Understanding Social Media Algorithms in 2022 and How to Maximise your Brand ROI on Each Platform

Before we start to delve into the social media algorithms that are present in 2022, let’s first clarify what a social media algorithm is.

A social media algorithm prioritises which content a user sees in their feed first, sorting posts based on their relevancy to the user as well as their recency. A brand’s main aim is to get its content seen on social media as much as possible and therefore understanding these algorithms is an important step towards transforming your numbers online. 

So how do you make sure that your posts reach the top of your follower’s feed? 

All social media algorithms work differently so here’s a list of how to maximise your numbers and ROI on each platform.

Don’t say we never help you.

 

    Instagram

    Instagram bases its post ranking on six ranking signals:

    1. User Interests – Instagram aims to show its users posts that they are likely to engage with and therefore content that coincides with their prior interests on the platform
    2. Timeliness – The recency of posts. Fresher, more recent content will be prioritised to keep up with trends. 
    3. Relationship with Other Users – If you regularly interact with certain accounts, through liking, commenting, tagging, and sharing, Instagram is more likely to place content from these accounts higher up on your feed. 
    4. App Use – Regular users will see more fresh posts than those who use Instagram less regularly. A less frequent user will be show posts that are controlled more by their interests than recency to keep them on the app as long as possible. 
    5. Followed Accounts – If you follow multiple accounts that focus on a specific topic, Instagram will prioritise recommending similar content.
    6. Time Per Session – The longer a user spends on Instagram at one given time, the more likely they are to see all posts.

    How to Use Instagram Effectively

    • Create content that interests your target audience.
    • Engage with your audience by replying to comments and DMs. 
    • Consistency is key. You only need to post upwards of 2 posts per week on Instagram to increase your profile traffic.
    • Use relevant and trending hashtags.
    • Diversify your content types – from professional posts to light-hearted content – from carousels to videos. 
    • Use Instagram Reels! Using Reels is the surefire way of increasing follower engagement.
    • Encourage engagement through contests, giveaways, and branded hashtags.
    • Instagram live streams are also great ways to increase engagement. 
    • Post Instagram stories regularly with interesting videos, polls, and new profile posts.

    LinkedIn

    Linkedin’s algorithm largely differs from Instagram as it focuses on 3 main ranking signals:

    1. Connections – Linkedin focuses on the varying degrees of your connections. It is more likely to show you posts from your 1st-degree connections (closest connections), before your 2nd and 3rd-degree connections. However, if you highly engage with a particular connection or page, their posts will also be prioritised regardless of their connection degree. 
    2. Content Relevancy –  Unlike Instagram, Linkedin puts less priority on post recency, and more on post relevancy. A user’s behaviour, such as their interactions with people, pages, posts, and hashtags is studied and used to serve up relevant content at the top of their feed
    3. Engagement – Comments on your posts carry more importance than reactions. Reactions in turn carry more importance than shares. As a result, posts with more comments are prioritised over those with more reactions. Additionally, if a user scrolls past your post or pauses for a short time, Linkedin considers this content irrelevant to them. However, if they click on the post to read more or interact with embedded links in the post, Linkedin rewards the post with more exposure. 

      How to Use Linkedin Effectively

      • Grow your network by connecting with people in your industry and interacting with them.
      • Comment on posts to increase possible reciprocated engagement. Long comments usually get more engagement than shorter ones.
      • Use between 3-10 hashtags on your posts. Any more than 10 is considered spam.
      • Tag relevant people in your posts that are likely to engage with your content. If you tag people who have no relevance to the post however resulting in them removing the tag, Linkedin will see this as potential spam and reduce the exposure of your post. 
      • Post interactive content such as polls.

      TikTok

      TikTok is possibly the most powerful social media platform at the moment so understanding its 3 main ranking signals could benefit your traffic immensely. 

      1. User Interactions – Tiktok focuses on relevancy, prioritising videos that interest its users. The algorithm looks at a user’s followers, searches, comments, favourites, reports, content and watch time to determine what content they will interact with the most. TikTok also reduces exposure to duplicated content, content that the users have already seen, and potential spam. 
      2. Video Information – A video’s captions, hashtags, effects, sounds, and trending topics are taken into account when prioritising a user’s feed, basing it on the user’s searches on the Discover tab. 
      3. Account Settings – Location settings, language preferences, and selected interests are also used to prioritise relevant videos to users. 

