Ah, the marvellous and mystical digital being that is ‘The Algorithm’ – the bane of every social media manager’s life! From one month to the next, we’re never quite sure which way Al will be swinging. Will he be favouring short-form video content? Or is perishable content, a la Instagram and Facebook Stories, her flavour of the month!
I guess you could say social media algorithms are a bit like a lover. Pay them enough care and attention, and they’ll show you plenty of love in return. But neglect them for too long, and you’ll have to work hard to rebuild the trust. Lovers and algorithms!? Basically, leave your platform dormant for too long and it will take a great deal of love and attention to rekindle the flames of engagement!
Of course, just when you think you’ve ‘beaten the algorithm’ with some tricks and tactics, the ever-changing little rascal decides to change the game, and a whole new set of rules are suddenly in place without prior warning. Par example, it used to be that you should avoid ‘please share’ or ‘please comment’ on Facebook. Nowadays the folks at Meta– have been known to encourage you to actively foster engagement on their platforms by explicitly asking for your audiences to engage.
One thing’s for sure, none of the social media channels like you taking people away from their platform, so if your content regularly includes ‘visit the website’ or ‘click here’ then you might want to reconsider your strategy!
Some other tips I’ve picked up over the years include:
- Stay on top of social media news by subscribing to marketing emails from experts in the field.
- Join online forums and Facebook groups to pick up tips and tricks for ‘beating the algorithm’ from other social media managers.
- Innovate your content, constantly! If Instagram launches a new Stories function or sticker, adopt early and figure out how you can incorporate it into your content strategy.
- Algorithms like routine and consistency, so put a regular posting schedule in place and stick to it!
- Keep the focus on engagement. What we do know, quite confidently, is that the more your audiences and communities engage with your content, the more the algorithm will push your content across feeds.
Now that I’m agency-side, following several years in-house, I get to work across social strategies for a variety of clients and campaigns. The one constant is that we must keep on top of ever-evolving algorithms and their erratic behaviour. A challenging lover, it may be, but who doesn’t love a challenge!
Our in-house social media team here at PHA has years of experience with consumer and corporate campaigns off all shapes and sizes. We may not have the secret code for cracking the algorithm, but we certainly know how to keep it on its toes!
If you would be interested to hear more about how we could help with your social media strategy, get in touch today.