An algorithm is essentially defined as a set or rules or processes used to solve a problem or work towards an end result. In terms of social media, an algorithm is a process with which each user’s posts are filtered and shared with others based upon a number of factors such as their online behavior, interests and profile interactions. Algorithms are important because they determine whether or not your posts reach the top of your follower’s newsfeeds.
Social media algorithms can be quite a difficult topic to grasp especially when platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are continuously making changes to how user’s posts are viewed. This can be equally frustrating for business owners and marketers as having your content visible isn’t as simple as it used to be. Previously, posts were shared to users in chronological order so timing your posts was a top priority. Nowadays, the algorithms are based upon a number of factors and will vary depending on each platform. Although they are undeniably inconvenient at times, learning the ins and outs of each social media platform’s algorithmic approach will greatly benefit your organic reach.
THE FACEBOOK ALGORITHM
Being one of the most popular marketing platforms, Facebook is an ideal space for businesses to reach out to potential customers or clients. However, recently Facebook has made it harder than ever for businesses to reach people organically. This is due to newsfeed changes which mean Facebook users are more prone to seeing content from family and friends as opposed to businesses. Facebook essentially prioritizes posts which are from profiles you frequently interact with, or posts which have a large number of reactions or comments and video content.
Some tips for mastering Facebook’s algorithm include sharing your businesses content on your own personal account, frequently interacting with your account followers or friends, encouraging others to share your content and utilise video content as much as possible. Also, ensure your business page is set to public so you are still visible to those who don’t follow your page. Boosting posts and Facebook ads aren’t organic, but are highly beneficial for business and do guarantee audience reach.
THE INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM
The Instagram algorithm has received much criticism over the past year especially from social media influencers and business owners who rely solely on the platform to operate. Timing of posts was always one of the main features of the Instagram algorithm in the past. It still is important; however Instagram also prioritises other features such as profiles users frequently engage with, the popularity of posts (including likes and shares) and hashtags each user follows. It can be very tricky for posts to be seen by users if they are not frequently interacting with their followers.
If you want your posts to reach more of your followers organically, interact with your followers on a regular basis. By commenting, liking and sharing their content, in return Instagram will prioritise your content. Utilise hashtags, and use as many as you can (Instagram allows up to 30) based on a number of categories such as location and hashtags relevant to your content and industry. Post consistently and at times where your followers or target audience are most active. If your account is set to a business profile you are able to see this in your insights tab. Finally, share your content on your story highlights. Although they do last for only 24 hours, this is an additional way to share your content with your followers and can track who has viewed it.
THE LINKEDIN ALGORITHM
LinkedIn is potentially the most popular social media platform for B2B marketing. Quite similarly to Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn prioritises a number of factors in their algorithm. When sharing content on LinkedIn, it’s important to keep it professional and ensure it provides value for its audience. LinkedIn will favor content from profiles which you have interacted with previously as well as posts with high levels of engagement (shares, likes, comments etc.) and does not particularly favor content from business pages.
In order to obtain good organic reach on LinkedIn, share your content on your business pages as well as your own personal accounts. This will enhance the likelihood of your posts being viewed and provides a more personal approach. Posting various formats of content such as text, image and video will also boost your visibility. And finally, as with all social media platforms, be consistent!
Social media algorithms aren’t necessarily the easiest concept to grasp and will take some time to understand entirely. The best step you can take is to stay updated with each social media marketing platform and make note of any changes which occur to their algorithms. The more you familiarise yourself with each platform, the greater you will become at mastering the algorithms!