Adapting to Algorithms: Social Media

Adapting to Social Media Algorithms

Topics: Marketing Strategy

Building your brand on social media takes time, skill and insight. From planning and research to execution and promotion, delivering creative content that engages your target audience on social platforms requires technical knowledge of your distribution channels. Now imagine familiarizing yourself with what performs well on a social platform only to discover that its algorithm has changed during the time it took to build your campaign. What do you do, start over?

Fortunately, there is a solution that doesn’t require starting from scratch, because adapting to algorithmic changes is something digital marketers face on a regular basis. With that in mind, here are 10 tips to help keep your social media campaign on course when a social platform modifies its algorithm.

  • Wait and See

Along with changes in algorithms comes a flood of immediate responses. Abrupt adjustments can do more harm than good when the impact of the new algorithm has yet to be proven. Instead of making rapid modifications to your social strategy, wait and see how the updated algorithm affects your key performance indicators (KPIs). From there, you can adjust based on real results.

  • Look Toward Thought Leaders

Paying attention to how industry leaders react to algorithmic shifts can help you make informed decisions regarding your social media strategy. These individuals typically have data-based insights that they relay to their followers along with suggestions on how to proceed.

  • Ask Why

Knowing the reason behind updates to an algorithm can help determine whether or not your strategy needs a tune-up. For example, say too many marketing messages have saturated social feeds, leading to a decline in users. To combat this, the platform starts blocking promoted posts deemed irrelevant to the audience. With this knowledge, your team can go about distributing content based on the new relevancy requirements.

  • Review ROI

After a change to an algorithm has taken effect, analyze how much more – if any – spend is required to maintain social activity. If the return isn’t worth the additional cost, there may be other, less costly methods of achieving similar results.  

  • Keep an Eye on Analytics

Numbers don’t lie, which is why analytics are an integral part of measuring success for digital marketers. Repeatedly survey your analytics for any dramatic declines in performance during the initial phase following an algorithmic update.

  • Experiment

New algorithms bring new opportunities to improve your strategy. Conduct A/B tests to see how the updates impact your desired results. Optimize performance by delivering your message in various formats, such as blog posts, infographics, and videos.

  • Ask Your Followers

Before making any changes to your social media strategy, converse with your followers and ask what they would like to see from your brand. After all, these people are your target audience. Knowing what kind of posts they respond well to will help further your organic reach via shares, likes, and comments while also giving you added insight into content strategy.

  • Be Different

The most successful social media campaigns excelled because they were unique. After seeing how your peers react to changes in the algorithm, explore other ways to take advantage of the updates. Doing what everyone else is will only get you lost in the crowd.

  • Distribute Your Message Another Way

Having a diverse set of distribution channels allows you to continue to deliver your message to target audiences while evaluating how to go about adjusting to new algorithms. Tools like paid media, email, and influencer marketing are all methods content marketers use outside of social to reach potential customers.

  • Make Yourself Algorithm-Proof

Algorithms are updated to improve user experience. Make yourself algorithm-proof by providing a great end-user experience from start to finish.

While keeping up-to-date with continually evolving social media algorithms can seem like a daunting task, understanding the purpose of these updates is as simple as asking yourself this question: what would you like to see? As an end-user of these platforms, are you chomping at the bit to see endless advertisements, or would you rather see engaging content relevant to your interests? Keep that in mind when developing your social media strategy, and watch as algorithmic updates have a positive effect on your campaign.

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