Attack of the Algorithms! 10 Expert Tips to Keep Your Business Safe

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Recently, I was enjoying a couple of top-notch business podcasts (Social Media Marketing and The Science of Social Media) and heard some similar and alarming news from both about algorithms.  But first, let me explain the word algorithm. In this case, it is the set of rules that define usage set by each platform.

As I listened, I learned that Facebook, Twitter, and others are punishing you for submitting unpopular content.  If you post something that’s a dud, your next submission will have less reach.  Okay, maybe this isn’t news to you, but there’s more.  The social media gods are going to also penalize you for duplicate content if they aren’t already.  That’s right.  It’s coming.  If you put blood, sweat, and tears into a post, you will be punished for scheduling it again and again on the same platform.  Yikes!

These changes, of course, are in an attempt to clean up the end user’s experience.  Facebook and the others don’t want spam, fake news, or low-quality content on their sites.  While I appreciate the intent as a reader, I hate the consequences as a business owner.  It means online marketers are in for more work and less reward.   “What can be done to save us?” you cry.  Lucky for us, the experts had 10 tips to keep our businesses safe.

      1.  Delete posts on social media after an hour or two if they get zero engagement.  You can resubmit at a different time with different wording or a new image.  Eventually, though, this tactic may not work because the algorithms could identify duplicate content by your post’s URL alone.

      2. When your post is earning likes, shares, retweets, etc., consider paying a few dollars to promote it.  Use whatever marketing budget you have to grow your reach, even if it’s just a few dollars per week.  Yeah, you knew it was ultimately about the money.

      3. Write more posts.  Sigh.  If you’re going to be ignored by social media after you submit new content, create more often.  The interesting outcome here could be the decline of evergreen content.  As a result, you could write articles about time-sensitive topics more often. It’s something to consider.

      4. According to the experts at the MeetEdgar blog, Facebook reactions (love, haha, wow, sad, and angry) are given more value than a mere ‘like.’  So, it’s imperative to use images and titles that evoke emotion.  People who are scrolling through their feeds will often choose to react without even clicking on your content itself. 

      5. Use video.  Facebook has already declared that it’s pushing its live video to the top of the feed.  This is not surprising because when your posts are clicked on, the reader will be sent away from Facebook to your site.   Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg don’t want that!  Use video several times per week.  Michael Stelzner, CEO and Founder of Social Media Examiner humorously says, “Facebook is like the Hotel California.  You can check out, but you can never leave,”

      6. Send your friends and family a message and request they like, react to, and share your newly submitted content immediately.  Facebook seems to treat quick interaction as a sign of quality content.

      7. Get your email list going. You can send your latest post through email assuring that your audience will see the content being hidden or lost by social media.  I signed up for ConvetKit because of its unique automation features and because it was designed for professional bloggers.  Although, I know of several types of businesses that also use it successfully.

      8.  Have more social media accounts.  Again, sigh.  I don’t want more platforms to manage, but if I get less reach with each of the five I have, then I have no choice.  YouTube and Periscope might be good options if you’re not already using them because they’re video platforms.  Don’t forget about Stumbleupon and Reddit.  They may be smaller than the major players, but they still have considerable reach.

      9. Use your analytics to learn what types of material, topics, words, and phrases resonate with your audience.  Dive deep into your insights and study what works for your ideal clients and readers.  Analytics are a feature of almost all social media platforms and Google.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

      10. Become a member of as many groups as you can manage to gain exposure. These could include Facebook, LinkedIn, or Pinterest groups.  Another option is to participate in Twitter chats.  Thirdly, find Tailwind tribes to join.  Tailwind is a great scheduling tool for Pinterest and Instagram.  Tribes are essentially groups of pinners who agree to pin each other’s content frequently.

    Related Reading: 5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Tech Savviness

    I sincerely hope you found these expert tips for handling the new algorithms beneficial in planning a successful marketing strategy.  I know I did.  Please consider sharing this post, so fellow business owners can learn the facts and get the growth and prosperity they deserve.

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14 COMMENTS

    • Hi, Kerry. We can, of course, keep re-sharing but posts may not have much reach. They want you to ultimately pay for ads. It’s the irritating truth.

  1. I am learning more about social media each day. I had no idea that if your posts have little engagement this has an effect on future posts. I have read online the best time slots in which to post on social media to gain most interest. I strongly believe those most known will naturally have more interest regardless of what they post. Embarrassingly I have a twitter account and I remained near enough invisible for a year despite commenting on other blogs and liking other posts. I did not have enough followers so my posts were overlooked. I stick to LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

    • Hello, Phoenicia. It is difficult to keep up with the changes. I am not on Instagram, but I suppose I need to start. As content creators, we should be on as many platforms as we can without going mad. I might be able to do one more before that happens! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jen — thanks for the very informative post. The trend of rewarding good content has been growing over time on the social networks. As it is, your networks only see a very small number of your posts as their algorithms weed out what they don’t think is important (although you might). I wrote about semantics in a post a couple of years ago — in simple terms, semantic search “uses machine intelligence to determine the intended meaning of words so searches become more relevant.” In other words, search engines want to give readers information that’s more useful to their needs.

    • Hey, Jeanette. Thanks for explaining ‘semantic search’ and your input. I appreciate it. I like that the algorithms are cleaning up the spammy stuff, but they sure make it hard to compete for attention!

    • Hi, Antoinette. It’s so important to keep up with these algorithm changes. It affects our businesses more than we realize. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. This is a really informative post. It is so important to keep up with the changes in the digital world and I was unaware of the punishment by the major platforms for submitting unpopular content. I don’t actually use social media, apart from a couple of platforms, to promote my blog but I guess I am going to have to up my game in that respect! Thank you for sharing.

    • Hello, Emily. I’m glad you found value in the tips. It is difficult but necessary to stay current on algorithm changes if you want your business to grow. Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate it.

    • Hey, Carla. Nice to hear from you again. It does seem counterproductive to delete posts, but that is what the experts are saying to do. The times are changing, that is for sure. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Hi Jen. Thx for this post. It is getting harder and harder to wine at the social media game. They keep changing the rules and the algorithms. I have by far the most of my followers on Twitter. But I love Instagram the best. I will try and pay more attention to deleting posts that get no responses.

    • Hi. Nice to hear from you again. It is definitely getting harder to deal with all the changes. If you can manage, you will be far better off than most bloggers or business owners. It could be a competitive edge. Thanks for your input.

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