The Plasmatic Writer

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Understanding Facebook Algorithms

Posted on June 12, 2015 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

What is an algorithm? An algorithm is a procedure or formula for solving a problem. In this case we are talking about Facebook algorithims. Now I am no expert on this matter, I do not have the expertize on this topic but what I can tell and share with you is my experience with it and what I have found. Have you ever posted something on your Facebook Fanpage/Author Page only to realize that it's got hardly any views? Have you ever posted an image that isn't relevant to the topic at hand and notice it's received a ton of views? This is Facebook using their version of algorithms. Facebook decides what they think your audience wants to see and they do so by only sending out your post to a few people. Assuming you have a lot of followers, Facebook does not make sure your post reaches every single one of them but a few dozen or so if that. For example, I have 614 followers and my most recent posts have only reached up to 15 people. Yet, if I share an image from someone else's page that they posted I get up to around 60-100 views. Why is this? Why does Facebook make it so what you post goes unnoticed yet when you share other's posts it gets more views? It's simple, their algorithm.

Why do images tend to get more views? Visual images are more likely to attract attention and most likely to be shared by others you follow. So naturally when you post a picture not only is it being seen but it's being shared and by being shared it gets you more views. Don't blame your followers, it's not their fault they aren't seeing your content, if you want to blame Facebook go right ahead, they assume wrong. Now not every picture will generate you hundreds of views but it's more likely then not that you will get more views from images then texts posts, at least that's what I've personally seen. To give you an example of just how all or nothing an algorithm on Facebook can be, I once posted a picture of a creepy looking zombie cowboy which was relevant to my page and followers because I was posting for my Western Horror book,A Bloody Bloody Mess In The Wild Wild West. Since I frequently posted similar things I thought I would gather a lot of views, this was not the case as the post only generated around 17 views. A little later in the day I posted a picture of three glass containers which were filled with fruit punch, lemonade and moonshine. What did it have to do with anything? It didn't, I just liked it and decided to post and share. What happened? I got the most views I'd ever seen on my page with over 120. So again this is Facebook assuming and calculating by whatever process it is they have and making your posts sometimes suffer and other times triumph.

Another thing you may be wondering is, what about the boost button that will get me more views? Ah, here lies one of the if not the main reason Facebook has strange unhelpful algorithims, they want you to buy from them. They are just like any other site, they want to make money. The truth is, that zombie cowboy picture I posted was relevant and important and Facebook knew it just like they knew your picture and blog post of a vampire was important. Rather than give you the views, likes and comments you want they hold back the post with their algorithms and make you spend money if you want the post to be seen by more people. This more or less means that you'd be better off posting images as they generate more views all on their own then if you were to post texts in a status. Either way though, your only going to reach some of your followers, in the case of images you'll reach about a quarter of them. I have yet to ever see a post reach all of my followers, it just simply doesn't happen. Facebook has the boost button there and when your posts is generating 100% more views than normal, they tell you and ask you if you want to run an ad to reach even more followers. So now the question at hand is should you click on the boost button and buy ads to reach more viewers?

That is entirely up to you but personally I don't think it's a good idea. I am not one for tossing and giving away money I especially don't like giving social media any of my money. I would suggest that if you are going to buy an ad on Facebook to do so as a whole for the entire site and not just one specific generic image to boost views and likes. To me, they are a multi-billion dollar corporation what do they need my money for? Sure, in order to make money you got to spend money but in this case your coughing up money just so people can see free posts on their page. If you want to try it out once by all means, I once paid for an ad when I first started my page to gain more of a following, yes it helped but the views on my page were still the same as paying for views and running an ad are two completely different things. If you have the money and you don't mind spending it on getting your posts more views then by all means go ahead and do it but I'm merely suggesting and saying to you that you really should not have to spend money to boost a free post that you made. I don't think anyone should ever pay Facebook however if you want to boost followers or run an ad to showcase a special your running on your books then yes perhaps do an ad. You can run it for as many days as you want but note the more days the more money. I did three days for $20 it got me 100+ followers which is always nice but now Facebook has the last laugh as they are using their algorithm to prevent those followers from seeing my posts. If you are buying an ad look at it as "I'm promoting and marketing my page" and not "I'm paying Facebook because I've given in to their shify endeavors."

So how do you get more views? Is their a way around this? Google It. I'm serious. I'm not going to tell you because I don't know myself I can only tell you what I've noticed and what I myself have experienced. The first tip I suggest is incorporating an image with your text post. Do you have something you want to tell your followers but are afraid it will only reach 15 of them? Post an image with it, it may or may not attract more followers but it's a better bet then a single text status. Second, don't buy boosts to gain more views, if your going to spend money do it on an ad and only do it during an event or special deal you have going on. Third, don't blame your followers, it's not their fault they can't see your posts, know that the algorithm is in place for a reason, we may not like that reason but hey everybody's got a price and nothing is free. Fourth, if you post something and it fails to generate views, try posting it later on in the future or even alter it a bit and post it again right after. Facebook doesn't allow you to make duplicate posts so the best thing is to change it up or wait later on to do so. Also check out some of the best times to post to social media. If you Google it there are several charts that tell you of peek times of when people are most on Facebook and other sites. Finally, make the most of what you post,enjoy the views and likes you get and do your best to work around the algortihm that's at hand. 

I wonder how many views this will get on Facebook when I post it ;)