Social media algorithms
So let’s talk about algorithms. Social media algorithms to be more accurate. Algorithms are designed for the sole purpose of keeping you within the platform as long as possible. As long as you keep scrolling and interacting in that particular social media platform the more efficient the algorithm is.
Social media algorithms control your feed, from friends’ pet posts to covid-19 pandemic news. They study your preferences, learn your behaviour and provide you with the type of content that keeps you within the platform.
You might wonder then, what’s the point of keeping me plugged in? Remember these platforms host advertisements, and ads generate revenues. To put things in perspective let’s run some numbers. Say there are 5 million YouTube viewers in Sudan, each spends one hour per day parsing through videos. During this hour they will get to see 10 paid ads, so a total of 50 million ads per hour. Suppose one ad generates one dollar (actual rates are much lower though). So 50 million ads per hour amount to 50 million dollars per one hour!
Bamboozled yet? That’s why social media algorithms are really good at keeping you addicted. Not only this but these ads are tailored to each user. What is played on your screen is quite different from what the next person to you views.
Popular social media algorithms
Let’s start with Instagram. Instagram loves predictability, and loads of content. Simply put; for every piece of content you upload, Instagram shares it with a fraction of your followers, say 5%, and waits for one hour for example. If the content received sizable engagement it shows it to a larger follower fraction. The algorithm keeps increasing the audience fraction until it stabilizes. If the engagement is superb it starts by boosting the post via hashtags and discover tabs.
There are also some hacks that can boost your Instagram post. It’s a simple process. Start by preparing a very good piece of content and don’t forget the hashtags and location. Publish it as a story and send it to a couple of friends. Ask your friends to like the post, comment and save the post. Then you like their comments, re-comment and like your own comment. Each one of these little actions will boost your post and will tell Instagram to show it to more audaiance.
However, these little hacks do not compensate for the quality of your content. Remember that quality always comes first. The hacks are just minor boosts to show them to larger audiences.
Another tip is that Instagram loves users who use all the tools. Use pictures, videos, stories, carosales and reels. The more you use these tools and switch it up the more Instagram algorithms will love your account.
Remain consistent with the timing of your posts, Instagram loves predictability.
Moving on to Facebook. Facebook’s favorite type of content is surprisingly videos. Yet FB algorithms prefer over 3 minutes videos. So if you want your video to go viral on FB, keep it above 3 min.
The last platform that we need to discuss is linkedIn. Right off the bat, LinkedIn always prefers text over visual content. So, keep your content text oriented.
LinkedIn has the funniest algorithms, as they frequently show outdated posts in users’ newsfeed. One possible explanation runs as follows: post engagement peaks and drops to a long tail. Sometimes there can be some smaller peaks in these long tails and LinkedIn explores these minor peaks by re-showing those peaks in newsfeeds.
In conclusion, social media algorithms are complex beasts. However, let that not deter you from optimizing their effectiveness to let your content
go viral. And always keep in mind that a great piece of content is the primary source of your engagement.