Social media has become an integral part of our culture, with millions of people across the globe engaging in it on a daily basis. Brands have also recognised the potential of platforms like TikTok and Twitch and are leveraging them to connect with new audiences through advertising. However, maintaining order and relevancy is crucial with the vast number of users and content available. This is where social media algorithms come into play.

Unveiling the Concept of Social Media Algorithms

An algorithm can be defined as a mathematical set of rules that governs the behaviour of a group of data. In the context of social media, algorithms serve to maintain order and assist in ranking search results and advertisements. Platforms like Facebook employ algorithms that determine the specific order in which pages and content are displayed. As a marketer, understanding these algorithms is vital for optimising your content distribution and engagement on social media.

Different Social Media Algorithms and Their Impact

Social media marketing strategies and algorithms are constantly evolving, posing challenges for marketers striving to stay updated. While it may not be possible to know all the intricacies of each algorithm change, we can gain a general understanding of how they function. The algorithms employed by Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest play a significant role in determining the placement and visibility of your content.

Unravelling the Purpose of Social Media Algorithms

The primary purpose of social media algorithms is to sort and prioritise content in users’ feeds. Given the vast amount of content available, algorithms help social networks determine the content most likely to appeal to individual users based on various factors. As a marketer, this presents an opportunity to have your content exposed to the right audience. However, it’s important to note that social media algorithms are not flawless.

The Importance of Algorithmic Changes

Social media algorithms are subject to regular changes as platforms strive to enhance user experience. It’s crucial to understand the reasons behind these changes. Algorithms aim to filter out irrelevant or low-quality content, which means there is a risk of your content being buried or hidden if it fails to meet certain criteria. Additionally, with the introduction of Google’s page experience ranking signal, familiarising yourself with core web vitals becomes essential to ensure your content is visible to both users and search engine bots.

Types of Social Media Algorithms

Social media algorithms vary across different platforms, each with its own set of rules and ranking factors. Let’s take a closer look at how algorithms function on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

Facebook Algorithm Explained

Facebook’s algorithm prioritises meaningful customer engagement over business posts. Four key ranking signals contribute to its functionality:

  • Popularity
  • Content type
  • Relationship
  • Recency

Over the years, Facebook’s algorithm has undergone numerous changes over the years, making ensuring organic posts reach the right audience increasingly challenging. To optimise your content within the Facebook algorithm, consider the following tips:

  1. Focus on building connections and actively engage with comments and queries from your audience.
  2. Encourage responses that go beyond a simple “like,” as Facebook values reaction buttons more.
  3. Utilise Facebook Stories, as they are not affected by the algorithm and can help increase visibility.
  4. Live videos tend to generate more engagement and are favoured by the algorithm.
  5. Exercise caution when sharing external content; always verify its credibility before posting.

How Do Social Media Algorithms Work?

TikTok Algorithm Explained

TikTok has gained immense popularity as a social media platform, and its personalised algorithm plays a significant role in its success. The algorithm categorises content in the addictive “For You” feed based on several ranking signals:

  • User interaction
  • Video details such as captions and hashtags
  • Device and account settings, including country and language

Unlike other platforms, TikTok’s algorithm doesn’t prioritise content based on the number of followers or previous video success. Instead, it focuses on showcasing good video content to many users, brands, and creators. This makes TikTok an invaluable platform for marketers aiming to engage with a younger demographic through creative video content.

Twitter Algorithm Decoded

When Twitter was first launched in 2006, its posts were ranked solely based on the timeline, prioritising the day and time of the tweets rather than their content. However, Twitter’s algorithm has significantly evolved since then. The algorithm, introduced in April 2023, now considers various additional ranking factors related to subject specialism and demographic relevance.

The primary signals considered by Twitter’s algorithm are:

  • Recency
  • Virality
  • Relevance
  • Geographical location
  • Personal interests

To leverage Twitter for your business, it is crucial to share relevant content within your niche area of expertise and consistently engage in conversations with relevant brands, users, or accounts. Maximising engagement by posting content at optimal days and times will also work in your favour.

Instagram Algorithm Unveiled

Like Twitter, Instagram initially ranked posts based on chronology, prioritising the most recent ones. However, the algorithm has changed, and as of 2021, it considers six key factors:

  • Interest
  • Relationship with a user
  • Following
  • Session time
  • Time posted
  • User session time

On Instagram, Carousels receive three times more engagement than other post types, while Reels are currently emphasised to encourage users to utilise this new feature. This implies that your brand should not hesitate to experiment with new features to boost engagement and gain visibility on Instagram.

Cracking the LinkedIn Algorithm

Recognised as a leader in B2B marketing, LinkedIn focuses on networking rather than building a follower base. The platform has developed an algorithm based on connection and engagement, giving prominence to strong and relevant content. Since 2018, LinkedIn’s algorithm has witnessed a 50 per cent annual increase in viral activity. Even if you currently have a limited network, you can expand it over time by offering valuable content.

Key tips for harnessing LinkedIn’s algorithm include:

  • Using 3 to 10 hashtags in a post
  • Prioritising video content, although it is no longer favoured in the feed
  • Valuing comments over likes or reactions
  • Creating engaging content to increase dwell time
  • Expanding your network by engaging with relevant individuals, encouraging employee activity on the platform, or participating in LinkedIn Groups
  • Considering LinkedIn ads to grow your network and audience
  • Utilising analytics to understand what type of content resonates with your audience

Understanding the Pinterest Algorithm

While Pinterest has a unique layout and follower strategy, it remains a social media platform. Pinterest’s algorithm relies on four main factors:

  • Relevance of the topic
  • Quality of a Pin
  • Domain quality
  • Quality of the Pinner

Pinterest’s guided search method utilises past content interactions to suggest new links. For example, if you have previously viewed wedding hairstyles, Pinterest is more likely to show you related hairstyles during your next visit.

The interest-themed algorithm of Pinterest ensures that users are consistently presented with content aligned with their preferences. Introducing “controllable distribution” in 2020 limits the number of new content users see based on their past interactions, enhancing the likelihood of content consumption and enjoyment.

In 2021, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, people’s search and intent on Pinterest shifted as they sought out products that aligned with their values. According to Pinterest, this holds three implications for brands:

  • Understand your values
  • Test ads that reflect your values, not just your products
  • Clearly communicate how purchasing from your brand supports customers in living and showcasing their values

If your brand excels in creating visually appealing content, Pinterest can be a beneficial platform for your business.

Boost your social media presence with VentCube Digital Marketing Agency’s expert guidance. Contact us today to optimise your content and reach the right audience on platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.