Dennis Yu

Will the real Facebook newsfeed algorithm please stand up?

It’s the trendy topic to either bash on Facebook for declining reach or to pretend to “crack the code” on the newsfeed.

They’re often dressed in pseudo-math, like the pretend science of rapid weight loss supplements and get-rich-quick schemes. They neglect the realities of good nutrition, exercise, and sleep. People want shortcuts. But having a great product, posting killer content, and taking care of customers is hard to quantify.

Here are the real factors behind the newsfeed, which mathematically tie your fan base to the number of stories your page generates:

Try this on your own page and you’ll see the numbers tie.

Fans: self-explanatory. However, more fans don’t automatically guarantee more reach and engagement. Definitely not proportionally. There is a clear relationship between a declining engagement rate and fan base, largely due to higher usage of contests, a more diffuse fan base (the initial fans are always more hard-core), gimmicky content to attract alike (click LIKE if you enjoy dancing), and un-targeted paid media.

Organic newsfeed coverage: What’s your daily reach divided by your fan base? You can get this from your post-level insights CSV file, which you download from your page. 5-10% is average, but it varies by industry, post frequency, fan page size, and external factors (if you’re a sports team and won the game, more people will participate, independent of your social media efforts). You can be well over 100% when you reach more folks than you have fans.

Viral factor: Divide viral reach by organic reach. “Passion pages” get a factor of 5 or more, meaning that more impressions come from people interacting than the initial reach of the page posting directly. The viral factor, as you’d imagine, has the highest correlation with total impressions and engagement. Note that reach x frequency = impressions.

Paid factor: It’s no secret that you can promote posts to drive more engagement, which also creates a residual effect on future organic posts.

Engagement rate: Engaged users divided by reach. So of the folks who saw your content, how many clicked on at least one item? Most of these interactions will be photo views and navigational clicks. Passion pages often get 10% here. What’s yours?

Applause ratio: Of those who engaged, how many were storytellers? In other words, what proportion of these users liked, shared, or commented? Stories generate exposure in the newsfeeds of friends, while other types of engagement (called consumptions) do not.

Sharing ratio: How many stories per storyteller? You’d think that the ratio would be higher on viral posts, but it’s actually lower. When a post has enough power to penetrate to friends of friends of friends, the people it reaches the outer edges, who rarely get content from your page, are less likely to engage. This reduces your weighted average.

Here is the model applied to a professional sports team that has over a million fans:

You can see their paid factor is 100%, meaning that they’re not running ads.

Their sharing ratio is about 1.1, which is actually normal.

The viral factor is dramatically higher at the end of the season during playoffs. So be careful to separate out the impact of what the social team is doing vs the franchise’s own efforts. You can benchmark all teams in the league to create a monthly baseline.


What can’t be modeled out, but is critically important is how much love your customers have for you. Are you taking good care of them, as opposed to just reducing your average response time?

Are you creating quality engagement, as opposed to posting more silly cat photos on a Friday afternoon? Don’t mistake quantity for quality. Even NPS (Net Promoter Score) can be gamed.

Now go download your insights file and take a hard look at your data. Or you can hire me to help you do it!

Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads. He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations. You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel. You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.
I'm a member of Blitzmetrics Academy and a friend of Dennis to boot. Not only is Dennis highly intelligent and full of great and creative ideas, he's also incredibly generous with both his knowledge and his time. Success couldn't come to a better guy. Thank you for all that you do for the world, Dennis! 🙏

Michael Pacheco


Thanks 🙏 for being shining light in this industry. Love what your building for works overseas too network for jobs so innovative. Dennis helped me navigate having bad experiences with marketing agencies and doing dollar a day marketing which has helped my personal brand tremendously. Highly recommend.

Eric Skeldon

Founder at Kingdom Broker

Working with Dennis has been a delightful experience. After meeting him in 2015 I got to collaborate with him on countless occasions. His understanding for state-of-the-art marketing, his implementation, and his leadership put him into the top 0.01% of marketers and mentors.

Jan Koch

Ihr kompetenter Partner für innovative KI-Strategien.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dennis for my podcast in 2021 and since then we have maintained a friendship that grows with each interaction. I have seen Dennis' devotion to his friends and clients firsthand, and our conversations often result in us talking about how we can provide more value to the people around us. He is someone whom I can ask questions on a technical level, and look to on a personal level. If you have any hesitancy about hiring him, get over yourself and do it!

Isaac Mashman

Help scaling personal brands.

Geez, where do I start recommending Dennis? First, he is an absolutely brilliant marketer who understands where marketing is today and where it's going tomorrow. He also has an incredible passion for the International Worker community. The lessons he has taught me from his almost 20 years of experience hiring International Workers have been immense. Most importantly though. Dennis Yu is someone who wants the absolute best for you and is willing to tell you the truth. Dennis sat with me at a point in my business where I was floundering but did not want to admit it. He asked some very straight forward questions to get me to admit my issues, highlighted the issues, and then helped me create a roadmap to success.

Atiba de Souza

International Keynote Speaker | Video Content Superman | Superconnector |

Dennis, which I had the pleasure of working with is one of the most giving, honest and tell you as it is person I ever know. The knowledge this man has is remarkable and he just gives it out freely. He is not pretentious and always entertain anyone big or small in the industry always willing to help. If you ever get a golden opportunity to work with him or mentored by him say YES!. You will notr regret Dennis, which I had the pleasure of working with is one of the most giving, honest and tell you as it is person I ever know. The knowledge this man has is remarkable and he just gives it out freely. He is not pretentious and always entertain anyone big or small in the industry always willing to help. If you ever get a golden opportunity to work with him or mentored by him say YES!. You will not regret

Nixon Lee

The PR Whisperer

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