The algorithms of the biggest social media platforms are constantly changing. As the priorities of these companies shift, the strategies of content creators will need to as well.
Marketers need to be constantly aware of the changes to remain on the feeds, 'for you' pages and discover pages of their customers. But without being specific about the platforms you chose, this can be a real time-waster.
As of January 2022, there aretotal social media users across all platforms. And with those nearly 4B people bouncing across 6 social platforms on average, you've got to keep your finger on the algorithmic pulse.
But it's all well and good to say you'll keep on top of the TikTok algorithm, but if you're a decades-old life insurance firm, it might not be the best place for you. Although, I'm sure Gen Z love stuff like that.
So, instead of getting out the Tarot cards and having a good old guess at the algorithms, as marketers have done in the past, I've collated a list of the biggest and baddest algorithms out there. But before you jump in headfirst, consider if this algorithm will ever work for you, or whether you'll be constantly fighting an uphill battle. Let's jump in.
Instagram: Works For Content Creators
Instagram is the perfect place for a marketer with a visual and video-focused strategy. It also is perfect if you rely on influencers for your publicity, from macro to micro.
Adam Mosseri said in a video posted to Twitter.
The changes to the Instagram algorithm and platform have been in response to the continued growth of TikTok, which finds its base in younger American users. In the UK, Instagram remains the third most-visited social network, but globally TikTok has the most downloads than any other app.
Unsurprisingly, the Kardashian can got involved. Kylie Jenner posted a widely shared story on Instagram, calling on the service to asking for the return to friend-focused content.
The influence of this family on social platforms can't be understated. In 2018 a single tweet from Kylie asking "" wiped $1.3bn from the market cap of the social network. This suggested that the new redesign the company had rolled out hadn't worked, forcing the company to reverse the changes only a few weeks later.
The Explore Page
The most important signals in the case of the explore feature tend to be:
- Information about the post. It's all about how popular a post seems to be. This tends to be seen in how quickly people are liking, commenting and sharing. It's even more important in this case, than with the Feed.
- The user's history of interacting with the person who has posted. This provides an idea of how interested the user will be in their content.
- Activity. Again, a user's likes, comments, and saves.
- Information on the person who has posted. Who has interacted with them, how many times they've been interacted with, etc.
Other ranking signals
Tiktok: Works For Brand Awareness
For marketers with a young-skewing audience, TikTok might be the way to go. The platform is shaping the way other companies approach their algorithms and features, so worth understanding.
The enviable 'For You' page developed by the platform is perfect for brand awareness and creates a natural and relaxed way of appearing before customers. It allows brands to utilise the benefits of influencer familiarity and relatability while cutting out the middle man.
The TikTok 'For You' page is unique to each and every user, making it perfect for personalisation and targeting. In fact, because it is reactive to a user's behaviour, the videos they see will change over time based on their viewing preferences and even their state of mind.
This is how they describe their algorithm:
“A stream of videos curated to your interests, making it easy to find content and creators you love … powered by a recommendation system that delivers content to each user that is likely to be of interest to that particular user.”
So, they key ranking signals for the TikTok algorithm include:
Number one: user interactions. The TikTok algorithm bases recommendations on a user's interactions with content on the site. This can include accounts they follow, creators they've hidden, comments posted, videos shared on the app, and content they've created themselves.
Number two: video information. While user interaction signals are based on how they interact with other users, video information signals are based on the content they seek out on the Discover tab.
Number three: device and account settings. These are the settings the platform uses to optimise performance. They're based on one-time setting choices rather than real-time engagements, so they tend not to have much influence on what users see. These can include language preference, type of mobile device, and country setting.
LinkedIn: Works For Thought Leadership and Community
The social media managers should consider LinkedIn if they're willing to put the time and effort in to post and build a loyal community. is this: consistency, regularity, and consistency. And consistency. So, content creators and
You can have a limited number of posts, a low level of engagement, but if you post regularly, with no holidays, the LinkedIn algorithm will favour this Posts can sometimes even be penalised for appearing at the exact same time every day.
This might mean posting high-quality content frequently, at irregular intervals, including the weekend.
Most of all, content is ranked and displayed based on your , how users have engaged before, and what else is being posted.
How Does The LinkedIn Algorithm Work?
So, What Type of Content Does the Algorithm Prioritise?
- Content from users who you've engaged with in the past
- Users who post consistently
- Users who get large amounts of engagement
- Lengthy comments, over a high volume of reactions
- Native content, such as text posts, images with text, videos with text
- Users you're connected with
- Comments, over reactions, over shares
- Posts with hashtags with more than three hashtags, but less than 10.
- Short, succinct video clips, over long ones.
- Content from business pages
- Videos are no longer prioritised over text-only or photo-based posts. This is a newer change - videos used to go straight to the top, but this is no longer true.
Facebook: Works For Social Commerce and Customer Service
Facebook is almost old school nowadays. But if you have a base there, it's important to understand the algorithm changes. Where the algorithm and platform work best is as an advertising, social commerce, and customer service platform, over community building.
So, consumers turn to Facebook for brand information and quick communication. Instead of contacting a customer service email or hotline, they might turn to direct messages.
According to Facebook, customers say that being able to message a business makes them feel more confident about the brand. This is a timely and personal way to connect with a business and aligns the brand with a more 'social' world over a business one.
But how do you make the algorithm work for you?
- First, Facebook takes every post and scores it on predetermined ranking signals.
- Secondly, it discards posts a user is unlikely to interact with.
- Thirdly, it runs a "more powerful neural network" over the remaining posts, to score them in a personalised way.
- Fourthly, it arranges a good mix of media types and sources so a user has a variety of content to look through.
Facebook is also attempting a similar re-birth. Recently, Mark Zuckerberg announced a revival of the "chronological feed" in the main Facebook app, alongside a newly algorithmic "home" tab, in an attempt to copy TikTok's popular "For You" page.
” Zuckerberg said in a post announcing the change.
But these changes often have the feeling of a middle-aged dad wearing a Billie Eilish t-shirt to keep up with the kids. It might be identifying the elements of TikTok which work, but directly picking them up and sticking them onto Facebook, and onto Facebook's audience, isn't a guaranteed success.
All this stems from Steven's ability to understand community. He acknowledges and analyses existing groups, where they live online, and how they interact and grow. And community has never been more important than now.
When he started, it was all about building public communities, building followers. The big shift over the last ten years has now moved from the building of public followers on Facebook, to dark social private communities. Brands that understand this, and try to capture this opportunity today, will own the future of social media, according to Steven.
But what does this mean?
People are choosing privacy, people are choosing anonymity. That’s a macro shift, he says. There's a move from the days where every message between friends was posted on their wall, for the world to see. Brands need to understand this shift, and develop strategies that keep this development in mind, of private, close communities.
He continues on the move away from ‘old’ social media. When he launches his new business this week, he doesn’t plan on a Facebook page, nor an Instagram page. Instead, he wants to focus on these bespoke, inward-facing communities, utilised so efficiently by Web 3.0 and Blockchain spaces.
But Steven isn’t just looking forward, he’s looking backwards.
Email has gotten more important in the last three or four years, than it was 4-10 years ago. When social reach was reduced, marketers took communications into their own hands. A link between the more decentralised social approach of Discord and Telegram, possibly.