       

      How to Use TikTok Effectively

      • Create content that targets your specific audience. A user’s interests are prioritised over any past viral videos or your follower count. 
      • Use keywords to write compelling captions, informing users of what your video is about.
      • Create videos using trending hashtags and sounds.
      • Post when your target viewers are active, this can differ depending on what day of the week it is. 
      • TikTok live streams are also a great way to increase user engagement.

      Twitter

      There’s a lot to Twitter’s algorithm, and the majority of it is not shared by the Twitter team. Here are the five ranking signals that are known about Twitter’s algorithm.

      1. Different Timelines – Twitter presents tweets in chronological order by recency in the Latest Tweets tab. The home timeline however is ordered based on user interests. 
      2. Customisable Timeline – Twitter also allows users to create their own Twitter list which can be organised by either relevancy or recency.
      3. Topics – Twitter recommends topics and tweets to you based on your previous interactions on the app. You can also use the ‘Topics’ option to manually tell Twitter what subjects you are interested in and what subjects you want to see less of.
      4. Trends – Trending hashtags and tweets are prioritised all over Twitter, sometimes without context.
      5. Follow Recommendations – These are based on promoted accounts, as well as a user’s location, activity, and contacts. 

       

      How to Use Twitter Effectively

      • Tweet valued content consistently.
      • Post regularly and see which time brings the most engagement from your audience. Post at those peak times.
      • Retweet, comment, respond to messages and interact with your audience. 
      • Research the keywords your industry influencers use and use them on your tweets to bring traffic to your posts.
      • Use a mix of tweet formats such as videos, GIFs, graphics, and images. Find out what works best for your audience.

      Facebook

      Similarly to Twitter, there is little known about Facebook’s algorithm. Here are the 4 ranking signals that are known:

      1. Recency – Fresher posts are shown first on a user’s newsfeed.
      2. User Interaction – A user’s interaction with accounts and pages such as brands, friends, and news sources will determine what appears higher up on a user’s newsfeed.
      3. Content-Type – Facebook also prioritises the media type that a user engages with the most, whether it’s video, images, or text. 
      4. Popularity – The more popular a post is, the more exposure it receives. 

       

      How to Use Facebook Effectively

      • Post regularly, preferably at least 4 times a week, to ensure that the recency algorithm boosts your posts. 
      • Post when your target audience is active.
      • Share content that is relevant to your audience to increase engagement and exposure.
      • The most engaged forms of media on Facebook are GIFs, short explainer videos, and text-based posts. 
      • Live streaming on Facebook has a lot of demand.

      YouTube

      YouTube’s algorithm is ever-changing, from its focus on views back in 2005, to its prioritising of watch time in 2012; Getting your videos to the top of YouTube’s recommended page is not an easy feat. Here are YouTube’s 4 main ranking signals. 

      1. User Interests – YouTube focuses on user interests to recommend videos on both the recommended pages and in search results. If you and another user searched the same thing on YouTube, you would both get different results. 
      2. Video Performance – If a video performs well it will appear higher up on the recommended page and in search results. A trending tab is also available which will rank videos based on their recent surge in views, likes and comments.
      3. Thumbnails – A video with a thumbnail is more likely to gain more exposure on YouTube.
      4. Community Guidelines – YouTube has pretty strict video guidelines which prohibit the exposure and monetisation of videos containing too much profanity or offensive content. Videos can even be taken down and the creator can be hit with a strike if a video goes against the community guidelines. This can happen if copyright material or audio is used in a video too.

      How to use YouTube Effectively

      • Create an SEO-focused video description containing keywords that ensure that the algorithm understands the intention of your video. A good description will enhance your exposure in search results.
      • Being consistent on YouTube is important. Consistency, in not just your videos, but in your brand’s voice, tone, colours, and personality will help you gain more traffic from users who search for and watch videos about similar subjects. 
      • Create enticing YouTube titles and attractive thumbnails for your videos. This is what is going to get users to click on your videos. Include keywords in your titles and within your thumbnails.
      • Engage with your audience by creating content that keeps them watching for long periods of time. Encourage them to check out your other videos too. The more engagement you get, the faster your channel will grow, and the more likely you are of appearing on people’s recommendation pages. 
      • Create relevant content about trending topics and subjects. 
      • Create content for YouTube Shorts to boost traffic to your channel and increase exposure.

      Now you know how each main social media platform uses an algorithm to create a better user experience, and what you can do with your content to increase your exposure on each platform. Let us know what you think in the comments below.  Now get out there and create some mouth-watering content. If you need any cutting edge video created for your social media accounts, get in touch!