How to build a successful Facebook strategy in 2021

Ah algorithms, how we love and loathe them in equal measure. We say love, we only love them when we master them. Luckily for you, we’ve done the legwork to help you understand what you need to do to get on top of Facebook’s latest changes and build a successful strategy for 2021.

What's changed?

You probably noticed Facebook started looking a little different last year, thanks to something called “New Facebook”. Along with New Facebook came a whole host of changes to the way posts are displayed in the news feed – and a bit of a headache for business pages.

Business pages are reporting a 50% drop in engagement since the changes were introduced, and we’ve noticed dips for our own clients too. When you consider that organic reach has been declining since 2014 and now only averages around 1.6-2%, it’s never been harder for businesses to perform on Facebook. 

There are a few reasons for this:

  1. Facebook is no longer showing pages or posts your friends have liked in your newsfeed. Remember how Facebook used to tell you if one of your friends had liked or commented on a page or post it thought you’d find it interesting? For privacy reasons it’s not doing that anymore. Instead, users must actively share posts for others to see them. This means an inevitable reduction in reach.
  2. Only one post is being shown above the fold on newsfeeds. One. Post. Out of an average 1,500 that could appear (whittled down to around 300 that Facebook thinks you actually want to see). In practice, this means that if your post isn’t in the top five to ten posts, most people won’t scroll long enough to see it. Take a look at the picture of our mobile newsfeed on the right – notice how only the first three lines of one post is visible? This makes competition for those top spots even fiercer.
  3. Facebook is continuing to shift priority to friends/family content. That means posts your Facebook friends have actively shared, rather than ones from businesses.

Let’s back up here, what exactly is an algorithm?

All social media platforms operate using something called an algorithm, mysterious code which determines who sees what posts and when. Instagram is the easiest place to see this in action.

Head to your Discover page and have a look at the content you’re being shown. If you’re a regular user of the app, it’s likely to be a collection of posts about topics you’ve shown an interest in, based on the content you’ve engaged with on the app. For example, if you’re in the middle of re-decorating your house and have been checking out home accounts for inspiration, it’s probably going to feature pictures of beautiful interiors.

Algorithms are built on ranking signals – key factors which determine how well the platform thinks a post is going perform in a user’s newsfeed. Social platforms never release full details of their algorithms, but we can work out some of the ranking signals and use it to build a strategy.

For Facebook, we know the following ranking signals are important:

  • How long a page has been active
  • Percentage of followers engaging with the page
  • How consistently the page posts
  • How actively the page engages with followers
  • Amount of time users spend on stories

With these ranking signals in mind, here are our recommendations for improving your page’s Facebook reach in 2021:

  • Encourage organic engagement – without using engagement bait! Posts which include words like “like, comment and share” to force engagement are penalised in Facebook’s algorithm. Instead, you need to be aiming for inspiring, funny and interesting content people will want to share.
  • Avoid outbound links. Facebook wants users to stay on its platform for as long as possible, it doesn’t like it when pages try and direct them away to outside sites.
  • Respond to messages and comments within 24 hours. Even if it’s just a quick “thank you”.
  • Share video content. Facebook loves video – the longer the better. Aim for at least three minutes to see the best results.
  • Make use of the Page Insights tool. Half the battle is posting at the right time. Make use of this tool to check when your followers are online and the best times to share content.
  • Incorporate low-cost ads. With organic reach maxing out at 2% (if you’re doing everything right), putting budget behind your content is essential. It might seem counterintuitive to pay to improve your organic reach, but ads will help boost engagement and follower numbers which will improve your organic numbers too.

We’re experts in creating social content that hits the right people, at the right time. Get in touch on or 0191 543 88 79 to find out how we can help you build a killer algorithm-beating social strategy.