Everywhere you go in social media people are talking about "The Algorithm". But why? Surely it's not rocket science that social media applications run on programs, or that the programs control how users post and view everything, Right?!
So why are is everyone freaking out so much?
Recently these APP's algorithms have become more complex and a lot more intuitive. This introduction of intuitive and artificial intelligence (AI) style coding has put fear into the hearts of too many people.
Relax people it's actually a good thing!
Social Pulse embraces the algorithm, even though some of the tweaks in these constantly progressing and evolving programs are frustrating and pose interesting challenges. We all need to remember their goal is to attract and keep users, not turn them off.
Here's a list of the most frequently asked questions about the algorithm
WHY INTRODUCE THE ALGORITHM? Facebook and Instagram have created the largest connected community in the history of the world, 2 billion on FB, and 1 billion on IG, a staggeringly large number. They reached the goal of quantity, but in doing so, didn't maintain quality. The algorithm is being designed to fix the quality of the platforms overall and for individual users.
HOW DOES IT WORK? The algorithm collects and combines all your individual actions, likes, shares, comments, Geo-locations, check-ins, profile views etc and creates a feed based on you you find important and interesting. This feed is unique to you and is a combination of posts by your friends, pages you like, sponsored posts and advertisements. If you keep seeing posts about Taylor Swift and don't like it, stop going to her page.
HOW WILL IT BENEFIT US?
Mid last year a report said that over 50% of the interaction on Instagram was was by robot or zombie accounts, and up to 20% of Facebook accounts were fake. The algorithm is being developed to try to eliminate that issue. On instagram it is quite aggressively banning accounts that look automated, program-ish or non-human in style and behaviour. Here the algorithm is being a little too aggressive, restricting too many accounts, bBut it's the cruel to be kind that needed to happen.
WHAT ABOUT THE SHORT TERM?
While the AI algorithm is in development a lot of accounts, especially on Instagram are experiencing turbulence, posts getting dramatically lower engagement, up to 50% less likes or losing 20% of followers overnight. Since early June may accounts have had engagement fall up to 80%. This is an unfortunate short term reality as Instagram starts a series of clear ups across the platform.
WHAT'S THE SOLUTION NOW?
The best way to ensure your accounts are never flagged is simple. Actively engage with your community, post correctly (read the How to Hashtag corrently in 2018) and be consistent. We have a little box of tricks that ensures our clients are are effects in minimally as possible during these times.
REAL OR FAKE?
Fake accounts have different goals to your business account. You are on social media to grow your business, they only exist to get a following (of real of fake accounts). You need to focus on building a community of your current and future clients. Your local cafe, doesn't need 1,000,000 followers, or someone in Paris, Bangkok or Wellington liking their coffee post, sure it may feel good to get 10,000 international likes, but does it sell more coffee. The cafe simply needs a strong connected community of local people that will pop in, buy coffee, and then check-in, post and like their latest IG photo.
CAN WE BLAME THE ALGORITHM?
This is causing a lot of confusion and frustration among users as they struggle to keep up. Now when posts tank people say it's because of the algorithm, when they lose followers - the algorithm, low engagement - the algorithm. Yes, some of this is true, but if your greatly effected by it, you had the wrong followers to start.
If you have any other questions about the Facebook and Instagram algorithms not covered about, please reach out and the team would be happy to answer any additional questions.
by Tony Ilbery