The Age of Social Media Algorithms

Hi, I’m Jay Dolan, and this is Capstrat’s the Week That Was.

We are living in the age of algorithms. Whether we are on Google or Facebook, driving our cars or filling out an Excel spreadsheet, algorithms are everywhere in our technological lives.

Why should I need to make a decision when thousands of computers in a server farm somewhere can make them for me?

Two new algorithms are about to shake things up for brands on Twitter and Instagram. Currently, these social networks display your posts in reverse chronological order, displaying posts from the newest to the oldest. What’s going to happen is that Twitter and Instagram are going to show you what they think you’re most likely to be interested in.

Instagram is growing rapidly. More growth means more people posting more photos, so they need people to be engaged immediately when they open the app.

Twitter, on the other hand, is stagnant.  They’re actually losing users. They need to keep people coming back and keep them engaged.

What’s important to know is that, right now, neither social network says they’re cutting content out of your news feed. They’re simply rearranging it.

But that didn’t stop a panic among marketers and social media celebrities.

Hundreds of brands and Instagram personalities posted photos to their timelines asking people to be notified every single time they post.

Talk about arrogant. How many photos of a pizza next to a basketball does anyone need to see for March Madness?

For brands, trying to game a constantly changing algorithm will never result in long-term wins. Don’t punish users with more notifications just because you don’t have great content.

No matter which social network you publish on, content is king. Put your audience first. If you provide them with content they value, you will be rewarded.

I’m Jay Dolan, and this has been Capstrat’s The Week That Was.