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9 Ways to Game the Facebook News Feed (this Stuff Really Works)

Posted 01 March, 2014

9_Ways_to_Game_the_Facebook_News_Feed_this_Stuff_Really_Works-lsgame the facebook news feedFewer fans are seeing posts from businesses pages these days.

And those companies are crying foul.

They claim Facebook is out to get page owners by charging them to reach more fans.

For those complaining, I have this advice:

Stop whining & do something about it!

Complaints won't get you anywhere.

It's time we all take control of our pages!

So here are 9 ways to get your Facebook posts in front of more fans:

9 Ways to Game the Facebook News Feed (this Stuff Really Works)

It's still pretty simple to get your content in front of fans, even with all the changes to Facebook's news feed algorithm.

And more posts means more engagement, which generates new leads & sales.

1. Figure Out the Best Times to Post


Just because you read somewhere that posting at breakfast, lunch & dinner is best, doesn't mean it's true for your page.

You need to post when YOUR fans are actually on Facebook.

If hardly anyone is logged on at 9am, don't post then -- at least don't do it very often.

To find out when your friends are on Facebook, go to your page Insights & click "Posts".

You'll see a graph like this:


I see that throughout the week 10am is when most Post Planner fans are on Facebook.

However, hovering over each day shows more detailed results.

We need to make sure we post at around 10am to potentially reach the greatest number of fans.

2. Post Consistently & Often


The most successful pages on Facebook have clear content strategies.

And the strategies don't involve only posting once a week -- or sometimes 10 times in 1 day & just twice the next.

You must post consistently & often to keep your followers engaged.

Facebook's news feed algorithm often gives the most visibility to the last 50 people & pages a user interacted with. As a Facebook marketer, you want your page on as many of those lists of 50 as possible.

But you can't be on every fan's list -- so don't even try.

You need to come up with a posting schedule that suits your followers. For some pages that might mean 1 post a day, for others it could mean 20!

It all depends on your page & your fans.

If people are not engaging with your page by Liking, sharing or commenting on your posts, you either need to change the frequency of the updates or test different types of posts to see what works best.

But before you make adjustments, stick to a content calendar for at least a week to determine what works & doesn't work on your page.

This is why I use the Queue schedule feature on the Post Planner app. I never worry about what time to select when scheduling a post or what type of post to schedule -- all that's determined in my app settings.

Once set up, I simply add posts, click "Queue" and it's done. So freaking simple!

To learn more about Post Planner's Queue feature visit: Setup your Queue schedule.

3. Size Photos Correctly


By now we all know that photos typically get more engagement on pages than other kinds of posts.

But make sure to post images that are optimized for the Facebook news feed & your Timeline.

Facebook recommends making images 1,200 x 1,200 pixels so they can be shown properly in different places around the website.

Once you upload an image, Facebook will resize it as needed depending on where the image is being viewed.

Sticking to the correct dimensions is key because the Facebook algorithm considers this when ranking images in the news feed -- more visibility is given to posts with images that are sized correctly.

Canva will help you create great images to share on Facebook.

4. Post Questions


One of the quickest & easiest ways to get fans commenting on your posts is to ask them questions.

We try to do this at least once a day on the Post Planner page & always get a response.

People love answering questions -- but keep a few things in mind when asking yours:

  • Keep questions short -- 80 to 100 characters
  • Make sure questions can be answered with 1 or 2 words -- the easier the better
  • Going off topic is ok -- but don't do it every time

Coming up with questions for your fans can be tough -- and it takes time.

I use Post Planner's Status Ideas Engine to find rad questions to ask on my pages:


There are more than 1,000 questions to choose from & the engine's super easy to use.

5. Post Fill-in-the-Blanks


Another great way to get people commenting is with a fill-in-the-blank post:

As with a question, keep your update short & make it easy for fans to reply.

Require only a 1- or 2-word response, since more & more of your fans are viewing your Facebook page on their mobile device.



