How Does The Facebook News Feed Work, Anyway?

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The Facebook News Feed is a fickle friend.

Updates to the EdgeRank algorithm happen frequently. This makes it hard to know what/when to post and what will get seen by your Facebook Page fans when you do post something.

And you need to understand the Facebook News Feed to get your posts seen!

The EdgeRank Algorithm

First and foremost, it’s important to understand how the Facebook New Feed decides which content gets seen by users.

The EdgeRank Algorithm is the complicated tool that helps Facebook decide which content users want to see the most in their News Feed. The goal: find out what you’re most interested in.

Facebook wants to do this because the more content they show you that you like, the more time you spend on Facebook.

Finding this “sweet spot” should also be important to your business because garnering Facebook engagement is extremely difficult with some of the most recent updates.

TechCrunch has a simplified version of what the algorithm looks like:


To decide what content matters most to you, Facebook looks at four things:

  1. Who posted the content
  2. Is the post new?
  3. The type of post
  4. Interactions with the post

Additionally, Facebook looks at a post’s performance with other audience members as a factor.

To understand more on this, watch this video from Facebook

Facebook learns what you like most and adjusts your News Feed so you see more of that type of content.

As a Facebook publisher, it’s up to you to create the content that fits those four factors to keep your engagement levels high.

Be sure to watch this video to understand how the Facebook News Feed works!Click To Tweet

Facebook News Feed Example

Example of a Facebook post in my News Feed:


  1. I follow and often interact with Mike Alton, which Facebook counts as Who Posted It.
  2. When It Was Posted: The post was shared two hours ago
  3. The Type Of Post is a link to an article.
  4. #4 shows Interactions With The Post, or ‘P’ in the above TechCrunch graphic.

As I mentioned earlier, Facebook also looks at performance among other members. So since I follow the user Mike Alton and the Facebook Page Manly Pinterest Tips and they both shared this post, Facebook move this post higher up in my News Feed, giving me more of a chance of seeing it.

Create Engaging Content

The EdgeRank Algorithm is complicated, posting better content is not.

In the Facebook video above, Adam gives you the recipe for success, which is to share things that are:

  1. Interesting
  2. Authentic or original
  3. Resonate with your audience

And don’t forget to write compelling headlines!

He also underscores that content usually works best when it:

  • Is visually stimulating (photos or videos)
  • Is funny
  • Makes an emotional appeal
  • Fascinates your followers


Furthermore, your posts should avoid being:

  • Overly promotional or sales-y
  • Dry or using too much corporate speak/jargon
  • Boring

Using the Facebook Publisher Tools is another way to keep content fresh.

Use these tips to increase your odds of being seen on Facebook.Click To Tweet

The Bottom Line

As Adam says, “Try things.”

What works for one page will not work for the next. This is why we follow micro patterns with our content to help us see what works for specific Facebook pages.

Don’t forget to use Facebook Insights, too! This is a free tool to gauge your content analytics on your Facebook page.

Is your relationship with the Facebook News Feed a fickle one? Let us know how we can help it become a fantastic relationship in the comments below!


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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
Category: Facebook, Social Media Marketing
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