How Do Social Media Algorithms Work?
Posted on 2nd November 2021 at 13:44
In a perfect world, social media algorithms would place content straight into the hands of those most likely to enjoy or interact with it.
Unfortunately, algorithms don’t always get it right. It can be frustrating as a business owner to spend time on social media content that isn’t being seen.
Social media algorithms can seem completely mystifying. However, you can increase the likelihood that algorithms will show your content to relevant users. If you’re looking to grow your online presence or just make sure your social media content is visible to customers, then read on to find out what algorithms are and how to work with them, not against them.
Social media algorithms are like a helpful staff member at a supermarket pointing customers in the right direction according to what they’re looking for.
So much content is posted every single day that websites simply can’t show users absolutely everything. Algorithms help filter out content that the user is unlikely to be interested in. The problem is trying to ‘convince’ the algorithms that your content is relevant.
Websites typically don’t release information about how their particular algorithm works, but there are some general practices that you can follow to increase the chances of your content being seen.
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To continue the supermarket analogy, hashtags are like the signs in the supermarket that show customers what you have on offer.
By tagging your content correctly, you can not only help users find your content when they search for it, but also increase the chances of algorithms suggesting your content to those who might be interested. If you’re not sure which hashtags to use, try looking at accounts that are similar to yours (or in the same industry) and seeing which hashtags they are using. Similarly, try and find out which hashtags are trending.
Make sure that you don’t list hundreds of irrelevant hashtags. This will annoy users who are looking for something specific and your content could get flagged as spam.
If you want to make sure your social media account is the first thing users see when they log on, then you need to encourage people to engage with your content.
Engagement can mean anything from liking or commenting to sharing and reposting. Some algorithms are sophisticated enough to know when engagement isn’t genuine – for example, some accounts post giveaways that require users to leave numerous comments to enter. These tactics may work occasionally but definitely shouldn’t be overused.
Adding questions to the end of your posts can be a good way of organically encouraging people to engage with your content. Other methods can involve polls or discussion topics.
Across all platforms, videos seem to be crucial. It’s not exactly known why, but many social media algorithms seem to highly favor video content.
Some platforms have autoplay features that start playing videos when someone scrolls by – not only does this mean that they are more likely to start watching it but this often counts as a ‘view’ even if they didn’t finish watching.
If you notice that your social media accounts seem stale, try uploading a video or two and take note of whether users engage or not.
Consistency is key in beating social media algorithms; most platforms are more likely to display your posts in others’ feeds if you post consistently. Most algorithms ‘reward’ accounts where the posts are frequent and consistent.
If you find that you often forget to post to your social media, perhaps try using an online scheduling tool that allows you to write future posts in advance.
Consider timings when you post. Most social media users spend time browsing in the evenings, but lunchtimes can be a popular time too.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by social media or are not sure how to fit posting into your day, ExecProVA are here to help.
Our team of VAs are highly experienced in handling a number of tasks, including social media management. Our VAs work seamlessly with your existing team to make sure that your content is quality and that your social media schedule is taken care of.
Get in touch today by visiting the ‘contact’ section of our website for a free, no-obligation chat.
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