How to Increase Facebook Engagement In 2021 With 8 Algorithm Hacks That Actually Work

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Engagement is any action someone takes on your Facebook post including likes, comments, clicks, shares, or video views. Every one of those actions becomes part of your engagement.

Hack #1: Boosting Your Posts Is Necessary Now

Allow me to tell you what no one wants to admit – you have to boost your post on Facebook these days.

There are 2 billion people on Facebook right now, as you read this, and everyone is competing for the same five seconds of attention on the news feed. 

Do you know what Facebook priorities on the news feed these days? Posts with friends and family over business content. That means, even if you have followers on your Facebook business page, you’re still not going to reach most of them.

And if you’re starting from nothing, meaning you have low followers and engagement, you’re not going to get a lot of attention by just posting great content. The simple truth is that Facebook isn’t hurting for content these days. Rather, it’s the businesses that are hurting for attention.

Here’s the good news. You don’t need to spend a lot of money boosting your posts. In fact, we’ve had some ServerWise clients who have very successfully boosted posts for just $5.

Five bucks may not seem like enough to do much of anything on Facebook, but they ended up performing extremely well in terms of engagement and followers.

But remember that five dollars served an extra side purpose as well. By boosting a post on Facebook, you also increase your organic reach by increasing your engagement. Simply put, if you boost your post and everyone loves it, Facebook is more likely to start showing your unpaid posts to them next time.

Now, if your $5 post gets shared on Facebook by users, you get a hefty viral boost. The Facebook algorithm will automatically see you as similar to family and friends and prioritize your content in the future.

Consider this – if you spend $10 a week boosting two Facebook posts, you’re going to see higher engagement and the algorithm will give your free content higher priority. That’s a heavy return on investment for just ten bucks.

Hack #2: Create Content That Is Worthy of Engagement

Paying even $5 for a post that isn’t engaging won’t help you. Have you noticed what isn’t filling up your news feed? Posts you don’t want, don’t care about, and have no relevancy to anything you have ever liked or shared. The Facebook algorithm works hard to put content in front of you that you’ll find engaging.

Now and then a ServerWise client who is not getting much engagement on Facebook will ask us to look over their posts and give our analysis. Every time their low engagement is because they post about how awesome their business is but nothing else. They wonder why only their family and friends are following them on Facebook.

Facebook prioritizes posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions with people, so you need to post content that pertains to the interests and goals of your audience.

Remember, first and foremost, you’re competing for attention on Facebook. That often means posting highly relevant content that is engaging but may not directly promote your business. Once you have attention and a following on a consistent basis, you can start promoting, but until then you need to post content that grabs people’s attention.

You need a hook that piques people’s interest with a message that is authentic and relevant. And you need to integrate that message with eye-catching images or videos that make people want to stop scrolling and digest your content, or preferably to even share your content.

Hack #3: Get People Talking

Do you prefer diet or regular soda?

How often do you dust your home?

What social media platform do you use most often – Facebook, Instagram or Twitter?

Oftentimes, the answers don’t matter. What matter is that you spark a conversation. Posts that ask questions in a comparison poll or even a short quiz are easy to answer, take only a few seconds, and people love interacting with them.

You’ll notice the questions are easy to answer. In fact, you can choose one of two options. It’s much different from asking an open-ended question with limitless possible answers, such as “What is your favorite soda?” The more effort and thought on your audience’s part, the easier it is for them to keep scrolling and ignore your post.

The trick here is that you must be relevant to your audience and business. A dog groomer might do a quick comparison photo of two different grooming styles and ask their audience which look they prefer. A personal trainer may ask his or her audience to choose between photos of three pieces of gym equipment.

If you want to increase your Facebook engagement, you need to get people talking.

Hack #4: Interact With Your Followers

No one likes sending someone a text message only to have it left unread. Likewise, you don’t want to leave the people who were engaging with your business feeling unread. You must interact with them. Your interactions and responses will contribute to your posts’ overall engagement, and it might also encourage further dialogue and discussion, thus leading to more engagement on your Facebook post.

Don’t sit back and quietly enjoy the likes, shares, and comments. Respond, interact and communicate. Be an active participant with your Facebook audience if you want to keep them and build authentic relationships. Remember, consumers are far more likely to purchase from someone they feel they know and trust.

Hack #5: Never Fish For Engagement

Facebook hates posts that ask for engagement. Posts that start with “comment below” and “share this” simply because you want engagement on your post used to work well, but is now frowned upon. After the news feed exploded with these types of messages and Facebook users became desensitized and eventually annoyed by them, the social giant changed its algorithm, so now you’ll be discreetly penalized for doing it.

Don’t hurt your reach by asking for engagement, instead make your content so irresistible that it’s hard for people not to hit that like button or share.

Hack #6: Post Frequently

How much engagement can you get if you don’t post anything at all. None. The same applies to your post frequency. You’re likely to get more engagement from posting five times per week than you would if you post once per week.

Make sure that you’re posting frequently and consistently, but also make sure you’re not posting garbage. If you’re posting irrelevant content just to post something, you’ll end up losing followers and engagement.

Craft your content carefully and choose a schedule that allows you to post quality as consistently as possible.

Hack #7: Use Native Content To Keep People On Facebook

Why would Facebook show your post in the news feed if it takes people off Facebook? Their entire business model is based on people spending as much time on their platform as possible.

With that said you’re likely not going to increase your engagement by including links in every single post or promoting your YouTube page, for example.  In fact, it’s been proven that native content performs best in the Facebook algorithm. Native content is content that is created solely for the purpose of the platform it is consumed on.

For example, if you have video content, you should upload your video directly into Facebook and share it on their platform. By keeping all engagement on Facebook, you’ll receive far more engagement and a bump in their algorithm. If instead you were to include a link to your YouTube channel, their biggest competitor, you’re not likely to see much engagement.

So instead of linking to an article on your blog or sharing a video from YouTube, take the major lessons of that article and split it up into a series of social media posts that can be digested on Facebook. If you show Facebook that you’re working hard to keep people on their platform, their algorithm will reward you.

Hack #8: Use Short Engaging Videos

Facebook wants to keep people on their platform if possible. This allows them to show more ads and make more money. Videos perform better than any other type of media content on Facebook in terms of engagement. Surprisingly, that holds true even if you use stock video clips to supplement your posts.

If your video is a short, engaging video that holds attention and keeps a person on Facebook longer, you’re going to make the Facebook algorithm happy. And we all know the age-old saying: If the Facebook algorithm ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

Take ten minutes right now and head over to your Facebook business page and see how quickly you can do a few of the hacks I’ve included in this article. The sooner you act, the faster your Facebook engagement will increase, and increased engagement inevitably translates to higher sales.

Picture of J. Fleischmann
J. Fleischmann
James is a content strategist, sites manager and copywriter for ServerWise. He's written 51 e-books for clients resulting in over 600,000 new leads as a ghostwriter. James lives in Texas with three dogs and has a Longhorn as a neighbor.