Hack Your Way Around Social Media Algorithms

28-Oct-2019 03:47 PM Social Media Marketing

With Halloween around the corner, let’s talk about the scariest things for a digital marketer – social media algorithms.

Going back, there was once a time when social media did not have any algorithms and posts were displayed to people depending on when they were posted. As social media began to pick up and more brands began investing in it, there was no way all the posts could be cramped into a person’s feed, and thus came social media algorithms. Once the algorithms came into place, posts began losing out on views and likes, and engagement rates came down extensively. So why did the posts that got all the eyeballs before, drop to getting just a few after the introduction of algorithms?

Social media algorithm is how the platform pushes content to their consumers based on how relevant the content is to a particular consumer. The relevance of content depends on a lot of factors, and it keeps changing every now and then, trying to make the internet experience more and more personalized. This would mean that a piece of content on these platforms would be shown to fewer consumers than before.

Why Change Algorithms?


Well, it is hardly ever a person sticks to one set of views. People change perspectives, habits, and opinions when they come across bits and pieces of information here and there, and this changes the type of content they consume.

Plus, there’s too much content out there, and platforms need to sort out posts before they throw the trash out.

So, algorithms keep changing based on the characteristics of the content that is being consumed by individuals. For example, the characteristics of an Instagram post would be the number of likes or number of comments.

Let’s see how you can get past these algorithms and increase your reach. Or in other words, let’s get to hacking the latest algorithms.


INSTAGRAM

- Your posts will be ranked on your consumer’s feed according to how interesting they find it, and this interest is calculated by past behavior. So all you need to do is find out which posts of yours receive most interactions and put up posts similar to those.

- On Instagram, recency matters most of the time. You must keep track of when your users are most active and post in those time frames to get more views and interactions. Keep in mind that a lot of other people do keep track of this and post at the same time, so you will be competing with them for a space on your consumer’s feed. If your post is excessively popular, it will show up on your consumer’s feed no matter what time you posted on.

- Instagram takes into consideration the relationships between you and the consumers. You have to keep the interaction levels up on your posts to be featured on their feed. You must comment on your followers’ posts as well.

FACEBOOK

- Consistency is key. You need to be regular with your Facebook posts. The relevance of your content on Facebook is calculated by how many times you post in a week or a month. Keep posting content every week, maybe even twice a week. There are schedulers that can help you do so.

- Before putting up any commercial posts, like a Facebook live or a watch party, go around commenting and liking your consumers or potential viewers’ posts. This tweaks your algorithm and pushes your content higher up on the feed for your consumers.

- Facebook does not like anyone leaving their platform and so they do not encourage posts that have links that redirect the audience outside of Facebook. At one point, they banned using links in descriptions. Now they’re a little more lenient by allowing you to put up links but reducing your reach when you do. So if you do want to put up links, post them in the comments section and ask your followers to check the comment section in the description. The Facebook algorithm only scans the descriptions.

LINKEDIN

- Specificity is important. LinkedIn algorithms don’t push posts that are vague and general. It has to be about a niche topic. For example, instead of posting about designing, it is better to post on brochure designing or website graphic designing. The audience is seen to engage more with specific content on LinkedIn.

- Ask questions in your posts and generate interaction. Conversations and comments give you points and you rank higher in your readers’ feed.

- Use hashtags. Pete Davies, the senior director of product management at LinkedIn says two to three hashtags are rated good by the algorithm. And again, do not use general hashtags. Specificity is important in hashtags too.

On LinkedIn, the format of your post does not matter. Facebook and Instagram prioritize video formats over images, but LinkedIn does not favor any formats.

At LinkedIn, they have a saying, “People you know, talking about things you care about.” And this does apply to all platforms across. Your posts are displayed according to how relevant they are. The type of posts that received traction today, might not be the type of posts that receive attention a few months after.

Any digital marketing team has to be updated at all times on how better to increase their reach and as algorithms try to limit it, knowing and understanding algorithms are a priority. The key is to tweak your content to increase interaction, keeping in mind the algorithm updates.