Oh, social media, you had us at algorithm. What I mean by “had us”, is you confused us, toyed with us, and made us change our approach, again…and again…and oh, yes, it will happen again. Anyone marketing on social media knows there have been drastic changes over the past 24 months, and social media platforms are not making it easier.
What’s the algorithm, why should you care, and can you master it? If your lifestyle is in anyway dependent on marketing and customer reach, you should care about the algorithms employed by sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. We could say an algorithm is a deep, dark cauldron full of toad stools and magic beans, that somehow determines our entire social media presence, but that’s overkill. It’s simply an incredibly complex, ever-changing set of parameters that determine what we see, how often we see it, and for some reason thinks it knows better than we do what we’re interested in. Algorithms are understood to be a necessary evil to filter the “best results” for the platform’s customers, and lots of people invest truckloads of time, money, and energy into competing with other algorithms to keep your attention. Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick and easy handbook to follow; it takes observation, practice, and testing to see if you are mastering the algorithm.
Social media moguls have been listening to their users about their dissatisfaction regarding the inundation of sponsored ads and are finding ways to maximize THEIR customers’ experience, not YOUR customers’ experience. (That’s important to keep in mind when planning your marketing approach; it’s best to not put all your eggs in one social-media basket.) Through a process called Deep Learning, Facebook has been a pioneer of sorts manufacturing its newsfeeds into a balance of viral fluffy pet videos, family and friends, and advertising. Whether or not you’re spending ad dollars on a social media platform, you may be noticing that your reach is not going as far for the money you are spending. It’s because through processes, like Deep Learning, the social media platform can guesstimate if your post is going to be engaging or not and determine if they want to use their precious balancing time to promote your particular post.
Do not despair! This does not mean that the big guys, like Coca-Cola and As Seen On TV, automatically receive the bulk of the allotted advertising spots. They may not be getting their dollar’s worth either because their ads do not have what the social media platforms desire:
Want to learn more about social media advertising and the algorithms? Schedule social media training with Leslie Laney at A Media Marketing. Contact us today!