Why Entrepreneurs Should Learn About Social Media Algorithms
These days, it’s not enough for entrepreneurs to simply publish a post to get the customers. Social media are a commercial venture like any other, and they aim to profit from the advertisers. This is why, when you publish an Instagram post, only a third of your followers may see it. Social media does not disclose the principles of ranking that they use to show your posts in the feed. Instead, every entrepreneur has to analyse the effectiveness of different social media on their own, based not just on KPIs but on the way a specific social media platform behaves relative to your content.
Investment in AI marketing tools may cut your promo budget in half
For example, now restaurant owner knows that the peak of interest in their business is around lunch - and dinnertime. Therefore, if you publish a post an hour before traditional dinner time, the restaurant is likely to have a greater audience reach and, subsequently, a greater conversion.
But today, we see that such information is no longer enough. The appearance of algorithm-based social media feeds means that this old style of “prime time” publications is no longer relevant. Now, it’s important to test when the greater share of your audience sees your posts and go by individual recommendations for the best posting times.
The truth is that there are still “prime time” blocks for optimal reach and engagement. There are certain times of day and days of the week that your user base is most active; it just may not be when you expect. This is when AI tools come to the rescue, helping to plan the post’s publication time and take into account the ranking rules so that you get the best bang for your buck. You can use these tools to examine how your posts perform compared to how active your user base was and quickly adjust.
This may seem like something that inflates your promo budget, but 76% of Postoplan’s clients save up to 4 hours a week on social media management. That means four extra hours of your SMM manager’s work time isn’t wasted on scrutinizing engagement stats and figuring out how each individual post is performing.
Time is not on your side
Since social media also uses AI to rank data, entrepreneurs are constantly trying to catch up to the changing rules. An entrepreneur must remember that algorithms can change from one day to the next. For a long time, it was believed that more hashtags helped boost the post’s rank in the feed. However, as AI algorithms continue to improve, this is actually a more nuanced topic.
Your hashtag strategy, like most aspects of social media success, will need some trial and error. For platforms like Facebook and Twitter, keeping hashtags to 1-2 relevant keywords is best. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags, but be careful not to spam-post them in your caption. This is a turn-off for users and a red flag to the algorithms. It’s worthwhile to use specific tracking tools like RiteTag and Talkwalker to see which tags help to increase engagement and ranking.
Entertainment content is still ranked well on Facebook, and native video content is being heavily rewarded these days across all platforms. This means that your brand should consider making polished Instagram reels, Facebook Live videos and even TikToks. Simple video editing tools allow you to add captions and fun customizations to improve shareability and engagement, and you can easily schedule these posts across platforms with scheduling tools like Postoplan.
It’s been a couple of years at least, but the marketing experts continue to argue whether a link in the comments impairs the post’s reach or whether a link to a YouTube video enhances its ranking. What we do know is that link-only captions or overly promotional text are considered spam and punished by the algorithms.
No matter the outcome of these discussions, we see different results for different accounts and base our suggestions only on in-depth social media analysis of each business.
Experiments enhance the effectiveness
Your audience is the main source of relevant information. If your reach has fallen, try to analyze what happened. Find out two or three reasons and try to A/B test your hypotheses on your content: Go for different headers, color codes and post descriptions.
Using automatic tools allows you to make small, trackable tweaks to your content, such as posting frequency, cross-posting reach and hashtag use. You then have actionable, easy-to-parse data aggregated in one place, which allows you to see if your experiments are having a positive effect.
Don’t be afraid to experiment because that will help you find the right answer about falling traffic or engagement. In the end, you are racing against the AI, and the only way to win is to try new methods of increasing your traffic. When you’re racing against AI, you need AI working for you to help you get ahead.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Alex Bozhin .