Facebook recently introduced a metric that, I believe, could provide a glimpse into how the algorithm works for organic content – the Distribution Score. Although this metric appeared a couple of years ago for video content within the Creator Studio, it is now visible to page admins alongside other metrics on all posts.
According to Facebook, Distribution Score shows you how each post on your Page is performing on metrics that are important for reaching more people. The higher the score, the better your post will perform in terms of organically appearing within feeds.
What are the most important metrics for a high Distribution Score?
For video content, Average Minutes Watched and 1 Minute Video Views are the most important metrics, followed by Reactions, Comments and Shares. Facebook’s algorithm looks at a point in time after the video is published to compare its performance against your own previous 100 videos.
For photos, texts and links, the most important metrics are Impressions, Reactions, Comments, Shares and Content Clicks.
I analyzed the Distribution Scores of about 70 of our most recent posts that had the scores available. My objective was to find out if there’s a correlation between the metrics that Facebook deems important and the Distribution Scores for our content. Sure enough, my analysis placed Impressions, Reactions and Post Clicks (in this order) as being highly correlated to the Distribution Score. I might add the age-old adage “Correlation is not causation” here, but the correlation I observed was too strong to be ignored. Surprisingly, even though Comments and Shares had a positive correlation with the Distribution Score too, it wasn’t as strong as the other metrics.
How can you use Distribution Score?
Since Distribution Score is measured against a baseline performance of your own previous posts, it is a great indicator of what sort of content works for your audience. Comparisons are content-type specific. For example the photo performance is compared to previous photo performance, and links are compared to your previous link-type posts, etc. This should help you focus on doing more of what’s worked historically for your page.
As I mentioned above, the Distribution Score is found to be highly correlated with some of the engagement metrics – reactions and post clicks. Encouraging engagement on your posts through polls, tags, questions etc. could help boost your Distribution Scores. And for videos – creating engaging content that results in increase in watch times and 1-minute video views should lift the Distribution Scores.
A few years ago, Facebook’s algorithm became all about paid content. Social media marketers and content producers have observed sharp declines in organic reach for their posts since then. But now with the introduction of the Distribution Score metric for all posts, I feel that Facebook is telling us exactly what the audiences want to see from brands. Remember – the higher the score, the more your content will organically appear within feeds across the platform.