As marketers, it’s our job to stay on top of the ever-evolving social media algorithms that make social media tick. Without knowing the ins and outs of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, how can we optimize our content to ensure the best possible results for our clients, and for ourselves?
What’s a social media algorithm, you ask? Social media algorithms are a way of sorting posts based on their relevance to users, instead of by post time. This allows social networks to prioritize which content their users see based on the likelihood that they’ll engage with a post. It’s great for users because they see more of the content they’re interested in, but for brands, it can lead to challenges.
Don’t have time to do the research required to be in the know about the current state of algorithms, and how to use them to your advantage? No worries, we’ve got you covered.
Facebook’s algorithm is meant to promote meaningful interactions and conversation, and puts more emphasis on posts from friends and family. As a brand or business, your focus should be on increasing engagement, not reach or views. Facebook also prefers users to post native content, instead of linking to another webpage, because their goal is to keep people on Facebook for as long as possible.
- Upload your video content directly onto the platform in lieu of sharing a link to YouTube to increase views and reach.
- Respond promptly to messages and comments to keep conversations going, and with it, your perceived relevance to the platform.
Instagram’s algorithm has shifted away from a timeline-style feed, and is all about popularity, relevancy, and the relationship between your account and those you follow. This ensures that the people who regularly engage with your content will see it, and the more engagement your posts receive, the more credible you are in the eyes of Instagram’s algorithm.
- @mention or tag other relevant accounts to increase engagement.
- Dig deep to understand your audience and what they want to see from your page to cultivate a loyal, engaged group of followers.
On LinkedIn, content is ranked by engagement and connection strength, to ensure that the strongest business content is showcased. However, LinkedIn is unique because this platform actually has a staff member (yes, a real human being, believe it or not) involved in choosing which posts are served to a wider audience based on engagement and post performance.
- Tailor your content to align with trends as those often get stronger recognition from the platform.
- Share relevant industry news to create conversation amongst your followers.
Twitter is one of the only platforms that still ranks tweets by time posted, in addition to user relevance. This allows users to see the most current and relevant content in their feeds. However, like other platforms, engagement and brand credibility are still essential to the success of your account. Tweets that receive good engagement will be served first, and will reach more of your desired audience. This kind of relevance can also help your account get recommended to users as they look for more accounts to follow.
- Promote engagement by interacting with your followers. When they mention your account, be sure to like or retweet their post to show them you appreciate their interest, and facilitate more of it.
- Use relevant hashtags to join in on conversations about news relevant to your industry.
So, how can we create content for each of these platforms with algorithms in mind to make sure that our posts reach our desired audience?
The solution is more simple than you might think. No matter what platform you’re posting on, focus on creating content that will encourage engagement and conversation. Include CTA’s in your posts when appropriate, engage with your followers, and share native content as much as possible. Also, because platforms like Twitter and Facebook take your page’s credibility into account, be sure to have all of your page information filled out, and post consistently.
Now that you have the information you need, get out there and start creating content that will drive results!
Amy is a Social Media Coordinator with a degree in Communications from Marist and experience managing social media for a small healthcare company. When she isn’t fine-tuning content calendars or crafting the next viral social media post you can find her hanging with her Labradoodles or enjoying some fresh pasta!