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  • Will Helton

Hacking Social Media Algorithms

Proven tips that will help you break through social media algorithms, get you more engagement and grow your customer base.



What is a social media "algorithm" anyway?


People talk a lot about algorithms and social media platforms. But what does that really mean?


Basically, a social media algorithm is a formula social media platforms use to sort and present content on your timeline. This is done by determining how relevant new material is based on your past interests rather than when the content was posted.


Or in other words, it's how the various platforms decide what you'll most likely want to see today based on what you liked and engaged with yesterday (or even further back in time).


If you've ever spent a lazy #caturday watching videos of cute kittens on Twitter (or YouTube or Facebook, etc.), don't be surprised when you see more of that content in future.


But algorithms are also a lot more nuanced than that. And that's what I want to touch on in today's post.


If you've been promoting your business online for a while now, you've probably noticed that a mix of content that appeals to your target audience will get you more followers and higher engagement than constant appeals to buy stuff or just pulling material out of a hat and posting it.


The 5 reasons people post and share content


Research has identified five primary reasons people share content online:


To improve the lives of others People are more motivated to share content that they perceive as being of use to others. So if you want to get noticed, actively seek out and post/share content that serves the needs of your target audience.


A perfect example of this is the really useful content shared by website designer Alistair Hill over at his Primary Pixels Facebook Page.


Alistair provides super informative and insightful tips that we can all use to improve our content, SEO and site security to name but a few. Check him out.


To define themselves

People often share or create content that they feel helps create an idealised online version of themselves. So when you create content, ask yourself whether it really fits with your audience's interests and whether they are likely to want to share it because it reflects well on them personally to do so.


People follow people. And people – for better or worse – make comparisons between others and themselves. If you can create motivational content that highlights areas in life that your audience aspires to, they are far more likely to share this and you just might make them feel better, too.


To grow and nourish relationships

When creating content, it's a good idea to ask yourself how what you're producing can be used to foster connections between others.


Then take it a step further.


Encourage your readers to tag in others and share your material. Include a compelling call to action. After all, we humans are social creatures and being connected and engaged with others gives us a sense of community and wellbeing.


Self-fulfilment

Research has shown that we thrive on positive feedback. And by creating content that others like to share (or when people take the time to share content with us), we feel special and appreciated and it improves our sense of positive self-worth.


To promote causes they believe in

Not surprisingly, the majority of people asked about the content they share say that they create or share content that promotes causes they believe in.


This is why it's crucial to really listen to what your audience wants and make sure you're on the same digital page as them. If your content isn't perceived as reflecting the views and values of your audience, you're basically just spitting into the wind.


I hope the above information is useful and will better guide you down the path of good content creation.


But if you’re finding you just don’t have the time to do your social media justice, get in touch with me. I’ll be happy to discuss some ways we can lighten the load and make your social media perform better for you.


All the best,

Will

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