Understanding the Social Media Algorithm: A Guide for Small Businesses
If you follow our blog (as you should) you will know that Social Media has become an integral part of Digital Marketing for Small Businesses. With billions of users worldwide, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (or whatever it's called now) offer unparalleled opportunities for reaching a vast audience.
However, as Social Media has evolved, so too have the algorithms that determine what content users see. These algorithms can be confusing even to brilliant experts like us, so for many Small Business Owners juggling a million other things, it can seem impossible. That’s why we’re here to unlock all of their juicy secrets…
The Social Media Algorithm Demystified
Social Media algorithms are complex mathematical formulas that dictate the order in which content appears on a user's feed. Don’t worry, we promise we aren’t about to get into maths, that’s the last thing we want.
While the exact details of these algorithms are closely guarded secrets (we promise we’re working on getting the keys), there are several elements that influence how content is ranked, such as the following.
Engagement: The most significant factor in algorithmic ranking is user engagement. Posts with high numbers of likes, comments, shares, and clicks are favoured by algorithms as these metrics indicate that the content is resonating with the audience. Nobody ever said that Social Media wasn’t a popularity contest.
Relevance: Algorithms analyse a user's past behaviour, such as the content they've engaged with and the accounts they follow, to determine what's most relevant to them. This is one of the many reasons why tailoring your content to your target audience is crucial. So make sure to be a good student and do your homework to figure out what kind of content your audience likes!
Content Type: Different types of content are weighted differently by Social Media algorithms. For example, video content tends to perform well because it keeps users on the platform longer, which results in more advertising money for the companies, because we all know that all those tech billionaires need more money lining their pockets.
Timing: Algorithms also consider when content is posted, so you need to post your content during the hours when your target audience is most active to increase its visibility. If, for whatever reason, your audience is most active at 2 in the morning, don’t stay up for them, just schedule your posts. You’re a Small Business Owner, we know you’re getting no sleep as it is.
Strategies for Small Businesses
Understanding Social Media algorithms is one thing, leveraging them to your advantage is another. Luckily, you’ve got your trusty Digital Marketing experts here with some amazing strategies for Small Businesses.
Quality Content: The foundation of a successful Social Media account is high-quality, engaging content. Invest in well crafted posts, images, and videos that resonate with your audience, otherwise you may as well throw your content out the window.
Consistency: Regular posting is essential to keep your audience engaged and maintain algorithmic favour. Create a content calendar to ensure a steady stream of posts to ensure that you and the algorithm remain best buddies.
Engagement: Actively engage with your audience by responding to comments and messages promptly. Encourage discussions and interactions on your posts, not just to show off your amazing personality, but to boost your content to the top.
Use Analytics: Most Social Media platforms provide analytics tools that can help you track your content and account performance. Use these insights to refine your content strategy to make it absolutely irresistible.
Stay Informed: Like everything in life, Social Media algorithms are not static, they evolve over time (like we all do as we age). Make sure to stay informed about any changes so you can adapt your strategy accordingly.
Social Media algorithms may seem like a daunting puzzle, but with our expert insights and tips you’ll be completing that jigsaw in no time!
By creating valuable, engaging content and staying informed about algorithm changes, you can effectively navigate the Social Media algorithms and skyrocket your business into a viral success.