– Garren, Social Media Coordinator
Q1 Social Media Marketing News Updates
Good social media marketers are always on the hunt for the latest social media marketing news. Something we all know is that social media news today is never the same as it was yesterday. There’s a lot of misinformation circulating about how posts get prioritized, simply because platforms tend to be a little secretive about how things work behind the scenes. Lucky for us, both Facebook and Instagram have recently cleared the air and addressed some of the most widespread rumors about their algorithms. If you think you know everything there is to know about how these social platforms work, keep reading! We bet some of this social media marketing news will surprise you.
Social Media Marketing News Update 1: The Elusive Instagram Algorithm
This past January, Instagram went on record in Stories to share insights into how their algorithm works, and to clear up persistent rumors. First and foremost, they shared that the algorithm is always evolving on its own. Since the algorithm is grounded in machine learning, it continually changes based on what it learns, so there’s no set timeframe or person dedicated to updating the algorithm.
It’s no secret that home feeds are no longer chronological. The way social media feeds get organized has puzzled marketers and influencers alike. Instagram shared six key factors that influence who will get your post in their feed. The factors are:
The algorithm will predict how much you’ll care about a post based on “Past behavior on similar content and potentially machine vision analyzing the actual content of the post.” Anything you comment on, like, reshare, or view for a significant amount of time, will lead Instagram to assume you are interested in the topic and will prioritize similar content.
Instagram wants to show you posts from people you care about, like your friends and family. They try to figure out who these people are by analyzing who you DM, who you search for, people whose content you like most often, and those you tag in photos.
Not only does the algorithm take into account the content you are posting and the people you’re interacting with most, it also ranks your posts based on when they were posted. For example, content posted 5 minutes ago will be ranked higher than content posted 5 hours ago, because it always wants to show you the latest and greatest posts.
If you scroll through your home feed more often than most, you’ll tend to see posts ranked more chronologically. However, the less you use the app, the more it will rank content based on what it thinks you want to see.
Following more people means you probably won’t see posts from most of the accounts you follow. This factor will result in Instagram attempting to show you more content from your friends, family, and favorite accounts.
If you use the app more frequently, you’ll see posts that are more “deep cuts,” whereas if you use it infrequently, you’ll mostly see just the highlights.
Instagram also took the time to address a few other rumors that marketers have been curious about, such as:
- The algorithm doesn’t favor photos or videos; they’re ranked equally.
- IGTV videos appear larger than photos on the explore page, but this is the ONLY advantage that videos have over photos on the platform.
- Fake or bot interactions don’t count. Trying to cheat the system can hurt your rankings.
- One of the longest-running myths out there is that comments have to be longer than three words to “count” – they addressed this by saying that it’s just not true. Comments of any length are ranked equally as a comment – it doesn’t matter if it’s one word, one sentence, or one paragraph, they all count the same.
- All account types are treated equally – personal, business, and creator accounts aren’t ranked higher or lower by the algorithm relative to the nature of the account.
Social Media Marketing News Update 2: Does Facebook Have a Proprietary Algorithm?
In short – yes, and it has been changing in the background for years. At the beginning of 2020, Facebook stated that its focus was to “help users understand the algorithm and take control of those ranking signals to give it better feedback.” They also mentioned the three factors that play the most significant part in which posts it decides to show you:
- Who you typically interact with
- The type of media in the post (i.e., links, photos, videos, etc.)
- The popularity of the post
While not much detail was provided beyond the three items listed above, it seems pretty similar to Instagram’s algorithm. Facebook wants to show you content from people you care about, and the more popular a post is (meaning, the more engagement it has earned), the more likely you are to see it on your home feed.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of this social media marketing news, don’t worry. It’s a lot to take in, but when you have professionals that know it like the back of their hand (like us), your job gets a lot easier. Give us a call or email us at [email protected] – you’re in the right hands!