Meta Shares New Insights into How to Maximize Your Content Reach on Facebook

That’s interesting — Meta today released a new overview of how creators can maximize their reach on Facebook and engage with more potential fans through newsfeed distribution.

And while the advice focuses on creators, the tips on how the newsfeed algorithm works are universal, and if you’re looking to get more reach for your audience on Facebook, these pointers will definitely come in handy.

But then again, how exactly you do that may not always be a positive outcome for society.

I’ll explain.

First of all, as Meta has shared in the past, the Facebook newsfeed algorithm primarily relies on these key elements when deciding who sees what content.”

  • What content was posted? What posts from friends, other creators, and Pages are available for us to show off?
  • Who might like this content? We consider a variety of signals, such as B. who posted the content, when it was posted, what the topic was and previous user behavior.
  • How likely are people to interact with the post? We try to predict how likely it is that a specific person will interact with your post and find it meaningful. We make a variety of these predictions for each piece of content.
  • How interested will the audience be in this post? Based on all the data we’ve collected about the post, what content should be prioritized?

So, engagement is the main focus by showing people more content to click through, comment, share, like, etc.

That remains a potentially problematic element, depending on how the algorithm weights each. For example, when the algorithm prioritizes comments, it motivates people and Pages to post things that spark debate and discussion – which can be positive in some respects, but can also be very divisive and lead to further fear and opposition.

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In any case, these are the considerations the algorithm weighs, which in hindsight means you should also consider them if you want to get maximum reach and resonance from your Facebook posts.

But this part is particularly interesting when looking specifically at Facebook engagement in 2022.

In its statement, Meta says it now looks at Facebook engagement in two ways:

  • Associated Sales – Your posts will be seen by those who follow you on Facebook. This is your core audience on the platform.
  • Unconnected distribution – Your posts will be seen by people who don’t follow you but may be interested in your content. This type of distribution may be through the sharing and re-sharing of your posts by other users or through our recommendations in our Recommended for you sections.

Well, both of these types of engagement have been around on Facebook for years, but it’s the latter element that’s getting a more specific focus now as Meta looks to pump more AI-powered content recommendations into your feed.

In fact, back in July, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company’s plan to double the amount of AI-recommended content in user feeds by the end of the year.

According to Zuckerberg:

“Right now, about 15% of the content in a person’s Facebook feed and slightly more than their Instagram feed is recommended by our AI from people, groups, or accounts that you don’t follow. We expect these numbers to more than double by the end of next year.”

In other words, unconnected distribution is going to become a much bigger factor in determining the reach of your Facebook posts — which means businesses need to consider how unconnected distribution works in the broader process as well.

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Which Meta provided some new guidance on this – to maximize unconnected distribution, Meta says you should do the following:

Facebook “Unconnected Reach”

Exactly how each of these elements feed into Facebook’s “Unconnected Distribution” algorithms isn’t clear, but the evidence suggests that Facebook will try to promote as much original content as possible (however it judges it) during Optimizing for engagement remains an important consideration.

Which is easier said than done. Of course you want to post things that generate more likes and shares and increase your reach. But unfortunately, as you probably know from personal experience, the easiest way to do this is to stoke anger and anger, while happiness and joy can also provide the emotional kick that encourages people to interact, however they choose.

Various studies have shown this Anger is the emotion that spreads most easily on social media, with joy coming second. Again, to evoke a reaction, you need to strike an emotional chord with your content, and these are the two instinctive responses that are most likely to get people typing and especially sharing online.

Which again makes sense. When you read something that really annoys you, you feel compelled to react to it, which then causes you to inadvertently reinforce that content while funny memes and trends also spread quickly across the internet.

Post an update on how good your product is and no one will care, but tweet a few snarky replies and you can quickly become the talk of the internet that day, albeit with a high degree of reputational risk .

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That’s how the web works, based on algorithmic amplification designed to keep people in any app for as long as possible, anytime. Awakening their emotions is fundamentally what algorithms are about, apart from other explanations of how they merely reflect human nature and interests, and how algorithms are “content-agnostic” and not designed to reinforce negative behaviors.

This argument is irrelevant because intent and effect are two entirely different things, and there’s no way anyone could argue that algorithms end up promoting non-divisive, argumentative content, regardless of their design.

Publishers know, brands know, and this overview once again underscores the fact that if you want to maximize your Facebook reach—either through connected or unconnected distribution—you need to get people talking.

You can do that by targeting content to emotional triggers, which of course can be positive by sharing brighter and happier posts. But anger also works – which is far from ideal for creators, publishers, society in general, etc.

But these are the factors you need to consider when working to maximize your Facebook performance.

You can read Meta’s full overview of the Creator distribution here.

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