We’ve covered Instagram, TikTok, and even Twitter; besides this, throwing in LinkedIn and YouTube would really complete the list of major platforms to map out in 2023. One of the oldest in the bunch, Facebook this year doesn’t look to be much different than the years prior. With such a generalistic model, one could argue that Facebook is actually more flexible than it is static. It doesn’t take much to make it big on Facebook, but it does require a lot of effort. Without further ado, let’s get to it then.
Granted, Facebook fell off as the ‘Cool’ app years ago, but it still remains relevant to almost all audience segments and is still the most-accessed social platform in the world. Facebook continues to add more users and expand its market reach. Regardless of the intention, everyone still checks in on Facebook almost daily to see what’s going on with family, friends, and other connections. Younger users might be spending more time on TikTok, but Facebook remains a critical consideration for most brands. Here’s why:
The first thing to get a grasp on is the News Feed algorithm and how it amplifies content in the app. To that, there are three main elements:
Where the Post Comes From – Regularly liking and commenting on posts from certain pages will show you more posts from said pages. Profiles and pages you regularly interact with get the same effect.
When it was Posted – Timelines remain a big factor in Facebook’s News Feeds. Initial post responses have a major role in determining reach. To capitalize, you need to grab the attention of the initial engagers, which requires you to know when your audience is online.
How Likely It’ll Drive Engagement – Facebook’s algorithm also works to determine each user’s engagement habits, optimizing itself to best lean into their specific behaviors. Facebook will also estimate how long it thinks users might watch a video or how long they might engage, depending on the post type (i.e article, poll, etc.).
The algorithm is always being updated and continues to evolve; it is currently focused on adding more AI recommendations. Meta looks to hook into broader consumption habits, thus also focusing on short-form video, which spells many opportunities to improve reach. At the same time, reports have also shown that Meta is cutting back on divisive political content, which is a boon for marketers as it allows their content a bit of extra exposure.
It’s still a bit hazy how Meta classifies ‘value’, but this 2019 analysis by Buffer should help clear the air a bit.
Posting Best Practices
Highlighted by various studies, shorter text descriptions generally work better on Facebook, with the optimal length being 25 – 55 characters for a typical post. Want to have an easier time summarizing your text? ChatGPT can help with that.
When it comes to formats, video remains the best-performing post type, with live video driving the most engagement. Of course, posts with images will outperform ones with just plain text. Much like Instagram, Facebook will lean heavily on the propagation of Reels use, which ties in greatly with increased use of its Ads Library for competitor research, who are also likely to look into short-form.
In terms of Hashtag use – no need to really use them on Facebook. Still, experiments won’t hurt. If they work out for you, then go bananas; use them as much as you like, so long as it gets you something from your audience. For posting frequency, we have good ol’ SproutSocialfor the best days and times to be posting on Facebook.
You must monitor your posts for comments and respond to users when you can. Establishing healthy customer relations can play a big role in building community and brand recognition, while comments also register in the News Feed algorithm as engagement, further boosting post reach. Facebook Groups are also big, so consider creating one so you can further build out your presence on the platform while tuning into related chatter.
These notes serve mainly as pointers and not as ‘definitive’ rules. You might just find that your audience responds to the opposite of everything mentioned here. That’s actually the key driver – analyze your analytics and track your performance over time. The trick with Facebook is to be on top of everything, especially the elements that mean the most for your business. Good luck with your Facebook journey this year!