Before you start posting and following trends on social media for the sake of increasing your business’s online presence, it is important to know how social media algorithms work. Without an understanding of this, your social media plans can really take off.
If you really want to understand how social media algorithms work, try doing this and you will see exactly what happens.
- Open a brand new Instagram, Facebook or YouTube account.
- Do not add your friends or sync your contacts.
- The platforms may give you a prompt to choose 3 or 5 topics that interest you.
- You may choose to skip choosing any topics and move ahead.
- Open the explore page. The explore page will give you a dozen of content from different industries ranging from fashion to technology.
- Scroll through naturally – look at the photos/videos that interest you, read posts and surf through the platform.
- Close the application and open it after 5 mins again.
- Refresh the explore page.
- What you see now on the explore page is more of the content you previously engaged with along with newer suggestions of similar topics.
- Notice that social media platforms show you more of what you may like.
This is because social media algorithms work with user signals. Eventually, when you keep on revisiting the application, you find topics that interest you, videos that keep you engaged and posts that you find relevant.
But just like the type of content that works on each social media platform differs, the algorithm varies too. In this blog, we disclose how social media platforms leverage algorithms to engage audiences and how your business can make the algorithm a part of your social media marketing plan.
Let’s look at how the top social media algorithms function.
How Does Instagram’s Algorithm Work?
According to social media statistics, in India, 180 million users access Instagram on a daily basis.
What users see in their Instagram Feed is mostly determined by three variables:
Interest: How much Instagram anticipates you’ll care about a post, with a higher ranking given to what is important to you based on your previous interactions with content of a similar nature.
Relationship: How close you are to the person who shared it. People who you have interacted with frequently in the past on Instagram, such as by leaving comments on their posts or being tagged in photographs together, will score higher.
User activity: How much the post is getting engagement from other accounts that have similar interests as yours.
Time: When the post was made. In general, Instagram prioritises timeliness and the posts that are recent will be the highest on the feed.
These variables are true for all types of Instagram posts such as videos – long form and IGTV, reels, images, and stories.
Not sure how to crack Instagram’s algorithm? Take the help of an Instagram marketing agency to achieve high levels of engagement on your Instagram.
How YouTube’s Algorithm Works
Recently, YouTube disclosed insights on channel recommendations and revealed how users are suggested videos.
The platform has started a test where a select group of producers share data and insights about how their content is being recommended to users.
Creators can access this information via YouTube’s Data Analytics, which offers insight into each creator’s unique content as well as information on what triggered recommendations, the proportion of viewers that stick with the video all the way to the finish, performance benchmarks, and more.
The nice thing is that both YouTube Shorts and ordinary YouTube videos function with this algorithm.
The search and discovery tools on YouTube approach this problem by paying special attention to:
- What do spectators watch and how much of it?
- What do they skip?
- How long do they keep watching?
- What do they have in common?
In general, a social media marketing agency should be able to understand this social media algorithm and pay close attention to the various things YouTube has built an algorithm for including:
- YouTube Search
- Next In Line Or Up Next
- YouTube Shorts
- Channel Recommendations
In order to encourage users to watch more videos, they’ll like and visit YouTube more frequently, YouTube’s search and discovery engine “finds” content tailored to each individual user and their unique interests.
How Does Facebook’s Algorithm Work?
The Facebook algorithm determines how posts are sorted and presented so that users only see the content that is most pertinent to them.
Posts and advertisements are shown depending on what Facebook thinks is important to you, the user, rather than publishing stuff in chronological order. Facebook has become a great place for advertisers to market their products and the credit is due to Facebook’s smart algorithm that facilitates retargeted ads.
But apart from ads, companies that use Facebook for content marketing also face great opportunities to increase their visibility.
News Feed employs personalised ranking to determine what is most important to you by analysing thousands of different signals. Facebook’s goal is to provide you with a great experience that will entice you to return rather than keep you scrolling endlessly on Facebook. Therefore, creating high-quality content for Facebook is key and for this, you can take the help of content writing services that understand the art of storytelling and deliver value to audiences.
How Does Twitter’s Algorithm Work?
Twitter uses a number of algorithms, like the majority of social media networks.
In addition to a stream of, according to Twitter, Tweets from accounts you have chosen to follow on Twitter, Twitter’s algorithmic timeline displays recommendations of other content we think you might be interested in based on accounts you interact with frequently, Tweets you engage with, and more.
Users can choose to view the most recent Tweets right away by clicking on the star icon.
Users can choose “Explore” to view trending tweets or tweets regarding trends, news, sports, and entertainment if they so choose.
Twitters rankings signals rely on the following:
- Relevance of the content.
- Engagement levels.
- Timeliness or recency.
- Rich media – GIFs, Images, polls, link redirects.
As part of its “responsible machine learning project,” Twitter is now investigating the outcomes of its algorithms, which is noteworthy.
Social media algorithms are here to stay, whether you like them or not. But for long-term social media presence growth, understanding algorithms and how they operate is essential. Anything you can do to keep each network’s algorithm happy is a plus. But make sure they are white-hat optimisation practices.
All the best!