A start-up’s guide to performing well on social media.
What Are Social Media Algorithms?
An algorithm is a combination of metrics, tailored to suit the user experience. Each social media platform has its own algorithm. Algorithms determine which content appears in a user’s feed by relevance rather than publish date. Where it uses several signals to determine what content users should see next. The algorithms consider things such as your location, time spent on the site, who you follow and interact with on the network, the type of device you’re viewing from (desktop/mobile), and more. Before algorithms were introduced, most social media feeds presented content in chronological order. This meant that the newest post was at the top and older posts appeared below it. As a result of the introduction, social media algorithms take charge of determining the content you see based on your behaviour online.
An algorithm does the hard work of sifting through all content by using its own set of criteria to determine whether a post is relevant or not, and disregards any posts that are considered low-quality. However, algorithms are constantly evolving, meaning content creators and marketers must contend with the ever-changing algorithm.
How Do Social Media Algorithms Work
Whilst social media algorithms are founded on expert specialised machines, involving learning and data science. How it works requires both trial and error procedures and understanding and listening to the different algorithms of each platform.
With over one billion users worldwide, the photo and video sharing networking service; Instagram have in the past been open and transparent surrounding the function of its algorithm. Instagram can be a difficult site to work out, especially with such a wide range of content such as reels and Instagram stories. According to Instagram, there are six ranking factors the site’s algorithm takes into consideration:
- Interest: who and what you have liked in the past.
- Relationship: content you have regularly liked, direct messages and accounts you have searched for.
- Timeliness: When you post, how new is your content.
- Frequency: How often you open the app. The less you open the app, Instagram will show you content it thinks you will enjoy more.
- Following: The more accounts you are following, the better selection the algorithm has!
- Session Time: The more you use the social networking app.
Instagram introduced the ability to switch from an algorithmic to a chronological feed in 2022. Whilst this is a critical change, it is still imperative to understand how the algorithm affects the content you see, especially if you want to broaden your audience.
Facebook the online social networking site is arguably the biggest social media site, with over 2.91 Billion users worldwide. As a result, it is reasonable to say that Facebook’s algorithm is a dark mystery. Despite its changeable signals, Facebook has consistently discussed four key elements that connect the feed and how high it will appear on someone’s feed.
- Relationship: How often do you react and comment on the content creator’s posts? This could include, a person, a group, a business or a public figure.
- Content type: What type of material do you interact with the most, e.g photo or video?
- Popularity: How many people have liked, commented and reacted to it? Is this post being shared
- Recency: The newer the post, the more likely it will be placed higher on people’s feeds.
- The Facebook algorithm appears to be ever-changing to contend with the wide range of opinions, discussions and culture, with the idea to connect its users with the most useful and significant piece of content for them.
The newer social media app, Tiktok, possesses over one billion active users, worldwide. The video-sharing app’s mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. Due to this, TikTok reflects preferences unique to each user. This is where the algorithm is imperative, similar to Instagram and Facebook, engagement is essential. Tiktok has discussed four foundations for its algorithm:
- User Interactions: Your engagement to other posts, liked videos, accounts followed and what posts you have commented on.
- Video information: The length of the video, the captions (The character count has recently increased), the sounds and what different filters have been used.
- Hashtags: Using relevant hashtags that contain keywords, important to remember SEO.
- Device and account settings: Components that are tracked to optimise app performance, like language preference, country setting and device type
The TikTok algorithm is great for outreaching to different audiences both national and international. Despite being the newer of the social networking apps, it appears to have a huge movement behind it and an easier algorithm to work with due to trending sounds and filters, making it a great app to create content on.
Despite being a professional platform, the networking site still has an algorithm similar to the other platforms. This is to ensure that valuable and relevant content is shown to the right audience. Due to the app being filled with like-minded industry people, the engagement rate on the app is high. Yet, Linkedln’s algorithm focuses on four main attributes:
- Text-focused Content: Useful, helpful and detailed information on the content.
- Timeliness: Finding the best time to post for your audience, for the most engagement.
- Hashtags: Use more than five hashtags to make your content more traceable.
- Comments: Engaging conversations within your comments
Engagement seems to be one of the main aspects of the site’s algorithm, which means that if you’re able to engage people, then you’ll get better results. Connecting with business-minded people not just expands your network but could possibly get the algorithm’s eye.
Why Is Being Consistent Important?
Being consistent is a fundamental principle for any social media platform’s algorithm. The key to success is consistency in every aspect of your social media, not only for the algorithm but for your audience too. Consistency is one of the most important factors for any business and social media marketing, especially when it comes to the content which as a result affects the algorithm. It’s important to keep things fresh and interesting, but certain elements need to remain the same from day to day or week to week.
Having a consistent brand is imperative for any business, and this needs to be communicated on your social media. Brand recognition is essential in building a loyal and trustworthy following in social media, so it’s crucial to have a consistent brand online.
Consistent branding is important for any business. But what does that mean, exactly? And how can you make sure your brand is the same across all of your social media platforms?
