March 23

Hacking the Facebook Algorithm Machine


Facebook can be a really great social media platform for getting your book and your message out there and for reaching a wider audience. However, there is a right and a wrong way to do it. 

Facebook uses algorithms, an automated machine, to score its users either in a positive or a negative way, so your choices and interactions matter. (These are similar to the algorithms or computer programs that Google and other search engines use to rank your web content.) It matters because the higher your score, the more Facebook users you’ll be permitted to reach. 

There are ways to hack the algorithm machine to improve your views and engagement on Facebook. Here are the top five tips that can help improve your visibility on Facebook.

Tip #1: Comments

Facebook recognizes whether you are a valuable and engaged member or not, so when someone comments on one of your posts, you should always reply to them. The best way is to respond with a minimum of five words; fewer than five words won’t bump up your score. The same applies to the reactions your posts receive, so keep this in mind when you’re posting your own content. Post quality content that attracts positive engagement and feedback. For instance, posts with engaging questions that relate back to the content of your book (or your business) are great at inspiring your Facebook fans to comment and share your post with their friends.

Tip #2: Emojis

You can also use an emoji as a response instead of a comment. This will bump up your score effectively because emojis generally take up three lines of type and count as scorable content. It’s best to use positive, feel-good emojis—happy faces, babies, animals, love, laughter, etc. Using gifs is another good way of doing this, and the same rule of positivity applies to gifs as well.

Tip #3: Icons

As you know, there are six icons available to click on for each Facebook post and for each comment on that post: like 👍, love ❤ , laugh 😆, wow 😮, sad 😢, and angry 😡. You might be surprised to learn that each of these affects your scores! The like icon is simply OK, but the love, laugh, and wow icons are the best ones to use to up your score. For the same reason, the sad and angry icons will reduce your score. It’s good to keep this in mind when you’re creating your own posts. 

Ideally, you want to attract and receive clicks from the three most positive icons from other Facebook users viewing your posts—but not the two negative ones. Don’t post negative content such as hate, violence, not good enough, anti-religion, make money fast, etc. These tend to attract negative feedback and will lower your score.

Tip #4: Posts

When you post on your page or group, you want to give your followers a great user experience. Be original, uplifting, positive, and encouraging to inspire more engagement from Facebook fans. Ask questions, post engaging content of value, and focus on what your target audience wants to see on Facebook. 

Quality is better than quantity when it comes to posts and algorithm scores, so try to avoid continual lengthy posts where people can quickly lose interest. It’s fine to promote your book or business from time to time but try to include a sales pitch on every post. Facebook views this as spammy, so try to keep it to a 20% to 80% split—20% selling and vary the remaining posts with quality content. Remember, Facebook makes money from promoting their paid advertisers.

Tip #5: Links

The biggest no-no is putting links in the main body of your posts. The algorithm machine will knock your score down for this and may even put a watch on you if you do it too often. Think about it—what you are actually doing is encouraging Facebook users to leave their site by getting them to click on your highlighted link and go visit another site, a competing site. You are taking them away from the platform, which also means you are taking them away from Facebook’s paid advertisers. Facebook doesn’t like this, and the algorithm machine is set to notice this. The worst link you can share is actually YouTube. There are ways around this, though. One way is that you can create your post and then direct FB users to a link shared in the comments below it.

I hope that once you put these valuable nuggets of gold into practice, you will reap the benefits of gaining a higher algorithm score and therefore reach a wider audience of engaged Facebook users. They have worked well for me. 

Do you consider yourself a Facebook guru? What tips and tricks have you found helpful in building Facebook engagement? Comment below and share with any author friends who might be struggling with improving their visibility on Facebook!

About the author:

Rochelle Alexandra is an Author Academy Elite author. She was born in Scotland and matured in New York. A talented artist and photographer, she has a real love of poetry and words. Her bestselling book, In Alexa’s Shoes, was nominated as a top-ten finalist in the Author Academy Awards in 2019.


facebook, marketing, social media

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  1. Thank you! I will be more focused and intentional with my posting and responses. It’s a good thing I was using a lot of heart emoji’s before reading this post. lol

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