This hoax has been going around now for a number of years – that Facebook only shows you posts from 25 people in your friends list, and an instruction to Copy and Paste and re-post on your own status, in an apparent attempt to trick the Facebook algorithm into showing you content from more people in your friends list ?
Is there any truth in it?
Let me explain. Firstly you need to understand why you see a lot of content from the same people.
Facebook’s “algorithm” that you’ve heard so much about, is heavily reliant on Machine Learning which is how the algorithms determine what posts you see. It’s individual to you and your online behaviour.
“It helps people discover new content and connect with the stories they care the most about. Our machine learning and applied machine learning researchers and engineers develop machine learning algorithms that rank feeds, ads and search results, and create new text understanding algorithms that keep spam and misleading content at bay” – Facebook
Facebook’s Machine Learning helps build a behavioural profile for every single user on it’s platform.
Are you a video watcher? A dog person? Always on a diet? An impulsive buyer? Constantly looking for holidays? It uses the data it has observed from your online behaviour to understand what you like, what you are looking for and your behavioural habits; which it primarily uses to commercialise it’s product and show you ads for things it thinks you have an interest in.
But it also uses this to determine who you want to see content from.
Facebook can see that you message Jenny on inbox a lot, and always like John’s status updates. It can see that you’re in a lot of photos on nights out with Sarah and you tag Jane in a lot of comments. That’s why you are seeing so much content from those people. Facebook knows that they are your friends.
Equally, if you have never engaged with Danny from Primary school for the past ten years – you never comment on his stuff, he never comments on yours, you’ve never spoken to one another over Messenger since accepting his friend request in 2009 – then you aren’t going to be seeing his content on your Newsfeed.
So, is it a hoax?
Yes, it is a hoax. Mainly because if you post this on your profile – the only people who are going to see it, are the people who are already seeing your posts anyway, thus defeating the object of trying to engage with new people!
But yes – in theory, if someone who hasn’t engaged with you for a long time, does suddenly engage with this post – you will start to see their content. But not because they have copied and pasted these specific words – but because Facebook is constantly learning, and can see you are re-connecting with people, who you may now want to see more of.
But copying and pasting some generic set of words doesn’t make a blind bit of difference. They could copy and paste ‘sausages’ or ‘boobies’ or anything on your page, like a post, leave a comment or message you to trigger the acknowledgement that there has been some engagement.
If you want to hear from people you haven’t seen anything from in a while my tips would be:
- Go to their profile and like or comment one of their recent updates
- Send them a message
- Check you haven’t previously ‘Unfollowed’ them and forgotten about it!
Why is this important for Businesses?
When people engage with your posts, the Facebook registers that engagement and assumed that person is interested in what your business is offering. It will therefore start to show them more stuff that you post because they have expressed an interest.
We have various Marketing Training Webinars that can help you with scaling up your social media strategy and improving your conversions with Facebook.
This event will show you what you should be doing with your business page to convert more sales.