Social Media and the ever-changing algorithm

It’s no secret that social media has become a vital tool over the past few years when it comes to marketing your business or simply keeping up with friends and family.

Over the 10 year period from 2005 to 2015, the number of adults using social media rose from just 7% to 69%. Facebook alone has 2.2 billion monthly users, whilst Instagram boasts an impressive 800 million and Twitter follows with 330 million users. It has been estimated that by 2019, there will be 2.77 billion social media users worldwide. With such a large number of the population utilising these platforms on a daily basis, social media is a powerful means for businesses to target and connect with its audiences on a more meaningful and interactive level – no matter their size or industry.

Not only does social media allow you to grow public awareness of your brand, it can also provide valuable information about your existing and potential customers when using relevant campaigns and carefully monitoring the results. Did you know that 71% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand if they have had a positive experience with it on social media? With such high stakes resting on your online image, it’s vital to ensure you present your business in its best light.

We often speak to business owners who tell us that while they try and remain active on social media, they just don’t seem to be seeing the results or engagement they’re looking for – and this is where utilising the social media algorithm comes in to play.

What exactly is the social media algorithm?

The ever-changing algorithms that dominate the online world can make it difficult to get your content seen. In other words, you may notice your business’ posts are being pushed to the bottom of the feed and are rarely placed directly in front of your customers.

The algorithms are a complicated set of equations and formulas which monitor social statistics such as frequency of posts and ongoing engagement, which result in social media content being displayed on a platform’s feed based on relevance to the user as opposed to in chronological order. Facebook, for example, prioritises posts from family and friends which is why you will notice you mostly see this type of content at the top of your Facebook feed. Whilst this makes for a more enjoyable experience as a user, it can create difficulties for businesses in terms of getting their content noticed and can sometimes be disheartening when a company has taken the time to create content that doesn’t make a splash.

How do I use the algorithms to ensure my content gets seen by the right people?

First and foremost, it’s essential to stay up to date with each platform’s algorithms and the type of content they are currently prioritising. These formulas can change regularly and vary from site to site and platform to platform.

For example, whilst Facebook ranks personal content as the most important, it also favours informative, entertaining and authentic posts, which is highly useful information to bear in mind when it comes to planning a well-thought out social media strategy.

User engagement is another factor social media platforms consider when arranging their posts, and the higher the engagement of a post is, the more people it will be shown to. To encourage this, it is important to create original and relevant content that social media users will want to interact with – this can be anything from topical news stories within your industry to behind the scenes videos of your business.

The algorithms can be certainly confusing at the best of times and with ever-changing equations, it can be difficult to keep up.

Want to know more about the formulas at hand or the best platform on which to place your business? Give us a call on 0151 909 2231 and one of our resident social media experts will be happy to help.

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