Most people follow tons of friends, brands, and celebrities on Facebook, as well as other platforms like Twitter. At the same time, no one wants to sort through every single post from every single page and profile to find the good stuff. That would take forever when you follow hundreds of people, and that's not a good user experience.
This is where algorithms come in. Social media algorithms are designed to figure out which people and companies you actually want to see, then show you the content that you're most interested in.
As a user, this is awesome. But when you're trying to promote your brand on Facebook, algorithms are an obstacle you'll need to surmount.
Facebook's algorithms revolve around engagement. You may have noticed that when you like and share a person's posts regularly, you'll see their content more often. This is true for brand pages, too. So to triumph over the algorithms, you want your audience to engage with your content.
But how do you get people to do that? Having truly awesome content is important for this, but even the best posts can get lost in the shuffle.
These 6 awesome tips from our friends at Sprout Social can help you get the engagement your brand needs, by taking an active role in reaching out to you audience and promoting your content.
How to Conquer Social Media Algorithms
Alright, so here’s what you really came here for. What do you have to do to get more visibility for your social media posts despite all these algorithms? Here are some tips for success.
1. Ask Questions
As we mentioned, social media algorithms are primarily based on engagement. The more frequently people like, share and click your posts, the stronger correlation social networks will make between your brand and those users. Asking questions encourages people to reply or leave a comment.
What type of chili are you eating on #NationalChiliDay?
— Grubhub (@Grubhub) February 23, 2017
Hosting polls, Q&A’s or anything to get people talking to you is a great way to start.
2. Tag Users
When you tag someone in a Tweet, Facebook or Instagram post, they receive a notification. Instinctively, they’re going to go check out your post to see why they were tagged. Once they arrive, they’ll likely engage with you by liking your post or leaving a comment.
You don’t want to go around just randomly tagging people in posts that have nothing to do with them. But if you’re sharing an article, you can tag the author in it to credit them. Or if you’re sharing a piece of content you think a particular user would like, you could tag them and ask them to check it out.
Notice how we tagged Monarch when sharing our case study.
— Sprout Social (@SproutSocial) March 6, 2017
3. Share Targeted Content
If people don’t resonate with the content you’re sharing, they’re not going to engage. Get strategic with your social media posts and make sure it’s aligned with a target persona. Sprout’s organic post targeting can be extremely helpful here.
Our publishing tools allow you to target your posts based on audience demographics, location and other filters to make sure your content is reaching the right people.
[image source: Sprout Social]
Start by segmenting your audience. This could be done based on their demographics, the way they use your product or any other way that makes sense. Then when it’s time to create your social media calendar, match your posts to one of your audience segments and start sharing.
4. Ask People to Turn on Post Notifications
When Instagram announced it was going to start using an algorithm in their feeds, there was a surge of content creators and brands asking followers to turn on notifications for them.
Turning on notifications alerts your followers when your brand shares a new post. You’re probably thinking “this sounds like the perfect solution, why doesn’t everyone do this?”
While notifications are great for brands, they can be annoying for users if they have notifications turned on for dozens of accounts. Because of this, people won’t always turn on notifications for your posts, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
5. Ask for Engagement
One of the easiest ways to rise above social media algorithms is also the simplest. You can just ask your audience to like, share or comment on your posts. Get in the habit of including CTAs in more of your social media posts to compel people to engage.
The more frequently you can get people to engage with you, the more likely you are to show up at the top of their feed.
6. Review Your Analytics
Use social media analytics to find out what’s working well, then replicate the results. Sprout’s reporting shows you your top performing posts across all your social media channels, as well as details on optimal posting times and more.
These are just a few of the ways that you can start making social media algorithms work for you, not against you. For more information, you can check out the original post from Sprout Social here.
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