Instagram & Facebook Algorithm Changes and How they Could Affect Your Business In 2020
It's no secret at this point that Facebook & Instagram have algorithms set for their applications which can either make or break your brand. Unfortunately and far more likely, these algorithms are known to decrease engagement if they're not used properly. In order to help your business gain the favor of the algorithm, we've put together the "must know" app changes from 2019 that you can implement into your business strategy.
Facebook Algorithm Changes
Since mid-2019, Facebook has had its fair share of algorithm adjustments, starting with the "click-gap" change which analyzes the ratio of engagement of posts on Facebook to the ratio of engagement of the same posts found through regular search engines. If a post receives more engagement on Facebook than it does through a search engine, it will be demoted. Facebook has implemented this change to reduce the amount of fake information and "click-bait" being spread throughout the app. Unfortunately, this is problematic for businesses who only use Facebook posts, and not search engines to draw in consumers.
Make your posts available to read and view from any regular search engine. A great way to do this, is to customize your website and blog SEO settings to have a strong search rating. Adding keywords and good descriptions of your business or service will ensure that your page will appear when those keywords are searched for. Once you find your page on Google, you can then share it to your Facebook page to obtain a more even ratio of discovery.
Quality & Engaging Video Content
Have you ever been scrolling through Facebook, stumble upon a video and suddenly you're in the "video" section of the application? Well, you may have noticed that while some of the videos are home-looking videos, many of them appear to be of high quality, and attempt to engage you with text or narration. In May 2019, Facebook implemented an algorithm update to this section of their app, which encourages its users to create quality videos. Videos that receive multiple views from the same person will receive more distribution across the platform, making it easy for good videos to go viral.
Create engaging videos that last three minutes or longer. When people stay to watch them or watch them more than once, it signals to the algorithm that your videos are worth people's time, and that they are good enough for them to spread throughout the platform.
Interaction = Popularity (Instagram & Facebook)
You may have noticed by now that the posts you typically see in your news feed, whether it be on your personal or your business accounts, are from the people that you interact with most frequently. When you casually scroll on social media, you're actually informing the algorithm more than you realize. When you interact with posts that are similar to each other, you are signaling to the algorithm that you enjoy that type of content, it will then curate your feed to be filled with more posts of that nature. This can be a challenge to small businesses because unless their audience already shows an interest in your product, its less likely that it will randomly show up in their feed.
Focus on engagement between your business and the types of clients/customers you seek to serve. If you are an outdoor sporting equipment company, find people who use hashtags like #outdoors, #rockclimbing, or #hiking, and spend time liking and commenting on their outdoorsy posts. Direct messaging them about your brand and what your service can offer them gives a personal feel and can start a conversation with a potential customer. It's all about being relational these days. (Bonus points if you can get into a conversation with an influencer in your niche who can promote your brand in exchange for a discount code).
Instagram Algorithm Changes
In 2019, Instagram introduced a brand new feature that incorporates early stages of augmented reality into their platform. This is particularly good news for businesses who sell physical products that can be worn. Already a part of the application was an option to buy products - a click on the item in the picture could be linked to the website where it is sold. Now and far more exciting is a new "Try On" feature that can be incorporated into your posts. If for example you sell sunglasses, your clients could see how they look on themselves using their front facing camera. Though it's in its early stages, this feature could be revolutionary to businesses.
Frequency & Consistency
If you haven't noticed already, Instagram caters significantly to those who post frequently and maintain a consistent presence and aesthetic on the platform. For example, @theramblingredhead is an influencer who has grown drastically over the last year. Her feed is specifically curated to show interior design and her family. She is most commonly known for her consistency in posting to her stories and because of it, she has doubled her following in the last year.
1. Post frequently - posting every day will give the Instagram algorithm a heads up that you are always online and ready to put content out.
2. Create a similar aesthetic for all of your content - using the same filter for your posts and posting similar content will allow Instagram to distribute your posts to people who are interested in interacting with that content.
3. Interact consistently - Like the posts you see, comment on your followers (and strangers) posts, message people from their stories - the list goes on! There are so many ways to interact with the world on social media, so be prepared to utilize those tools! It shows the algorithm that you care about other people's content, and therefore people should see and care about yours!
4. Use your stories - update everyone on the process of your work, show them you like to have fun, and very importantly - encourage them to engage and interact with your stories through stickers, polls, and questions!
5. IGTV - Use IGTV to show longer processes of what you do. It's important to utilize every aspect and tool that Instagram offers you because this signals to the algorithm that you are a seasoned Instagrammer. And boosting your IGTV posts by previewing it on your feed is another great way to increase engagement.
Facebook News Feed Algorithm History: 2019 Update. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Lexiecarbone. (2019, October 22). This is How The Instagram Algorithm Works in 2019. Retrieved from
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Instagram launches 'try it on' AR feature. (2019, October 7). Retrieved from