How Do Social Media Algorithms Work?

Posted on Jan 2 2020 - 2:06am by Editorial Staff

By now we’ve all accepted that social media as a part of our daily lives, in fact, it could be said that we rely on social media a lot more than we did even a couple of years ago to keep up with the latest happenings around the world and that of friends and family.

But do you know how these platforms magically feed its users bite-sized chunks of information that is relevant to them?  Although it may seem uncanny to see an ad pop up for airline tickets after you’ve just searched Google for a trip, there is nothing coincidental about it.  This is the super effectiveness of the social media algorithms that fully understand and remember your online browsing habits.  Whether you realise it or not isn’t the point – just know that your purchasing decisions are being influenced every time you log on.

It’s extremely frustrating when you spend a lot of time, money and effort into creating really high quality interesting social media content, only to have it receive very few views.  To get the most out of your digital marketing spend it’s a very wise decision to complete a social media marketing course to help you understand how the social media algorithms work.  Side-stepping social media algorithms have become a massive challenge for social media marketers, but it can be done.

Understanding Social Media

A life without social media almost seems unreal nowadays.  We hop on and hop off many social media platforms at an ever-increasing rate, and worldwide, many of us are spending more and more time surfing one social media platform or another.  This highly entertaining, interactive communication platform has taken the world by storm. 

To understand why social media is so captivating, we’ll need to have a complete understanding of how these communication platforms work.   Over the past few years, the most popular social media sites have competed fiercely against each other to rank number one.  Truth is – although Facebook is currently comfortably sitting in the number one spot, the race will continue and shows no sign of slowing down. 

Although there are many social media platforms, the most popular networking sites are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.  These networks have millions of daily users who often spend hours a day browsing their platform.

With Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram being the top three social media platforms, let’s take a closer look at each of these sites.

Social media marketing has quickly become the most cost-effective form of modern advertising which can yield fantastic results.  Every modern business needs to understand the history behind social media before they’re capable of expanding its digital marketing strategy and become a hit on social media.

What Is A Social Media Algorithm?

Everyone is pushing their content on social media – that’s a fact.  But, did you know that no matter how hard you may push your content, the social media network’s algorithm may quite casually decide not to show your content?  Now, that’s a bummer. 

So, how do you get your content to land up in front of your social media followers?  That’s a tough question, however, there are ways you can improve your reach.

Basically, an algorithm is an automated defined, expertly calculated repeated process that is triggered by certain factors.  Social media sites love to predict what their users want to see more often, and they can do this by using algorithms.  These algorithms constantly analyse all kinds of data such as which type of posts you prefer to see on your feed, and which posts you’re more likely to give the thumbs up to.

Social media algorithms rank content every time you log on and this ranking system is based on four touchpoints, namely, story inventory, data points, prediction and relevancy.  Sounds simple enough, right?  Well, basically it is.  Social media algorithms are designed to share posts more based on the amount of interaction it receives, for example, comments, shares and likes. Despite social media algorithm’s accuracy or flaws they’re here to stay and are always changing, which makes it difficult for social media marketers to get their brand seen.  It’s clear the social media giants are leaning more towards sharing conversations instead of general news.  This is why influencer marketing is increasing as this form of social media marketing involves conversations surrounding a brand rather than a normal post.

About the Author

Editorial Staff at I2Mag is a team of subject experts.