It wasn’t that long ago when a lot of platforms ordered your feeds in reverse chronological order, but now there is a huge amount of analytic and mathematical work that goes into making your experience on social media as personable as possible. This analytic and mathematical work results in something called an algorithm, something that decides what posts appear on your timeline.
All of the major social media platforms now use algorithms. However, they tend to use them in different ways. Some exclusively use these bite-size chunks data to order your feed, like Facebook, and some use a combination of algorithms and reverse chronological ordering, like Twitter; but they all use algorithms to some extent.
As much as algorithms help us to see the content we want to see on our personal timelines, it makes it harder to boost engagement on the posts that you publish, which is a real problem when it comes to brand awareness for business pages. Social platforms also have a habit of updating their algorithms, which keeping track of is rather difficult. However, there is a huge amount of information out there that can help you become the algorithm’s favorite.
One-third of time spent online is actually spent watching videos which just proves that video is fast becoming the content to use if you want to get your brand out there. Facebook recognises this and will favor videos over images. By creating and publishing more high-quality videos on your company’s Facebook page, the more likely your brand will be seen. However, this is not the case for other platforms. Instagram does not favor photos over videos or vice versa and will show content depending on the individual topic interest rather than the format that the content comes in.
Not many of us like to be told what to do, and social media platforms are catching onto this. One of this year’s algorithm updates was focused around engagement-baiting, in other terms, telling people to like, share, follow or comment on your posts/page. Using phrases like “comment below” or “Like our page” are considered baiting engagement by most platforms and will put you lower down the algorithm. You can either avoid doing this all together or put text like this within graphics.
There are hundreds of things that affect these algorithms and I’m sure the list will keep going as technology and tracking advances. They play a huge part in how people use social media and they have subsequently decreased organic reach on these platforms. However, by learning about the effects of these pieces of data, we can begin to use these to improve user experience on our company pages.
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