Social Media Algorithms: 3 Ways to Improve Your Strategyby Anvil on May 9, 2018Digital Marketing
Algorithms, the burly bouncer standing in between you and your audience. While daunting, algorithms aren’t going to squash your social media marketing efforts. It just takes a little know how. Luckily Anvil just so happens to have that know how!
Let’s start with how the algorithms work for 3 major social media platforms and then we’ll move into strategy.
Social Media Marketing Algorithms
The latest update prioritizes posts “that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people”. What is a meaningful interaction according to Facebook you ask? Excellent question. Facebook considers comment activity and interactive posts to be the most meaningful for its users.
While Facebook explicitly states that they will deemphasizes content from “public” sources such as business and brands, that’s no reason to throw in the towel. The more your followers engage with your content, the more you’ll appear in not only their feed but their friends as well. The answer is simple and likely what you wanted to achieve in the first place: create content that speaks to your audience. You want to stop that scroll in its tracks! Worry less about posting at the perfect time with a mediocre content and more about relevance. Make each post worthy of a thumbs-up! Or a heart, or even a mad face, just get folks to engage.
Instagram couldn’t be more aptly named if they tried. March 2018 Instagram went back to its roots with the time-based feed. Turns out users want to know what’s happening, when it’s happening. Take some time to test various posting times to see what gets the best response. Is your audience filled with early birds? Insomniacs? Do they browse social media on their lunch breaks? Getting a sense of that is a fantastic jump off point.
Now just because Instagram favors the timely, that’s no reason to take the quantity over quality position. Engagement is still a factor making the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” true tenfold in this medium. While the feed is time-based, the search feature takes personal activity into account. Maybe you’ve missed some folks but your post engagement could help you get in front of your audience within the search.
Twitter algorithms favor tweets that are relevant to the user. If a user is engaging with a handful of accounts on a regular basis, those are the accounts that will be shown consistently in their feed. If a user has been off the site for a while Twitter will welcome them back with a recommended “in case you missed it” section. This makes it easy for users to stay connected with their favorite accounts without constantly logging on. Even frequent users are greeted with a recommended section to ensure they are getting the most valued content first and foremost. Below both of those sections tweets are shown reverse chronologically order, most recent first.
To complicate the issue, users can opt out of the recommended tweets. Users who have chosen this option are seeing tweets reverse chronically regardless of how little or often they engage with accounts. At this time marketers aren’t able to check how their audience is split. To cover all your bases, make sure you’re posting engaging content at peak, well-spaced times and you’re golden.
3 Ways to Improve Your Strategy
We’ve covered how the social media algorithms work, now let’s talk strategy. On all platforms, engagement is the key to breakthrough algorithms. How to best engage your unique section of the market should always be on your mind when creating posts. Of course, practice makes perfect but here are tips to create engagement.
Ask a Question
You already want to get to know your users, so why not go straight to the source? Your audience is your most valuable asset and potential referral source. They also just so happen to be right there on the other end of the screen waiting to give you their opinion. Use them! In a study by MillennialMarketing.com, 70% of millennials feel a responsibility to share feedback with companies after a good or bad experience and 40% want to participate in co-creation of products and brands. This is a powerful tool to get to know your audience on a different level outside of numbers and analytics, and it boosts engagement. Be curious, it’s a win-win!
This is not to say you should go tagging folks willy-nilly. If there is an organic opportunity to tag someone, or geo-tag a location, take it. If someone is notified that they’ve been tagged they will likely engage with the post, hopefully even share it. Spread the love! By tagging partners, content authors, or even sharing a fans content and tagging them you’re opening up the conversation. With any luck, they will return the favor.
Post a picture of a cute animal with your product.
Just kidding, sort of. Worth a shot anyways, I’d give it a heart!
Monitor Your Analytics
Analytics will help you figure out what is working and what isn’t. With the assistance of analytics, you can begin to establish trends and go on to replicate successes you’ve captured in your social media marketing plan.
It’s that easy and it can be even easier if you reach out to Anvil. Algorithms are bound to change but you can rest easy knowing Anvil will be on top of any changes and ready to advise and implement. Reach out to Anvil today and take your social media game to the next level.