WARNING: Facebook did recently note, however, that reach for text updates for fan pages may decrease moving forward:

Through testing, we have found that when people see more text status updates on Facebook they write more status updates themselves. Over time, we noticed that this effect wasn’t true for text status updates from Pages.

The latest update to News Feed ranking treats text status updates from Pages as a different category to text status updates from friends. Posts from Pages behave differently to posts from friends and we are working to improve our ranking algorithms so that we do a better job of differentiating between the two types.

This will help us show people more content they want to see. Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates

But it's still too soon to trash text updates completely, and focus only on photos & links. We just don't have enough data yet to declare that reach is down consistently on text updates.

That might change 6 months from now. By then, however, Facebook will likely change the news feed again!

The key for any page is a strong mix of posts. Don't post the same types of updates over & over -- fill-in-the blank posts & questions can help.

6. Post Links with Wide Image Previews

Link posts on Facebook could see greater reach due to recent changes to the news feed algorithm. This would be great for all page owners -- but especially those who have their own websites.

Your goal as a page owner is not only to get engagement on posts, but to get people clicking the links & drive traffic to your website.

Facebook has made some terrific improvements to how links appear in the news feed -- on desktops & mobile devices.

Instead of a small thumbnail image with the title & description, we now get wide image previews on the news feed.

Here's how it used to be:


And here's how it is today:


Big difference, eh?!

The wider image is much more compelling to viewers -- and these changes resulted in more people clicking links.

A fan will be taken to your web page whether they click the image, title or description on the link!

But make sure the image with your post is optimized to look great in the news feed. Facebook recommends making the image 1,200 x 627 pixels -- a goofy aspect ratio of 1:91:1.

Images smaller than 400 x 209 pixels are reduced to the older, smaller thumbnail image preview.

7. Appeal to Your Fans


While we all use Facebook to sell things, we need to make sure we stay human & always genuinely interact with our fans.

This means posting content that excites them & motivates them to comment.

But to succeed at this, you must first know your fans.

I run the Facebook page for my church & it would be silly for me to post updates about Miley Cyrus on that page!

It's not my target demographic & obviously not in the best interest of the page.

Instead, I post images with scriptures & positive thoughts, articles about bible study & links to our events & podcasts.

You have to understand Facebook's news feed algorithm to get the most out of your page, but you also need to know your audience & make them the top priority.

Put your fans 1st & your page will experience greater long-term success.

8. Use Clear Calls-to-Action


When posting text updates, photos or links you need to convince your audience to take action.

And don't just assume they know what you want them to do.



Adding the phrase "Click LIKE" to a photo post will always get more engagement.

State clearly what you want people to do & give them a compelling reason to take action -- especially if you're trying to drive traffic to your website.

I know many folks criticize posts from Upworthy & BuzzFeed, but these organizations crush it with great calls-to-action that result in lots of people clicking their links.

Visit those Facebook pages to get ideas for your posts.

9. Keep Mobile Users in Mind


Hundreds of millions of Facebook users only access the website on their mobile device.

They never view Facebook from a computer!

My brother is one of them. He's never on a computer, but always on his iPhone.

So it's imperative that your posts are easy to engage with while on the go.

Brief updates are critical for getting attention in crowded news feeds -- as are powerful visuals.

And make sure links you share are mobile friendly.

Here are a few ways to test your site to see what it looks like on mobile devices:

Now to Review 9 Ways to Game the Facebook News Feed

  1. game-the-facebook-news-feed

    Figure Out the Best Times to Post

  2. Post Consistently & Often
  3. Size Photos Correctly
  4. Post Questions
  5. Post Fill-in-the-Blanks
  6. Post Links with Wide Image Previews
  7. Appeal to Your Fans
  8. Use Clear Calls-to-Action
  9. Keep Mobile Users in Mind

Apply these tips & you're sure to boost visibility for your brand on Facebook!

Would you add any advice? Let me know in the comments below.

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