Social media algorithms define who sees what content you share. Like everything else, they are always changing and evolving with what’s trending in the social media space. Sometimes changes are relatively minor, while other times major changes happen that impact the reach of your content.
Ultimately, the direction you go with your social media strategy is up to you and what makes sense for your business, but it’s always a good idea to be aware of what’s happening with the algorithms.
So how do balance the changing algorithms with the needs of your business and the time you have available for social media? Here’s our practical approach for small business and small nonprofit social media.
Understand what’s driving the algorithm
Every social media platform is a business, and like any business, they want to make a profit. They want people to spend more time on their platform because it creates a larger audience for their advertisers and means more profit. Thus, they prioritize engaging content to keep people’s eyeballs on the screen longer. That’s why video is a popular format for sharing content, and why many platforms now put more weight on video posts than text or link-based posts.
Social media platforms don’t share what’s included in their algorithm, but many of the social media scheduling tools post blogs about trends they’re seeing around what content is performing best. You can also analyze your own social media metrics to get a better understanding of how different types of content perform on different platforms for your business.
Define your goals for social media
Have you thought about why your business is on social media? What are your goals for being there? As your business changes over time, your goals for social media will likely change too. For many of our clients, the primary goal is to share helpful, informative content with their audience. Other businesses may be looking for a quantifiable return through increased website traffic or sales via social media. What is your “why” for social media and does your approach align with it?
Determine the time investment you want to make
Videos and stories and reels make an impact on social media, but they also require time to produce. Weigh the time you can invest alongside your goals and what content has the best reach on your chosen platforms. If what you’re wanting to achieve for your social media strategy isn’t feasible for your schedule, then outsourcing some of your social media might be the next step in your business. Or, the ever-changing algorithms alongside your available time or budget may mean rethinking your goals for social media.
Don’t spend all your time chasing the algorithm
Social media platforms don’t share the science behind their algorithms, but plenty of experts watch the trends and evaluate what’s working best. While it’s good to know what changes are happening on the platforms, don’t spend all your time and energy chasing the algorithm if it means sacrificing your brand consistency or neglecting other areas of your business.
Stick with sharing content that aligns with your brand and your goals instead of constantly trying to chase the latest changes in the algorithm. If a specific platform is no longer working well for your business, scale back on that platform and focus on those with better reach to your audience.
If you’re thinking about social media trends and how your business needs to adapt, let’s chat. StoryPath Communications can help you develop a strategic approach to social media to ensure consistent marketing efforts over time.