How to get the most out of social media algorithms

Here’s your guide to social media algorithms

Social media algorithms can be complicated, but once you build an understanding you can use them for your own benefit. Algorithms decide the visibility of your content, and without good visibility the content won’t reach the people you need to see your posts.  

What are social media algorithms?  

Social media algorithms are a way of sorting posts in a users’ feed based on relevancy rather than post time’. Before algorithms most social media platforms would arrange posts in a chronological order, which is still an option on Twitter and Facebook. However, for the most part, social media platforms will decide what is most relevant to the user, for example by showing posts by people you interact with the most or posts with similar tags to other posts you may have interacted with. Technology designed by social media platforms will track your activity and based on that it will recommend videos, posts and other content. 

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Why do social media algorithms exist? 

Nowadays, there is such a large number of content on the internet being posted every second. If algorithms didn’t exist it wouldn’t be possible for platforms to sift through the irrelevant, poor quality content, essentially it’s trying to give the user the best possible user experience.   

However, there is also an idea that social media platforms use their algorithms to boost paid adverts as this would sway brands into paying the platforms to boost their content. Though, this has not been confirmed. 

So, being in the know when it comes to algorithms can only do good when trying to boost your content’s visibility.

How do social media algorithms work? 

To understand how social media algorithms you’re not expected to work like a machine or understand data science (although, this could help)! Platforms do state how their algorithms work, albeit in a very vague way. Figuring out how to outsmart them requires seemingly endless, but necessary experimentation.  

Engagement is key. The more likes, comments and shares your posts receive, the more relevant the algorithms view your content, therefore placing it higher up in people’s feeds. Asking your followers questions and getting their responses in the comments section is a great way to increase your engagement figures. Call-to-action posts will encourage interaction from those who view your posts.  

Tagging other users in your posts is also a good way to increase engagement, with hopes in mind that whoever you tag will interact and share your content. However, you must ensure you tag relevant accounts. Promotions and giveaways which involve post interaction will also positively impact your engagement.  

Hashtags. We all know what they are, we’ve all used them at some point and now users can follow hashtags rather than actual accounts, meaning a bigger reach. You can check out hashtag generator sites to help you choose the best hashtags for wide ranging audiences.  

Also, the best times to post on social media can vary day to day so researching the right time to post on each platform in order to reach the biggest and most interactive audience will impact your engagement massively. For example, if you post at 3am on a Monday night, no one is going to see or engage with your content.  

Finally, posting frequently with a variety of media types (e.g videos, images, GIFs, etc.) will benefit you greatly. Being seen by social media platforms as an ‘active’ user means they will increase your visibility, and many platforms have said in the past that a variety of different content, especially video, will boost your content.  

Experiment with your social media, and figure out what works best for your engagement, whether that is interactivity, time scheduling, or even frequency. If you’re looking for more help in this area, let us know! Here at Click Start, we’re more than happy to give you a helping hand.

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