - at every stage of their business journey.
  • Jessica Abo covers the causes people care about, the powerful work they do and how they got to where they are in the first place.
  • Bestselling author, Ben Angel, takes his audience on a journey into the entrepreneurial mind to uncover why we do what we do through his powerful short films and educational videos so you can unleash your ideas and potential.