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If your business or brand really wants to leverage the full power of social media, then you need to understand the power of the algorithm. It can change a person’s point of view in seconds, influence purchasing decisions, help to make expert product recommendations and even convince people to change brand loyalties. In fact, it’s not being hyperbolic to say that much of social media marketing today is now based on leveraging the power of the algorithm.
Facebook and the social media newsfeed
The most obvious place to see the social media algorithm at work is the Facebook newsfeed. That’s because Facebook now employs a very sophisticated algorithm to determine what you see when you open up the Facebook app. This algorithm takes into account several key factors, such as how often you click on certain types of content, what your level of engagement is with this content, and how likely you are to share this content with others on the platform. The end result is that you end up seeing the type of content that is most relevant to you.
Other social media platforms and the algorithm
And Facebook is hardly the only social media platform that is now based on the power of the algorithm. Twitter, for example, is now revising each Twitter user’s Twitter feed to take into account relevance, and not just chronology. In other words, instead of just seeing a streaming list of tweets arranged in chronological order, Twitter will now insert the best tweets you might have missed. The same logic is at work on Instagram, too, where the newsfeed has been reorganized around relevancy.
Lessons for social media marketers
So what does that mean for social media marketers? Most importantly, it means that they need to be developing the type of content that is most relevant to their target audiences. For example, a brand might find that customers love how-to videos, and are willing to watch all of these videos from start to finish, and then share them with friends and family.
Facebook will recognize this, too, and its social media algorithm will give this content much higher priority when it is deciding what to show followers on Facebook. As a result, there’s a statistically much higher probability that your fans will see how-to videos in their newsfeeds as long as they continue to engage with and share this content. By developing the type of content that your fans and followers want to see, you will avoid the problem of having your content ignored entirely by Facebook.