Today, we’re explaining the ins (and the outs) of the almighty algorithm.
The algorithm is very similar to the popular kid in high school. Show up for it, give it compliments, and do what it likes for the algorithm to be nice to you.
Unfortunately, just like most high school students, the algorithm changes its mind a lot. It’s always updating and evolving. Luckily, as a business owner, you’re intelligent, hard-working and committed to your community, which are all going to help you get noticed by the algorithm.
The social media algorithm’s goal is to keep individual users on the platform as long as possible. The longer a user is on a particular platform (such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest), the less time the user is on other platforms.
Something else to consider: Platforms make money from advertising. The more popular their platforms are and the more consumers are clicking, viewing and buying from ads, the more money they’re making.
Here are 5 ways to help the algorithm favor your content and your account:
1. Grow your community. The more you’re involved and a part of the community online, the stronger and more engaged your community will become. Social media platforms have a goal of creating as strong of a sense of online community as people have offline. If you’re helping them do that, the algorithm can push your account closer to the tops of viewers’ feeds.
2. Focus on engagement. Engagement (such as Comments, Saves, Shares, and Likes) on social media shows the platform that viewers are enjoying your content. Entertaining and educational posts help grow interest and retain attention and, as we know, this is a key indicator the platforms are looking for. If your viewers can turn into commenters, sharers, and savers, the algorithm will notice this and share your content with similar people to the original viewer.
3. Consistency. The more you use a platform, the more the platform can trust that you’ll show up for it and help it reach its goals. The algorithm wouldn’t want to invest in an account that isn’t likely to bring them views, engagement, and consumers, when it can invest in an account that’s committed to growing its audience. We recommend posting to your accounts daily (even several times a day) if possible!
4. New features. Each platform has a hard-working (and likely high-paid) team of people developing its app. This team is dedicated to releasing cool new features that make the platform more appealing to users. If you’re finding and including these features in your posts, the algorithm will likely push your content to a wider audience to help promote its new features!
Want to stay up-to-date with new features? Our Insider members are always getting the latest news and training on new features—plus ideas on how to use them. Learn more about becoming an Insider member here.
5. Use the tools they want to promote. Currently, it appears most platforms are focusing on short form video. If you notice that a platform is favoring one content type over another, that’s a good hint to follow their lead. Want to know which types of posts are performing best on which platforms? Check out our blog post The Best-Performing Posts By Platform For Social Media Marketing.
There are plenty of best practices to get on the social media algorithm’s good side, but don’t get us wrong. There are behaviors to avoid as well.
Here are 4 ways to avoid getting punished by the algorithm:
1. Promoting other platforms. It’s very unlikely that you’ll ever see a Burger King ad on a McDonald’s soft drink cup, and that’s because it would mean one company is endorsing its direct competitor. Promoting other platforms on a competitor’s platform is a no-no. For example, be sure to use a watermark remover app to remove the TikTok logo from your video when reposting a TikTok to Instagram!
2. Don’t always ask viewers to leave the platform. Too many outbound links won’t help the algorithm fall in love with your content. Asking the viewer to “click the link in bio” or “follow the link below” in almost every post tells the algorithm that you aren’t trying to build your community on their platform. You’re trying to direct the audience elsewhere.
3. Engagement baiting. Blatantly asking viewers to Comment and Share your posts are things that social media platforms like Facebook have advised against. Instead, try asking a question to your audience such as, “Which item do you prefer? Let us know!”.
4. Posting inconsistently. Similar to working out, the more you’re actively using a platform, the better results you get. If you stop working out for a few months, you lose some of the progress you’ve made. The algorithm works similarly. It wants to know you’re committed to showing up and growing your community.
Phew! This post should give you a good head start to advance in the algorithm. Remember, the more authentic you are online, the stronger your community will become—and the algorithm likes that!
What I Want You To Take Away From This Blog:
- Grow an engaged community and participate within it.
- Post consistently on your platforms.
- Use new features.
- Use the content types that each platform is promoting.
Okay, over to you…
Do you currently feel like you’re on the good side or the bad side of the social media algorithm? Let us know!
If you feel like you’re on its bad side, fret not! Practicing the above tips will help you grow stronger and stronger in the algorithm!