Over the span of its existence, Facebook has made a habit of updating its website quite frequently. With every update, there are cries of outrage from people who swear they’ll quit Facebook if the website doesn’t change back. Those people rarely ever leave, though, and that has led Facebook to keep doing what it does. Possibly one of the most controversial updates featured the implementation of what has become Facebook’s signature algorithm.
This algorithm reorganized the math so that the posts that were more liked, shared or commented on by others would rank higher than usual. In some cases, other posts just wouldn’t even show at all. This caused many companies to appear more frequently in peoples’ news feeds. Of course, people complained about this, but they ended up doing what they always do: they dealt with it and moved on.
However, this algorithm has not gone away. As a matter of fact, Twitter has discussed adopting this algorithm in the past few months, and Instagram was rumored to be doing the same. While the rumor about Instagram’s algorithm turned out to be hoax, Twitter has added a feature to its service where a person can go to his or her account settings and choose to “show me the best tweets first.” I myself have tried out the feature, and it had no effect whatsoever on my news feed.
If algorithm changes like these take effect in the next few months or years, what would be the ramifications? Would users turn away from these social platforms as many claim to have done with Facebook, or would they simply deal with it? What would it mean for businesses that get hundreds of likes on each post? First off, let’s talk about the assumed “cons” of this situation. The problem that many see with Twitter and Instagram updating their algorithms is that these are both services where seeing posts in real time has become part of the apps’ identities. If their algorithms were updated, many claim that large companies would become the driving forces in social media, drowning out average posts from family and friends.
But here’s a crucial (and slightly uncomfortable) question that business owners have to ask themselves: would that be a bad thing? Maybe, or maybe not. This kind of algorithm could indeed make a path where big companies could be the most notable posters in any given user’s news feed. This may send heavily liked posts to the top of one’s news feed, but that could also have a negative effect. If the outcry of social media users is to be believed, then consistently seeing posts from one company at the top of one’s news feed might give the impression that the company posts too much and therefore, should be unfollowed or unliked.
So what does this mean for you? Consider the following:
- Quality content + audience love = more engagement – Skip the “fluff” and produce engaging, thought-leadership content to underscore your credibility. You have to target the right message to the right audience, or your time and money will be wasted.
- Timing is everything! – Review your analytics to check when most people read your content, and the actual content they like to read. Pushing out content just to push can negatively affect your audience reach and engagement.
- Think quality over quantity – The amount of time your reader spends liking, engaging and reading effects your post’s ranking and appearance in the newsfeed. Also, the quality of your content endears your audience to your persona and overall brand.
Need help with your content strategy and the latest algorithms? Let’s connect!
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