Social media is a very important marketing strategy for businesses in this day and age. Understanding how each social media platform pushes content and advertisements is crucial if you want your brand to stand out among competitors.

A social media algorithm is a system used by social media platforms to determine what content to show and to whom it will be shown. It consists of utilizing mathematical equations to identify behavioral patterns such as clicks, shares, video views and time spent reading advertisements.

It is important to understand that algorithms change all the time and can vary greatly across all platforms. Due to this, it can be difficult and overwhelming to figure out how to crack the code that will push your content to a wider audience and how to keep up with the changes.

Here is a list of the big five social media platforms and how each algorithm operates:

Facebook

  • Positive Engagement: Facebook favors content that receives interactions. Interactions include likes, shares, comments and replies. The more interactions a post receives, the more likely it is to be pushed to more users.
  • Power Of Community: Facebook takes into consideration whether your business account has an active audience that consistently engages with your posts and other users. It also considers how relevant your content is to users’ interest.
  • Quality Content: In addition to posting content that provides helpful or entertaining content, Facebook also prefers content that is visually appealing. Content that can boost your quality rating include high-quality photos, videos and graphic animations.
  • Collaborative Conversation Starters: Posts that include opinion polls or general product information are more likely to be pushed to a broader audience. Facebook analyzes how many long-form comments, links and reshares a post earns to determine whether users are engaging in collaborative conversation.

Instagram

  • Current Trends: Like many social media platforms, Instagram favors content that is relevant and current over posts that are weeks old.
  • Relationship Interaction: Instagram’s algorithm tracks interaction between users such as being tagged in a video or photo, mentioned in a comment or engaging with someone in a direct message. Instagram then tracks the relationship between these users and pushes content from each account to the other.
  • Individual Interests: As Instagram strives to deliver tailored content, it tracks previous behavior of its users to design a feed and explore page full of content that interests the user.
  • Real Accounts With Verifiable Followings: Instagram is able to tell which accounts are real and which ones are bots. It favors authentic and genuine interactions over automated ones.

Twitter

  • Recency: The timing of your tweet is important on a platform as fast-paced as Twitter. Tweets that correlate with the topic’s trending status will be favored by the algorithm.
  • Rich Media Tweets: If a tweet contains media content like photos, gifs and videos, it is likely to gain more engagement. Twitter tends to push these media-rich tweets over plain text tweets.
  • Strong Hashtags: Hashtags are a method of organizing tweets into categories based on keywords. Hashtags that are trending with a high search volume will be pushed to a wider audience.
  • Connection Strength: Similar to Instagram, Twitter will prioritize the content from users that you interact with the most. If your audience is actively commenting on your tweets, they will see your content on their news feed more frequently.

YouTube

  • Channel Authority: YouTube will analyze overall channel performance based on factors such as viewing time, thumbs-ups, shares, linking your channel to a website and high-resolution thumbnails. If your channel encompasses all these elements, it will receive a higher channel authority score.
  • Originality: It should be no shock that YouTube favors original content from its creators. Repurposed videos will usually end up lower in ranking.
  • Audience Retention: YouTube places value on repeat viewers and audience retention. Even if a user is not subscribed to your channel, your content will show up higher in search results if they are seeking content similar to anything you’ve produced.
  • Relevant Search Terms: YouTube uses relevant keywords from a video’s title, description and transcript in comparison to a user’s search query to figure out where to rank it.

LinkedIn

  • Viral Actions: Reacts, shares and comments can result in either an upstream or downstream effect on LinkedIn. For instance, more comments on a post will result in the content being pushed higher in feeds while shares will push it lower in feeds as the algorithm allows the original post to be seen by the connections of the user that shared it.
  • Time Spent On Post: LinkedIn uses the amount of time spent on a post to predict what content users will find interesting in the future.
  • Preferred Network Connections:* Like many other platforms, LinkedIn has a preference for personal connections. The algorithm considers which users you have interacted with the most.
  • The Moment Engagement Begins: The sooner engagement happens after a post is made; the more likely LinkedIn is to include it on more feeds.



Contrary to popular belief, social media algorithms can actually help your account performance. Though many people view algorithms as a restricting set of rules that hold users back, you will see benefits if the rules are followed in a strategic manner. It can ultimately help you overcome your competitors who may not be willing or have the knowledge to adhere to the algorithm’s standards.

At trades.org we know all the important social platforms and can create a profile that reflects your business and attracts attention from the most likely potential customers. Our brand management services make social media marketing easy.