Facebook algorithms and how to make them work to your advantage.
In this article, you will gain the knowledge needed to understand Facebook algorithms and how to make them work to your advantage. It is possible to utilise Facebook algorithms to direct traffic to your holiday let advert and increase direct bookings.
‘Algorithm’ can seem like a very scary word for people who are not technically minded, it really isn’t, and you don’t need to be intimated by this word. Algorithms have been around a long time, the Egyptians used them for multiplication! If you have typed words into Google’s search bar, you have used an algorithm. An algorithm is simply a process for doing something, a set of steps to solve a problem.
Each algorithm is basically a set of instructions, depending on the criteria and the outcome met at each stage, the algorithm can then determine what will happen next. Algorithms will be heavily influenced by current data and data collected over time under different conditions. This data will be used to create the outcomes of the algorithm at each stage. Algorithms are not static; Facebook engineers are adjusting their algorithms constantly. Algorithms can be created in seconds or take years to perfect but it is possible to make Facebook algorithms work for you and profit from them.
Why does Facebook use algorithms?
We should remember that Facebook is a free platform, free for users to have an account. Facebook charges advertisers to show their adverts and generate approximately 98% of their revenue from advertising fees. Without an audience, the adverts would be pointless and therefore every person with a Facebook profile is highly valuable to Facebook. People would not pay to advertise on Facebook if they didn’t directly benefit and gain business. Financial reward is only possible if we (Facebook account holders) interact with the adverts.
What we do know about Facebook algorithms:
We are not the creator of these multi layered, complex algorithms and we can only judge their effectiveness from the results we see for ourselves.
Facebook will conduct ‘test posts’ – Facebook’s algorithms will dictate that your posts are only shown to a set number of people, this group is known as ‘batch 1’. Facebook will measure the value of the post from the interaction, for example how many likes, shares and what the emotional value was (hence the introduction of emojis). Depending on the outcome, algorithm analysis will then determine how many people see your post after this! Batch 1 will be your top followers or friends who usually interact with your posts. If they do not interact, Facebook will discard your post and will not show it to the next ‘batch’.
Your post will continually go through batches of people until their interactions stop meeting the criteria for the algorithm. Facebook uses thousands of ranking signals to evaluate posts so we are continually shown posts that interest us: the more time we are scrolling on Facebook, the more adverts we see and the more money Facebook can generate from advertisements. If we opened the app and the content we saw was out of date, was not funny, boring, or simply nothing we were interested in, what do you think would happen? We would close the app, hence why posts are tested first.
How to pass the algorithm tests and the importance of interaction:
By liking a post, you are telling Facebook that this is good content, and Facebook is learning and storing our preferences. Facebook can use this information in their algorithms and show us posts we will be interested in. Each time we like a post, it validates the content for Facebook and the algorithm is triggered to share this content to more ‘batches’ of people.
Would you share a joke that was not funny or a story that was dull? By sharing a post, you tell Facebook this information was valued by you, and you were so enthusiastic about it, you wanted to share it with others. When we voluntarily share a post, this highlights the advantages and value of the content to Facebook’s algorithms. You help to keep people on the platform when they read your shared post.
Facebook values content that sparks conversation, content that people want to discuss and share! By commenting on a post, you tell Facebook that the post was so interesting to you, it was worth taking your time to interact. This is exactly what Facebook want as it keeps you on their platform and engaged for longer.
When you watch a video on Facebook, they know! Facebook will measure how long we watched it and if it held our attention, next time you refresh your news feed, you will see similar videos featured. Facebook favours original videos that have been uploaded and not linked to another platform (YouTube, TikTok) because the link would take people off the Facebook platform.
Anything that keeps users on the Facebook platform, that keeps them interacting, this ticks the algorithm boxes. It is worth remembering that algorithms are as complicated as the creator makes them, there are a lot of other factors that also contribute to who Facebook chooses to see a post. The date the post was created, the content within a post and hundreds of other contributing factors.
Incidentally, Facebook stories are not ranked or tested like posts on the newsfeed and therefore stories can be very effective in driving traffic to our websites. Use your story to share information and divert traffic to your own holiday let advert featured on ListDirect.
Due to the changes around data, Facebook algorithms are starting to prefer Facebook groups. Why? Groups can be used as another form of tracking for classification purposes. When we join a group, without realising it, we are categorising our accounts into ‘batches’ for Facebook. The algorithm can identify thousands of people with shared and similar interests within these Facebook groups.
