As the world progresses, new technological advancement and trends come up every day and it is safe to say that social media has become one of the most powerful platforms used today. Therefore understanding social media and how social media algorithm work is imperative for small business owners.
Social media algorithm is what most social media platforms run on today. As a business looking to utilize social media as a tool to establish your brand, it is important to understand social media and how its algorithm work.
Using Facebook, Instagram and TikTok as a case study, these platforms are one of the most popular social media platforms with over a billion people using them every day. Most businesses are optimising the use of their platforms to generate leads and increase their brand presence today.
TikTok , one of the biggest emerging social media platform today, is a video-sharing social network and with more and millions of people using their platform today, businesses are adopting its use in their marketing campaigns.
TikTok’s algorithm uses a number of factors such as the videos users likes or shares, comments posted, the accounts they follow, geolocation, hashtags and sounds being used. Basically, the algorithm collects these data based on user interactions on its platform.
When a new user signs up, TikTok asks the user to choose their interests from a variety of categories such as food, pets or travel for example. Popular contents from these categories are then shown to the new user’s feed. For users who do not select particular videos, popular videos with varying contents are shown in the user’s feed. With user’s likes, comments, amount of time spent on viewing a video and replays, the algorithm then uses this data to recommend contents based on these interactions.
According to the structure of social media, users with larger follower base are most likely to get more views, TikTok’s new algorithm promises that this will not affect the recommendations pushed to users. Although, a content not related to a user’s preference can be shown just to promote diversity in the user’s feed.
As a business, TikTok helps your business in a way by showing you what’s trending through your selected category and you can then do a research on the most popular feeds in your niche that users subscribe to through market trends and tailor your contents to that.
FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM
A social media platform owned by Facebook, is an image and video-based platform. Towards the end of 2019, Facebook’s average post reach was within the 2.2% range and this means that for brands, the average post reach is about 5.5% of their page followers.
The Facebook algorithm is one of the determining factors that affects post reach and therefore, businesses have to be able to understand this algorithm to stay ahead of their competitors. Facebook algorithm simply decides which posts users sees how frequently its being shown.
Facebook algorithm collects data from users past behaviours, for example, posts users share with others, if users like a post from work or friends and loved ones, the frequency a user watch live TVs or groups a user follows. The algorithm uses three major factors to determine users preference:
Who its users interact with the most,
The popularity of a post
The type of post; if it’s an image, a link or a video.
As of March 2019, Facebook, added a new tool to their platform called the “why am I seeing this post?” which helps users to understand why they are seeing certain posts in their feed. It helps users tell Facebook what’s interesting to them and what’s not and if they want to see posts from certain people or pages.
Using Facebook/ Instagram for you has become easier, as Facebook has made its platform user friendly and added a range of tools for businesses to take advantage of. Strategies a business can use to work with Facebook algorithm in 2020;
Familiarize yourself with your audience
You can do this by starting conversations with users you have noticed is interested in your services and engage them on topics related. It is important that you are sincere and relatable in your conversations. Facebook ranks pages by how well users interact with them, like and share their contents.
Strategize your Posts
its is necessary that you post contents when you know most of your users would be online at that moment. You can determine this by taking note of what time of day most of your users are active. You can also check your Facebook insights if you are using Facebook for your business. Doing this increases the likelihood of your post being seen by your audience.
Post high-quality Images and Videos
Facebook ranks posts with high quality images and videos better. For video posts, use videos that are original and not from other sources. Videos that interest users and are not longer than 3 minutes is best. Facebook algorithm ranks posts based on their originality, duration and intent.
Post frequently and steadily
Post contents often as this tell Facebook that your contents are relevant to your audience. This is especially if you are using Instagram for your business. The probability of your feed being shown on the explore page for other users is determined by how consistent you are with uploading contents. Also, how often they engage with it.
With the world taking privacy and safety seriously, social media is changing and conforming their algorithm. This is to protect its users and provide them with the best user experience. It is important to stay up to date with how each algorithm works and how you can use that as a leverage for your business. Strategizing and adapting to the change is key as this can give tremendous results when it comes to using them in your marketing campaigns.