Every day, we are influenced by an algorithm in the decisions and choices we make. They are ultimately there to try to help everyone to only see the content they are interested in. However, they can have an opposite effect by hiding content from users you follow because their content might not meet the criteria.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated in early 2019 her issues with algorithms which are not only seen in social media but control a variety of technical outcomes, stating: “Algorithms are still made by human beings… if you don’t fix the bias, then you are just automating the bias.” Because of this and their constant changing, an algorithm is a social media marketer’s worst nightmare.
As user behaviour is a constantly changing pattern, having an understanding and maintenance on how algorithms are changing is crucial for your social strategy.
What are the Recent Changes to Facebook and Instagram?
Facebook has been making major changes to their algorithms since February 2012, making it increasingly difficult for brands on the platform (and then again in 2016).
Recently, they went public with their announcement of another algorithm change as Facebook prioritised content from family and friends of users for “meaningful interactions”, causing a further drop in the organic reach of content to below 2%.
There are four main factors that affect how your content will perform on the platform:
This is the total stock of all content available to display on the News Feed.
This is all the information that Facebook can gather about a piece of content. For example, the type, the publisher, its age, purpose, and more.
Predictions represent the behaviour of a user and how likely they are predicted to have a positive interaction with a content piece.
This is the final number awarded to a piece of content based on the likelihood the user will respond positively to it.
Being aware that Facebook is looking to share more “meaningful” content, now is the time to reevaluate your social media content strategy. This won’t beat the algorithm but will help you build better content to potential meet its standards.
Rumours of an algorithm change spread across the community as businesses and creators found a drop in their organic reach and feedback from their existing following of not seeing their content when posted.
Instagram then announced a change in its algorithm by stating:
“To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.
“The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post. As we begin, we’re focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.”
“This change makes it much harder for small businesses and start-ups starting on the platform to get their content in front of users and to build their following. Organic reach is affected by this change hinting towards Instagram pushing businesses to pay for their content to reach their audience. Communications consultant Ste Davies said regarding the changes: “The golden age for engagement is over and they will be ramping up monetisation from now on.”
There are ways to battle against the Instagram algorithm changes to help get your content on your audience’s device screens.
Some of these are:
- Consistent posting: This will improve the signal of your profile that you are a high-quality account and your content is more likely to reach your audience.
- Engage with your audience: Similar to the Facebook algorithm update, high engagement with your following such as likes or comments signifies to Instagram that you fall into a “family and friends” category to that user beating the algorithm.
- Maintain a consistent theme: Are your audience regularly liking, commenting and saving your content? This signifies they enjoy the aesthetic of your account and you should maintain this consistent theme to appeal to them and stay above the algorithm.
- Know your best time to post: The new Instagram algorithm pays attention to when you post your content. By highlighting the best time to post for your account and when most of your audience is online, you have a better chance of increasing your reach, likes and followers.
Taking time to figure out exactly how the different algorithms of these social platform works will help your chances of “beating” it and drive more engagement on your posts.
Here at ProfileTree, we recognise that companies need help. As a team familiar with the nuances of social media and digital marketing strategy, we are equipped to promote your brand and aid in its development.
Contact us today to see some of our solutions to create social media growth in your company today.