The ever-changing social media algorithms have users stumped when engagement takes an unexpected plunge.
The reason a social media platform will adjust algorithms has much to do with new competition, such as the TikTok app. In recent months, there has been chatter on Reddit about people noticing engagement on Instagram has drastically dropped in their posts and an uptick in their stories. Social media platforms are always changing. According to influencerupdate.biz, “Reels could be Instagram’s way of improving audience retention against competitor site TikTok.”
1. Algorithms can guide your way to success
It’s worth taking the time to understand how algorithms affect the social media platform you’re using. According to forbes.com, Facebook’s goal is to have relevant content show up on their user’s news feed to increase engagement. To use this function to market your brand, focus your content on ‘reach’ to measure engagement versus the number of views. There is an automatic setting on a user’s Facebook wall that only shows relevant posts. Each time users log into Facebook, they have to manually change the setting on their wall to see the most recent posts versus the most popular ones. Although the ‘reach’ numbers are not usually as impressive as the views are to report to the boss, it’s a realistic measure of true engagement. These are the people who can be lead into a sales funnel, for both organic and paid ads. Be sure to look into how algorithms behave on various platforms such as Twitter and Instagram as more platforms start using algorithms in their news feeds as well.
2. How hashtags come into play
Hashtags may have first come into play on Twitter, now they’re being used on a variety of platforms. For the end user, it’s a fantastic way to sort through all of the daily content being created to focus on specific topics of interest, to discover new brands to follow, and to interact with them. However, oftentimes marketers and influencers believe that using the most popular hashtags are better to use to reach more people. That school of thought needs a bit of a review.
According to ‘TheMacMan’ on a Reddit post, “Just because a hashtag is popular doesn’t mean anyone searches it. If it’s not being searched, it’s worthless.” According to SproutSocial.com, “To increase their reach among an increasingly global market, more brands use social media analytics tools to change their hashtag marketing strategy and keep up with shifts in trends the second they happen.”
For marketers, hashtags are one of many ways to measure the effectiveness of social media marketing campaigns. For instance, if you have a new specific campaign hashtag such as #mycompanygives2020 or an event #myepiccompanyparty that you can make up. After the campaign is over, it’s simple to search these particular hashtags to measure your outreach.
3. Consider using LinkedIn for networking
LinkedIn.com is a platform that’s like a digital version of networking. It’s a matter of learning the tools and it’s a great time to take advantage of this platform for new types of engagement. Branding expert, Phil Pallen, speaks about why LinkedIn is his new favorite platform. Pallen interviews an employee from LinkedIn for tips to use the platform more effectively.
Activities such as the publishing short-form status updates and creating articles to become a part of the news platform will increase engagement, which is measured by the ‘reach’ in your analytics results. Watch this video for the full interview more about ways to use LinkedIn.
4. Why it’s essential to engage with your audience
There’s something to say for organic reach being your fall back strategy when social media platforms changes their algorithms overnight. Brands and influencers can build a solid foundation of followers so that when the algorithms change, conversations will continue organically. It’s a simple concept, but it takes time. It’s something you can schedule to take 30 minutes a day or weekly to leave comments on new brands or potential clients that aren’t already following you on social media.
The only other option other than organic reach is paid advertising. It’s time to close down the mindset that social media marketing is ‘cheap and easy’ by increasing your advertising budget for digital media. According to forbes.com, “With organic reach being crippled everywhere, the trend is obvious. If you want to guarantee reaching your target audience, you are going to have to pay to do it.”
A business owner that wants to be actively involved in their content marketing strategy must shift their mindset from a consumer to a marketer while using social media. According to forbes.com, “As technology becomes more advanced, algorithm-based feeds will become more intelligent, and engagement will be the only metric that matters.” In other words, instead of following and interacting with topics that fit one’s hobby, they would switch their focus to potential client’s posts to reach out for networking and to offer helpful information to provide value