How can we use this to our advantage?
Ask yourself a few questions:
Can I get 100 of my followers to like my holiday let posts?
Can I get them to like, share comment or watch all my posts every day?
How long will it take for my friends to get bored of liking my posts?
Did my followers even see the post?
Can I make a post go viral every day?
Can I make a post go viral once a week?
How many of the Facebook accounts who saw my post, will have exactly the same requirements that my business offers: e.g. 1 bedroom holiday let in South Wales?
As owners we all have one goal, to divert traffic to our holiday let for a direct booking. Unfortunately, we all know how hard it is to get people to interact and ensure Facebook shows our posts. It makes a huge difference if we all like, share, comment and watch posts that are released by ListDirect. We can all work together to break the Facebook algorithms. All we are doing is ensuring the ultimate visibility and highest reach of a post that advertises a website containing all the information people need to book a holiday let direct with the owner.
Achieving our goal
As a community we can trick the algorithms into sharing our content, this is the ultimate networking tool! It will not cost us a single penny! How can we trick the algorithm? We lead the Facebook algorithm into sharing the post to more users and it’s FREE!
Visit the ListDirect Facebook page and like our posts. When you are scrolling through your news feed, click on the like button on any posts you see from ListDirect.
Share content to your account, page or to a group you have joined. Join as many groups as you can, local groups are great for sharing information in.
Comment on a post with anything, it could even be as simple as selecting an emoji. All the algorithm will see is the interaction on a post.
Do you think Facebook knows if you actually watched what was on your screen? Let a ListDirect video play, make a cup of tea and then scroll on.
We shared this post to our local community group where we live.. Wow look at the reach!
Remember if ListDirect shares the website address in Facebook groups, we are seen to be advertising and the post is removed.
If one of the ListDirect owners shares the address of the ListDirect website in a comment or post to a group, this is classed as being helpful and informative: it’s a place where owners can advertise their holiday let and direct contact details (in other words, we are working together to promote direct bookings).
A local neighbor (you do not even have to say you list on the site) shares a free website where people can book a holiday let at a better rate, you are being considerate and thoughtful…
Are you ready?
We need to take advantage of this golden opportunity to work together and help publicise the ‘book direct’ message. If we don’t act, we are wasting the chance to help our businesses grow. We are very fortunate to be part of a community where we all share the same vision and want our direct details for our business to go viral.
We will never get the same support or results from pushing our own individual holiday let business, an army is more effective than a solo warrior. Teamwork and collaboration will make us more visible online, to every potential guest looking for varied accommodation. If all owners promote and share ListDirect, if all owners engage with a mutually beneficial Facebook page, all owners WILL increase their direct bookings. It’s not IF, it’s When!
We will release a post on our Facebook page everyday at 7am, analyse performance and adjust accordingly! Can’t make 7am no problem, see you when you can. Remember to interact for FREE with all the posts you see for ListDirect.
We can all go viral! Let’s make it part of our morning routine!
We are constantly monitoring
If we discover a post is more successful on another day or time, we will update here.
It is important that we all interact within a reasonable time to meet the algorithm’s requirements. Following our top tips on Facebook algorithms and how to make them work to your advantage, will achieve excellent results for us all.
Become part of our growing community of holiday let owners join today
Success Story 1
Owner’s who are sharing posts off our Facebook have started to come up in a google search for ListDirect. Don’t believe us? Search for ListDirect on google select images and start looking through the options at the top. Soon you will start seeing more and more of our owners appearing in our searches!
Success Story 2
We decided from the start not to use ‘stock’ images, instead to use images of holiday lets advertised on our website in the posts we share on social media. From doing so read a review from an owner on our site her property went out on one of our posts that week.
With the help of few owners working together to like, share and comment we got an outstanding reach for her post on our Facebook page! Together we made this happen. Imagine what we can do when we all get involved. Don’t forget it is FREE to do!
Win-Win for Owners and Holiday Renters Alike
Great new, easy to use holiday listing site with great customer service. Travellers can book verified properties directly with confidence here, with direct owner contact and no extra traveller booking fees. Thanks to ListDirect, owners benefit from greater visibility on the internet market: by signing up with ListDirect, our Google My Business Page views have gone up from 1.5K to 2.3K views in a week!
If you would like ListDirect to use your holiday let images in our posts, please send the permission statement found in your ListDirect Owner's How-To Handbook to our email address.