Inspired by a conversation I had with another wonderful lady doing the Female Entrepreneur Association visibility challenge…
Changing up the visibility challenge today and instead of doing a pre-recorded video, I’m going live! Today we’re going to be addressing all things social media marketing as it relates to ‘the algorithm’… so if you don’t care about social media marketing you can tune me out. 😉
Shoot me some comments below if you’re watching, otherwise I’m going to get right into it!
So this is day three of the FEA visibility challenge for me, and it (the challenge) is all about creating visibility for my business, and since we’re switching it up next year in kibosh in all of our custom plans, I’m really kind of putting myself and what we do out there.
I didn’t have a topic pre-planned for today, but then I got added into this Instagram chat group (and I hate instagram messages because I always forget to check them!)… Anyways, I got added to this dm group with other women also doing the visibility challenge, and one of them had a question for me. The questions and ensuing conversation was about ‘beating the Instagram algorithm’.
Anyone who does social media for a living is familiar with this, and anyone who even has a small business of their own knows that the social networks change their algorithms all the time! So I apologize to this poor lady because I kind of just went completely out of left field with my advice (I don’t think she liked what I had to say… she wanted to learn more about the actual algorithm). She wanted to how she could get her content in front of more people (she was looking for some articles a friend had written about what you can do to ‘get around’ the algorithm)…
We (Empty Desk Solutions) don’t really subscribe to the idea of trying to game the system. It’s really about the quality of your content, not trying to figure out how to ‘beat’ the system.
I have some notes, and I’m going to go through them – hopefully this will help someone out there who is trying to look for advice on what to do with their own algorithm research.
So… first first and foremost, algorithms are different on each platform. What works on Instagram is not going to work for Facebook, what works for Facebook won’t work for LinkedIn or Twitter and so on and so forth. You literally would need to spend your life studying each network and how their algorithm works (which is not documented anywhere by the way). You’d have to figure it out by trial and error and understand one at time, but as I mentioned above, each one doesn’t necessarily translate to the other… so there’s that.
So this brings me to my next point…
Why do you want to game the system anyways? If your content is not getting interactions as is, if you learn how to game the system to get in front of more people, it’s still not going to get interactions because they obviously don’t care about what your what your posting. You have to also keep in mind that… simply put, there is no point in gaming the system, because your focus shouldn’t be on trying to figure out how to leverage your knowledge to spread value, not trick people in to seeing your stuff.
You need to figure out HOW to add value and showcase who you are (be relatable and real), and if you do that, more people are going to interact with your content which in turn will let the social network show your content to more people.
Most algorithms are going to show you things (or your audience things) that it thinks you want to interact with, based on your history (social media activity) of what you’ve done before. So if you’re posting things that hasn’t gotten engagement before, by gaming the system and posting it again nothing’s going to happen!
We just don’t think it matters… There are lots of other social media ‘gurus’ that are going to tell you that it does matter (the algorithm itself) and it just doesn’t . #sorrynotsorry
If you want to get in front of more people and your organic content isn’t doing that… then instead of figuring out the algorithms by spending countless hours researching, you’re going to want to go to work with somebody to handle paid advertising for you… that’s going to be of more value to you.
The other thing this lady had asked me was “Are there things you CAN do that actually help you beat the algorithm?”.
The answer to that is yes… you CAN do hashtag research… you can look at your past content and filter it by what got the most engagement… you can look at what time of day is typical for you to get the biggest reach etc. But at the end of the day you have to remember that these algorithms are in place to help people see content that’s relevant to them.
Whether you’re an individual or whether you’re selling a service or perhaps you’re even a large company, or maybe you’re selling a product… everybody’s goals are going to be slightly different. Engagement isn’t always the metric that is 100% the most important for people.
Posting consistently and having your brand out there (like what we do at EDS) is great for creating top of mind brand awareness. When people are ready to buy or look at a service, then naturally they’re going to think of you because you’ve been consistently in front of them.
Another thing… just because someone doesn’t engage by liking or commenting on a post, doesn’t mean that they didn’t see your content!
This brings us back to the point that the algorithm does not matter. Have we said that enough? haha. You don’t need to game the system (unless you want to for some strange reason?!)
It’s really up to you…
You have to make a choice to make. Do you:
- you want to spend your time (or in our opinion, waste your time…) researching how each algorithm works until you’re blue in the face?, or
- Do you want to spend your time actually coming up with a specific content strategy and schedule that’s going to help keep you ahead of your other competition
We hope you will choose option 2!
Thanks for watching (or reading if you’ve landed on our blog). If you do have any comments or questions you want us to address about social media marketing in our next few videos, let us know! I would love to hear your opinion on what you think about the algorithms and if you do take the time to learn how to ‘beat them’ or not Instagram.
Brittany & The EDS Team
Brittany Hardy ⎜ Owner
Brittany Hardy is the Owner of Empty Desk Solutions, a boutique marketing company located in Port Moody B.C.
Brittany is passionate about helping small businesses achieve their growth goals with marketing solutions that are both effective and affordable.
After many years of working in retail management, Brittany went on to become the Marketing Manager for Dominion Lending, Canada’s largest mortgage company. Brittany then decided it was time to pursue a life-long goal of creating her own business. Inherently, Brittany likes to help people and decided there was no better way to do this than to use her creative talent to lift up others who want to do the same thing.
The mother of three young children, Brittany believes in balancing work and home life and continues to find new ways to support and employ other mothers who want to start their own businesses or stay at home with their children.
Social media marketing continues to evolve, and Brittany and her team are passionate about helping small businesses navigate how they can benefit from these networks. Brittany has been a finalist for the Women of Worth awards, the Tri-Cities Business Excellence awards, and has most recently been featured in Small Business BC and the Huffington Post.