A Marketer’s Guide to Decoding Social Media Algorithms in 2019

A Marketer’s Guide to Decoding Social Media Algorithms in 2019

Hailley: Welcome to episode #123, I’m Hailley Griffis and this week we are talking all about social media algorithms 2019. Now, I know these can seem quite mysterious, and they really are, but there are certain things we’ve been able to figure out when it comes to algorithms and in this episode we’ll be giving you everything you need to know in a guide to decoding them for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. The other thing about your content is that Facebook prefers native content over content that will take a user to another site, which does make sense since they are trying to keep people on Facebook. And finally, we’ve talked about this before but when you post to Facebook they show your post to a smaller group of users at first to see how it holds up for engagement before it shows it to a larger group. Brian: How a user engages on Twitter also impacts the algorithm. Users see more from the people they already engage with and if they spend time reading a tweet or on someone’s profile they will see it even if they don’t engage with it. Hailley: What’s different about LinkedIn? Brian: Sort of similar to Facebook but if your post is shared via people’s direct messages then that will get your content ranked higher by the algorithm, and finally, if you’re putting in work and engaging with your audience via likes and comments, that will help drive views and engagement to your Instagram profile. Again, a big thing here is making your content engaging and engaging with others. How to say hello to us We would all love to say hello to you on social media – especially Twitter!

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Social media algorithms play a very important role in the ability for marketers and business owners to make an impact online. And although algorithms are often difficult to understand, we need to learn to work with them and not against them if we want to find success.

Luckily for us, big social networking sites often share updates on exactly what their algorithm prioritizes.

For example, Facebook recently shared that meaningful conversations are one of the most influential factors on the platform. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is looking to status updates from professional users that share more openly.

We’re fortunate to have an inside look at the various algorithms that power the world’s biggest networks. Today we’re covering everything you need to know about decoding social media algorithms in 2019 and what brands can do to thrive.

Let’s dive in!

A marketer’s guide to decoding social media algorithms in 2019

What follows is a lightly-edited transcript of the Buffer Podcast episode for your reading pleasure.

Table of Contents

Brian: Hi everyone! I’m Brian Peters and this is The Science of Social Media, a podcast by Buffer. Your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and learning.

Hailley: Welcome to episode #123, I’m Hailley Griffis and this week we are talking all about social media algorithms 2019. Now, I know these can seem quite mysterious, and they really are, but there are certain things we’ve been able to figure out when it comes to algorithms and in this episode we’ll be giving you everything you need to know in a guide to decoding them for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Brian: I love a good mystery! Let’s kick it off.

As many of us have come to realize, social media algorithms play a very important role in how we as marketers and business owners are able to make an impact online.

Algorithms are often difficult to understand but they are always on and we need to learn to work with them and not against them if we want to find success.

Hailley: When you think of it, for many of us the way that we are discovering news and information is coming directly from these algorithms. When we use Google or any of the social sites like Facebook and Twitter, there’s an algorithm involved.

Brian: Luckily for us, big social networking sites do share updates on what their algorithm prioritizes.

Facebook has shared in the past that meaningful conversations are most powerful on the platform, and LinkedIn is looking to status updates from the professional users on the site that share more openly.

Hailley: The overall trend we’ve been seeing as we researched this episode is that social networks are prioritizing real connection between their users and that knowledge can truly help us make a big impact online.

For example, influencer marketing has been doing really well for this reason, as has user generated content because they are both types of content that connect people really well.

Brian: There’s a clear shift away from promotion and building purely a following on social media, to now creating community.

So today we’ll look at the things we know about the algorithms for four major social networks.

Part I: Inside the Facebook algorithm

Hailley: First up is the biggest social network on the block, Facebook.

Let’s start with what we know about the Facebook algorithm. We already mentioned that meaningful interactions are a priority for Facebook and successful Facebook pages. This means that they look for content that creates interactions between friends and family.

Inside the Facebook Algorithm - Social Media Algorithms 2019

Those interactions can be things like, a person commenting or liking another person’s photo or status update, a person reacting to a post from a publisher (or brand) that a friend has shared, and multiple people replying to each other’s comments on a video they watched or an article they read in the news feed.

Brian: It also includes when someone shares a link over Messenger to start a conversation with a friend or group of friends, and that link ends up prioritized in the algorithm after that.

The overall theme for what we’ve mentioned so far is that Facebook wants content to create more conversations and if your content is doing that between friends and family on Facebook then it will do better in the algorithm.

What’s interesting is that the length of the comments on posts has weight as well, long form comments on a post help that post receive a higher weighting.

Hailley: While more engagement on your content means it will be ranked higher, the tricky thing is that if you ask people to like, comment or share your post, that makes the algorithm mark it down.

The other thing about your content is that Facebook prefers native content over content that will take a user to another site, which does make sense since they are trying to keep people on Facebook.

Brian: The other thing is that your credibility as a brand page affects your ranking so make sure that you keep posting consistently and have all of the information about your page filled out.

And finally, we’ve talked about this before but when you post to Facebook they show your post to a smaller group of users at first to see how it holds up for engagement before it shows it to a larger group.

Hailley: Phew! That’s a lot about the Facebook algorithm . Now, we’ll go through a few changes you can make to your Facebook marketing now that you know a bit more about the algorithm.

You might have figured this out, but your new priority is creating conversation on Facebook for the people you’re trying to reach, it’s not about you, it’s about creating a place for your audience to communicate.

Brian: Along the same lines, remember to be extra conscious with your content. Avoid asking people to like it and remember that Facebook prefers native content so use links back to your own site sparingly.

If you keep these things in mind, post consistently and keep your profile up to date, we have full confidence that you’ll…

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