16 Aug How to Use Algorithms To Your Advantage
What drives the content we see?
Social media is one of the most popular creations in human history with nearly 4 billion people using social media worldwide. Invaluable information is communicated between billions of users every day, including news that people ultimately form their opinions around. In the United States 53% of adults sometimes or often get their news from social media and most of that information comes from the main social media platform – Facebook.
Facebook has grown exponentially over the past decade and has the highest number of active users of any social media platform by far. Nearly 3 billion people use Facebook, including nearly 70% of adults in the United States. The unprecedented amounts of information exchanged on Facebook (and every social media platform) is driven by a hidden force: their algorithm.
The Evolution of Social Media Algorithms
If you used social media platforms in their early days, you may remember that posts seemed to appear simply in chronological order – that’s far from true these days. Social media algorithms generally optimize content to be increasingly efficient and relevant with their users. Every time you engage with a post or briefly pause to watch a few seconds of a clip, that information is used to further optimize the content you’re seeing in your social media feeds. To put it simply, a secretive algorithm determines the content (and in many cases, news) billions of people are seeing on a regular basis.
Longtime Facebook users may also have noticed the somewhat recent emphasis the platform has had on video – this is no mistake. Facebook updated their algorithm to rank videos and livestreams higher than most other content, so almost overnight video became significantly more prevalent in billions of users’ social media experience.
What Will Algorithms Look Like in the Future?
The focus of social media algorithms shows no sign of diminishing. As computing power and machine learning grow more advanced, these technologies are being applied to bolster the efficiency of social media algorithms.
Another reason algorithms are sure to continue evolving and becoming more efficient is because of the continuously increasing amount of content on the average user’s social media feed. Facebook said in a video: “because most people have more content in their News Feed than they could possibly browse in one session, we use an algorithm to determine the order of all of the posts you can see.”
When working with such a dynamic medium, the same strategy won’t work the same twice. A social media strategy from 2019 won’t work as well in 2021. As digital marketers, staying on top and ahead of social media algorithms is essential in effectively reaching and communicating with our client’s audiences. Social media algorithms are always evolving, and GillespieHall is always keeping up-to-date on algorithm alterations to get the most for our client’s digital media mix.
Philip Paverd is the lead Research Analyst at GillespieHall. A dedicated political junkie, he spends every waking hour measuring new trends and analyzing campaign effectiveness.