Well, first of all: consistency means you should have the same look, feel and tone on each platform. Your Instagram bio should match your Facebook page bio. Your Twitter header should match your LinkedIn header. And so on and so forth.
But wait—doesn’t this make things boring? No! If anything, it makes things more exciting! You can be as creative as you want to be within the parameters of your brand’s guidelines, which allow you to show off your personality and make people feel like they know you better and humanise your brand.
Algorithms recognise that having a consistent user experience is important because users want to experience consistent results.
Consistent Posting & Content
Finding harmony for consistent posting can be a difficult hurdle to overcome. The balance isn’t between the type of content but the amount and timings. Adopting a social media strategy that maintains consistent posting and content is extremely important.
There are many types of content you can post, but you need to post frequently enough so that your audience feels connected with your brand and engaged in your content. Your audience should also feel like they are receiving updates in a timely manner. You don’t want them to feel as if they’ve been abandoned by your brand for months at a time.
The content you post should feel consistent with your brand personality, otherwise, it could be a quick and effective way to lose followers and consumers. The algorithm loves both consistent posting and consistent content. Frequent posting of content can result in more posts being seen by social media algorithms. Yet, the frequency with which you post is as important as the quality of your content. If you publish a lot of low-quality content, it will be filtered out by social media algorithms.
Your profile aesthetics come hand-in-hand with consistent branding and consistent content. Many studies show that people are naturally drawn to visually appealing features offline and online. As a result, so does the algorithm.
Consistent aesthetics create cohesion and coherence in your photos and posts, which has an even bigger impact on consumers.
Aesthetic consistency is important for many reasons: it helps you build trust with your audience, establish credibility and authority, and increase engagement.
The most popular brands have mastered the art of consistency. They’ve found ways to make their brand look cohesive while still staying true to their core values and mission statement.
How To Be Consistent On Social Media
Social media consistency is key. You want your followers to know that they can rely on your content, whether it’s a picture of your dog on Instagram or a witty Tweet about politics. But it’s not always easy to get into the habit of posting consistently—especially with all the other things vying for our attention. So how do you make sure you’re giving your audience what they need?
Engagement is a fundamental factor for most platforms’ algorithms. The more likes, comments and shares from your audience develop into a sort of reward from the algorithm. An easy way to engage with audiences by asking questions to increase your chances of comments and interactions.
Hashtags make your content more searchable and as a result, that post’s reach by connecting it to a certain category that people follow or explore. It is important to use specific and relevant hashtags that contain keywords. Regarding social algorithms, hashtags designate a category to your content to make it much more likely to appear to users and audiences interested in that particular hashtag.
Tagging other accounts and users produce a type of invitation for people to engage with your content and are a great way to build brand awareness and create a sense of community.
When you tag other accounts and users, it creates an invitation for them to engage with your content. It also helps you build relationships with those accounts, which can help you make connections in the future.
Create a content calendar
Creating a content calendar and a content strategy allows you as a creator not to be overwhelmed with the number of posts needed to stay consistent. You can plan out your content in advance, and create it all at once instead of trying to fit everything into one post. This is especially helpful in making sure that your content is of high quality rather than rushing low and poor-quality content out there, for the sake of consistency. The algorithm won’t pick this up and neither will your audience.
Listen to your audience
Listen to your audience for what works best for your social media. The algorithm loves engagement, the more engagement you get on your posts, the higher they will rank in the feeds of your followers, and the more likely they are to engage with them. So if your audience is responding more enthusiastically to one post than another, that might be an indicator that you’re using the right type of content—or even just the right approach—for that audience and platform.
What Else Impacts Social Media Algorithms
Social media algorithms are constantly changing and evolving, so what will impact you and your business now, might not impact it in a year. It’s not just about posting consistently, though that is essential.
The most important thing to remember is that social media algorithms are built on a foundation of engagement. Likes, comments and shares are what helps catch the eye of the algorithm. The more engaged your audience is, the more likely the algorithm will push your content.
In addition to engagement, it is crucial to make sure you have good content – This is obvious but often overlooked by businesses who focus on quantity over quality when it comes to content creation. You don’t want just any old post on Facebook or Twitter, you want something worth sharing with friends and family members! Create content for you, not just to be viral.
Furthermore, post regularly but don’t overdo it – If you post too much then people won’t see your posts because they’re buried under all the other content being posted by others. You need to post regularly enough so people can see what’s new without posting too often so people start ignoring your posts altogether!
Lastly, use hashtags – Hashtags help people find your business when they’re looking for specific information. People use hashtags on social media to connect with others who share their interests, so use hashtags to connect with your audience.
Consistent posting on social networks can help you achieve better results than if you post sporadically. When you’re constantly publishing content, you should keep the frequency of the scheduled posts consistent.
It will help your brand gain traction by increasing its reach and driving people towards your content. After all, when you post consistently, alongside encouraging engagement and creating high-quality content on social media, your audience can have a better understanding of what your brand represents.