We’ve all been there. We write a post that’s taken a lot of thought and effort, based it on a fascinating and current topic, pop it up on every social media platform and…nothing. Nothing happens. No one sees it. And no one likes it.
What a waste! And how come Joe Bloggs’ post is going viral? What did they do differently?
It’s kind of important we find out. Digital marketing can make or break your business success. And nearly every person uses social media, daily. When we say social media we mean Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Whatsapp, Twitch… the list goes on.
Why Do We Have Social Media Algorithms?
With so much content available and constantly being added, social media platform providers need a way of sifting through and sorting it, so that users only see what is considered relevant or interesting to them. This is the algorithm. The same applies to all kinds of content, from simple, organic material to paid social ads.
Social networks use algorithms to sort and prioritise content they think their users want to see based on a number of factors. Great news for digital marketers to play the system and beat the algorithm, right? Not quite.
If the algorithm thinks your content is irrelevant or low quality, it will get lost beneath a stack of higher ranked content. Yet a lot of what we end up seeing isn’t relevant and the algorithm has somehow failed to work as we’d expect. Which is one of the reasons why they’re constantly being updated and improved.
How Do Algorithms Work?
There’s more to social media algorithms than a basic sift and sort. Algorithms consist of a complex mathematical set of rules used to specify how a group of data behaves. The algorithm maintains order and ranks search results and ads.
Understanding how an algorithm works and which content ranks is one thing, but times that by the number of social media platforms available, and then again for every time an algorithm gets updated and it’s easy to get lost!
Algorithms are ruled by a range of factors to curate content, the key elements of which include user engagement history, content relevance and platform-specific metrics. They consider past interactions, such as likes, comments and shares, to predict what content a user might find most appealing. The recency of posts, the type of content and the relationship between users also play significant roles.
As users engage with content, algorithms continuously adapt, refining their predictions to deliver a more tailored and engaging social media experience. Think of social media algorithms as dynamic gatekeepers, shaping the digital landscape to align with individual user preferences and behaviours.
The once infamous chronological feed you’d find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter has given way to content prioritisation based on relevance and perceived interest. This shift demands a strategic approach from users and businesses alike to ensure visibility and engagement. Likes, comments, shares and the frequency of interaction with specific accounts all contribute to shaping what content appears on a user’s feed.
Our Top 5 Tips for Algorithmic Success:
- Quality Content Matters
- Algorithms prioritise high-quality, relevant content. Focus on creating engaging posts that resonate with your audience. Incorporate multimedia elements like images and videos to enhance appeal.
- Consistent Engagement
- Regularly engage with your audience by responding to comments, messages and participating in conversations. Consistent engagement signals to algorithms that your content is valuable and warrants visibility.
- Understand Each Platform
- Each social media platform has its own algorithmic nuances. Stay informed about the many updates and changes on the platforms relevant to your audience. Tailor your content strategy accordingly.
- Strategic Timing
- Post content when your audience is most active. The timing of your posts can impact visibility, and understanding your audience’s online behaviour is key to optimising this aspect.
- Utilise Analytics
- Leverage platform analytics tools to gain insights into audience behaviour. Monitor metrics such as reach, engagement and follower growth to refine your content strategy.
Is There an Easy Way to Master Algorithms?
We’ll be honest… no. There isn’t an easy answer here. But the right thing to do isn’t always the easy option, and understanding and adapting to algorithms is essential for business.
Embrace the opportunity to create meaningful, engaging content that aligns with the preferences of your audience and strategically maximise visibility, foster audience engagement and stay ahead in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
Or, better yet, leave it to the digital marketing experts! The team at Electric Sheep have years of experience in captivating content creation, eye-catching graphic design and data-led strategising. We work with each social media platform on a daily basis and know the latest updates and trends. Let us push your business into the social limelight. Speak to us today.