The only thing that changes faster than our new technology are social media rules and algorithms. If you spend any time on Facebook or Instagram in particular, you may recall seeing posts from some of your favorite influencers or brands letting you know about algorithm changes and what you can do to avoid missing any of their posts.
If your reach has decreased on any of your social platforms, it may just be an issue of whether or not you are paying attention to the changes in the algorithms. For example, Facebook used to give favor to brands and their messaging and ideas, but recently they have made changes to favor posts that communicate “meaningful interactions.”
Knowing this information makes an enormous difference as you plan out your editorial calendars and write content for your blogs and social posts. So while we are aware that this blog will technically go out of date as the algorithms change, we hope it helps you as you plan today. Be confident that you can always check back in the future as we update details according to algorithm changes.
What is an algorithm?
Before we dive into the breakdown of each social network, let’s just take a moment to review what an “algorithm” is. Some of us haven’t used this work since high school math, but looks like our teachers were correct: we will be using what we learned here in the real world.
An algorithm is a “process or set of rules to be followed in calculation or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.” So, in reference to this blog and conversation???, each social network has a process or set of rules that need to be followed in order for content to be pushed out or shared with the largest possible network. Another thing to note is the descriptor “by a computer” because this requires that our word choice must have value in the situation. A computer will pick up on specific keywords or phrases that have been flagged into its system; if a post is following the rules, yet doesn’t convey that it is following its rules through their word choice, then the computer will never know it.
Knowing how algorithms work are paramount to your social media marketing plans so that consumers and fans actually see the posts that you are putting your time, energy and budget into. As with Facebook, each social media platform “favors” certain types of posts, media, and timing at a given moment, and while they are usually up front about these algorithmic changes, it will still take some trial and error to find a good groove for your brand.
The Current State of the Social Platform Algorithms
Here is a brief breakdown regarding the current state of social media across the different social platforms:
- Newsfeed focuses on meaningful interactions
- Why? To put more emphasis on posts from friends and family and content that generates conversation.
- Td Tip: Ask a question to strike up a conversation with your fans and tag others when applicable.
- Pushes posts based on:
- Why? To show the best , most relevant content to the most people
- Td Tip: Use hashtags to boost relevancy to your posts, and tag other instagram accounts as applicable.
- Tweets ranked by time posted and relevance to user
- Why? To show users the most relevant and most current content in their feed
- Td Tip: Post tweets multiple times throughout the day to make sure all time zones are seeing your content.
- Content ranked by engagement and connection strength
- Why? To showcase strong business content
- Td Tip: Post your articles to LinkedIN groups to garner reach and engagement.
While these algorithm rules may seem small, they sure are mighty. Remember, a good, integrated social strategy is much more than simply posting the right thing at the right time. A successful social strategy is made up of full integrated content marketing campaigns that include content calendars, SEO, blogging, and definitely, social media analytics.