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Is there a “Key” to hacking social media algorithms?

Hacking the Social Media Algorithm

The biggest question on a marketer’s mind in 2022 is how can my post get in front of a wider audience on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook?  

The center of the social media universe is the algorithm, the broad scheme of ways that posts are sorted and ranked based on how relevant they are to a given audience at a certain point in time. Algorithms prioritize some content over others, based on the possibility of higher engagements — whether that’s “likes” or shares or driving comments or getting viewers to click on the post and see content from an advertiser.  Algorithms also can be driven by machine learning, as a given user’s patterns are recognized and more content that meets their interests is presented to them.  

Unfortunately, these algorithms differ from platform to platform and can be changed quietly, sometimes without warning.  

Facebook’s algorithm weighs hundreds of variables to determine what shows up in a user’s feed first and what gets buried. It uses what it has “learned” about a given user and what seems to be popular across the whole platform to prioritize posts and ads and, based on this, will move a post up or down on someone’s feed accordingly. If a post is more likely to be “liked,” shared or commented on based on that user’s previous activity, it will be higher on their news feed than something that offers a different or new kind of content.  

Twitter, on the other hand, gives users three options for what they see on the top of their feed. The “While You Were Away” setting capitalizes on tweets that pertain to a user’s interests and also hot topics that were leading the conversation for however long the person was away from the app; the “Best Tweets” option will prioritize popular and trending topics and hashtags. If your ad or post touches on something that’s trending on Twitter, your tweet will appear in front of users who select either of those ways to scroll their feed. Users can also select a chronological view, giving them the latest tweets at the top of their feed and moving back in time.  

Instagram will prioritize photos and videos based on how likely a consumer is to interact with an ad, photo or video, in addition to a user’s established likes and patterns of use. If someone doesn’t interact with, say, cat videos, they’re less likely to see an ad for cat products. How often a person opens Instagram can also impact what a person sees first, as can the number of accounts a user follows  

The best way to hack a social media algorithm, if there is one, is to create a post that builds on others that have generated engagement in the past (comments, likes and shares) and also incorporates a trending topic or hashtag. Give people what they like and want and they’ll come back for more.  

When in doubt, put money behind a post to guarantee your item is shown to a broader audience. 

If you’d like more advice on how to outsmart social media, call Method Recruiting today. Our social media experts can help you craft messages and social media content calendars to help expand your reach, gain more attention and help you lead the conversation. Contact us today!  

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