How does the famous Facebook algorithm work in 2020? (and how to crack it!)

There’s a well-known principle among most Facebook media buyers that says: To be good at Facebook advertising, you need to master the technical side by 30%, everything else lies in understanding the Facebook algorithm.

Of course, Facebook has never shared all the information about how its algorithm works, but there are some basics you can use today to optimise the performance of your campaigns. At the same time, as the algorithm is constantly changing, it is our role as marketers to be aware of the latest developments and test them to stay on top of the game.

We know that Facebook’s algorithm is based on the acronym B.EA.R which simply means:

B for Bid or Budget
EA for Expected action
R for relevance.

1 – What is the Bid in the Facebook algorithm?
The Facebook advertising market follows the law of supply and demand. There is, as in any economic concept, scarcity and a limited amount of advertising space on Facebook and Instagram; and Facebook wants to please everyone.

To determine the order of posts in your News Feed, Facebook has to choose who is ‘best placed’ to earn your attention. To do this, Facebook decides to give space to the highest bidder. In other words, if your competitor is willing to spend more than you are to target the same audience, they are more likely to be ‘printed’. It’s all based on a bidding system.

But fortunately for the small purse, this is only one of the variables in this very complex algorithm. The other two, EA (action sought) and R (relevance), are just as important to Facebook.

How to use Bid to your advantage?
To use this first variable to your advantage, you must :

Increase your average cart through upsells: If you earn more than usual after each sale, you will have more budget to use on Facebook to generate leads, so you can spend more than before.
Once you have determined your cost per acquisition (CPA), change the bidding strategy to Target CPA. You can then tell Facebook that I can spend up to X to get a customer.

2 – What is EA or expected action in the Facebook algorithm?
Next, we have the EA, expected action. This variable is a little more complicated than the last one because it is based on a system of predicting the performance of your ad.

So if two media buyers are competing for the same audience, Facebook is more likely to prioritise the one that is most likely to perform.

Facebook is constantly collecting data on its users. It tracks messaging history, comments, likes, shares, performance of all active ads, data available in Facebook pixels and much more (nothing scary so far). Every time someone goes on Facebook, they generate data that allows the firm to understand a little more about how they are likely to interact with a particular ad. Facebook then uses this data to create a predictive model of how users will react to a particular ad. If you are more likely to perform the desired action on Advertiser A’s ad, Facebook will show you Advertiser A’s ad, at least first.

This variable is difficult to control. Your role here is quite limited. The main challenge is to create an ad by choosing the right Call to action, the right caption, the right visual and the right campaign objective.

3 – What is the ‘Relevancy’ of your Facebook and Instagram ads?
Facebook’s main objective is to keep the user experience good. This is very important to know because it is what allows small businesses to compete with large corporations with endless marketing budgets while remaining visible to their target audience.

For example, Coca-Cola can easily spend more than any other advertiser on Facebook, but their ads will not be relevant to everyone. Facebook will not show its ads to all audiences, leaving room for other players in the space.

The relevance of your ads is therefore based on 4 points:

1- Targeting
Are your ads relevant to your target audience? In order to target better, always try to choose audiences based on the interests of your consumers. For example, if you want to target men of a certain age in Morocco, you might want to target those who subscribe to Hespress or a particular newspaper.

Also, try to create similar audiences from the start of your first campaigns as they build up as you record performance and data on your users.

2- Your account quality score on Business Manager
There are some things that Facebook just doesn’t like, and it will punish you with higher advertising costs.

Facebook looks at your ad account history and checks if you have multiple rejected payments or multiple rejected ads.

If your ads are rejected, delete them from your business manager and contact Facebook support to inform them. Your quality score should return to normal upon verification.

3 – Your creative elements
Facebook determines the relevance of your copywriting, photos, videos and ad titles for each target market. Irrelevant ads will be assigned higher CPMs (cost per thousand).

4 – The consistency of your landing page
This last aspect is unfortunately not taken into consideration by many marketers. You should know that Facebook does not only check your ads but also the landing page to which you send your target audience.

In other words, if you have promised your prospects free shipping on your ad, your sales page and checkout must also contain those same words. Facebook will crawl your entire site to make sure your pages are consistent with your ads.

These are some of the secrets revealed about Facebook’s algorithm. By taking the concepts of B.EA.R into account and designing your ad campaigns around these principles, you can dramatically improve your Facebook Ads strategy, reduce your ad costs and improve your performance.

It’s up to you 😉

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