Understanding Social Media Algorithms

Algorithms are often seen as a nebulous concept online. They’re often seen as a vague concept that can be challenging to understand and even hard to keep up with as they change constantly. We covered search algorithms in a recent blog, but another essential algorithm you likely encounter is on your favorite social media platforms.

When it comes to social media, the platform algorithm significantly impacts whether your followers see your posts or not. Understanding and creating content for social media algorithms can help ensure your page is shown to new accounts. However, it’s important to understand that the algorithm also determines which of your followers will see each post.

What’s an algorithm?

In short, social media algorithms determine who sees which post when. To dig in a little deeper, social media algorithms organize posts by content, engagement, and intention.

When most social media platforms started, feeds were organized chronologically, meaning you saw whatever was newest first, then older posts below that.

Today, social media platforms have discovered they need to be more strategic in order to get users to spend as much time as possible on their site. To do this, there are a few different factors considered each time someone opens the app to ensure they see content they like right away.

What does this mean for me?

Just having followers isn’t enough today — if your post doesn’t align with what the algorithm thinks those profiles will like, it won’t be shown to them. The good news is that if you’re able to create content the algorithm sees as valuable, your posts will be shown to users who don’t yet follow you. By understanding the algorithm and creating high-quality content, you can grow your audience exponentially.

How can I create content that the algorithm will support?

There are a few different ways you can ensure your content will be supported by the algorithm. Below are general guidelines for success on social media. Over the coming weeks, we’ll dig deeper into best practices for each platform.

Encourage Engagement

The more likes, comments, shares, and saves your posts get, the more likely they are to be shown further. Remember, social media platforms want users to stay on their site, so the more actions individuals take on your posts, the better.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags help platforms categorize your content. By using relevant hashtags, you make it easier for the algorithm to understand what your post is about and determine who to share it with.

Tag Other Profiles

When you mention other users and profiles, they’re notified and can interact right away. Do this mindfully and only when relevant — you don’t want to spam accounts or you’ll have the opposite effect. If the profiles you tag interact with your post, it’s more likely that your content will be shown to their followers as well.

Try Out New Formats

Many social media platforms continue to roll out new features and support for different formats. For example, Reels have blown up on Instagram in the past year. Platforms want people to use their new features and reward users for doing so. As much as possible, try to be an early adopter.

Create Valuable Content

This should go without saying, but it’s often forgotten when it comes to the world of social media marketing. If you can create incredible content that provides value to viewers, you’ll have the best chance of being distributed widely.

Think about it: if someone loves your post, they’re going to react to it, share it, and maybe even comment on it. Consider how you can create incredible content that individuals want to share with their friends and audience.

How can I cheat the algorithm?

The best way to get your content in front of as many people as possible is by following the above steps. However, many people are looking for quick hacks, so we’ll include those here as well. If you’re just getting started building your audience on social media, you can consider implementing these strategies in tandem with those above.

Engage Quickly

A common strategy implemented by businesses is to encourage their employees to go interact with a social media post as soon as it’s published. When many people engage with a post very quickly after it’s live, the algorithm assumes it must be good.

Save & Share Your Own Posts

Another strategy you can try is saving and sharing your own posts. This is another way to artificially increase engagement numbers without asking your employees to do any heavy lifting.

How can I create incredible social media posts?

The best way to grow your social media is by experimenting with different strategies, post types, and platforms to find what works best for you and your audience. Stay up to date on the latest social media trends in order to stay relevant.

Missinglettr makes it easy to ensure that you have an active queue of social media posts ready to go live. With the Drip Campaigns feature, you can develop a year’s worth of social media posts for each new article you publish. Curate makes it easy to include content from external sources that your audience will surely care about.

By using Missinglettr tools to fill out the majority of your social media calendar, you’re left with more time to experiment and try new strategies for the rest of your posts. Get started for free to see how much time you can save.

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