The algorithms used by social media platforms present a mystery to some. Others see them as a monstrous piece of machinery standing in the way of digital marketing materials being viewed and engaged with. This guide will explain the inner workings of social media algorithms in 2020, with a focus on advertising campaigns and increasing the visibility of your posts in people’s feeds.

Exactly what are these algorithms for social media, anyway?

It would appear that algorithms are useful when it comes to your regular feed of organic content. Instead of merely showing posts in random or reverse chronological order, the algorithm sorts through massive amounts of data and prioritises what it deems “relevant” or “interesting” to you.

It is the goal of the algorithms powering social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok, Pinterest, and others to present you with content from your friends and family as well as the content creators and advertisers you are following (and some you aren’t).

When it comes to marketing, how do social media algorithms function?

Based on a variety of factors, including ad quality, how the ad was configured by the advertiser (including which demographics it should target), and the user’s previous interactions with ads of a similar nature, social media algorithms determine which ads users will be most interested in seeing.

What gives? In any case, it’s incredible how much information is shared on social media every minute. Algorithms are used to determine what users will find “most meaningful” in terms of both organic and paid content in an effort to filter out irrelevant material. Theoretically, the algorithm will help your marketing budget since it will target only those people who are most interested in and likely to convert on your offer.

Your preferences and how social media algorithms use them

As everyone knows, social media sites keep tabs on their users’ preferences. If you’re logged into Facebook or Twitter at the moment, you can see the content that each service believes you’ll find interesting. This, along with the user’s demographics, profession, and location, is used to determine which advertisements they will see.

Ads for various Kickstarters, especially those related to interests you’ve previously indicated, like gaming, technology and gadgets, or crafts, will be shown to you more frequently if “Kickstarter” features prominently on your interests lists.

Facebook users can now see the rationale behind the ads they see, so if they choose to hide an ad or block all ads from a particular advertiser, that will count against them in the bidding process.

The auction system and its application to social media algorithms

The auction also has an effect on the algorithm. It’s likely that hundreds, if not thousands, of other advertisers are also trying to reach the same people as you are if your target audience size is 1 million. The highest bidder gets their ad displayed first, second, third, etc. The success of an advertisement depends on the amount of money spent on it, the quality of the content, and how well it adheres to the guidelines set forth by the platform.

Here’s an example from Facebook:

  • If your ad has too much text in the image, people are more likely to mark it as irrelevant or hide it. If the user clicks on your ad and quickly leaves the landing page or back-clicks because the page is irrelevant (or clickbait), the Facebook pixel on that page and the algorithm will mark your ad as less valuable.
  • You’ll see an increase in the cost of running your ad as a result of all of these factors because your marketing budget will be shifting around to make up for the other problems.

When marketing on social media, how do you compete with algorithmic decisions?

The algorithms used by social media platforms have evolved to become increasingly complex. Paid campaign audiences are notoriously difficult to manipulate. Do you wish you had knowledge of how to outsmart a specific social media platform’s algorithm in the year 2020? Whatever you need, we can provide it.

Facebook’s advertising system

Promote likes, comments, and shares, sure, but also genuine and extended discussions in the comments by tweaking your ads to encourage this type of interaction. Facebook’s ads, like the social network itself, prioritise genuine connections with engaging content. You should always respond to feedback as soon as possible.
But you shouldn’t go crazy with it. There will be no attention-grabbing or distracting content. Comma after the last word. If people frequently leave the pages your ads link to without engaging with them, Facebook’s algorithm will label you as a potential clickbaiter and penalise your posts and ads accordingly. There will be a black mark against your Page, which could affect the visibility of future posts and advertisements you create.
Live video, like other types of video content, can generate a lot of interest. Make sure your videos are unique to your brand and don’t exceed three minutes in length to maximise their effectiveness as advertisements. Facebook video gold is found when you have a dedicated following of people who watch your videos over and over again, especially if they’re longer than a minute.

Marketing on Instagram thanks to the app’s formula

In a manner reminiscent of Facebook’s algorithm, Instagram’s primary goal is to keep users engaged within the app. To help product-focused businesses and keep users engaged, Instagram has introduced Instagram Shopping. Create an Instagram (and Facebook) Shopping catalogue if you plan on selling items; Instagram will appreciate your efforts.
Be familiar with the demographics. Instagram’s demographics are skewed towards the young, female, urban, college-educated, and affluent, in contrast to Facebook’s older, male, rural, and less educated but more affluent user base. Instagram advertisers need a clear picture of their target demographic. Strategy for reaching target demographic before they launch campaigns.