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Social Media Algorithms

Social Media Algorithms – love them or hate them, they are something every business must face when trying to establish a successful social media presence. The point is, every social media algorithm is different and includes many different evolving factors that don’t necessarily have to be given equal priority on each one. This can be confusing to try and understand it all. Lucky for you, we’ve dived into each of the social media algorithms below, highlighting a list of their priorities and ways to succeed on each.

What is a social media algorithm?

Social media algorithms are calculations that automatically determine the order in which social media posts appear on people’s feeds. They are a way of organizing posts by relevance. In general, engagement and recentness are the factors that influence all social media algorithms. Engagement refers to both the amount of engagement on a particular post and the amount of users who typically interact with the profile behind that content.

It makes sense that social media networks want users to spend as much time as possible on their platforms and stay engaged. That’s why it’s important for them to highlight the content a user wants to see first based on how relevant it is to that user.

Not too long ago, social media posts appeared in reverse chronological order, where the newest posts were shown first, and scrolling down the feed was like scrolling down a timeline of posts. However, all platforms have turned to an algorithmic approach to give users more of what they want to see based on their behavior and what their platforms are primarily used for. Facebook doesn’t always prioritize content like LinkedIn does as Facebook is mainly used to stay in touch with friends and family while LinkedIn is for professional networking.

Facebook Algorithm

We don’t know for sure how Facebook chooses what content to show you, but what we do know is that Facebook wants to encourage scrolling. That way, they have more opportunities to show you ads, which is where they make money. So Facebook has a variety of ranking factors that calculate what appears on your news feed and the order in which they appear – which they think you are most likely to engage with and will keep you on the platform.

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facebook user head vector

How does the Facebook algorithm work?

So we’ve proven that Facebook determines which posts to show in your news feed according to what they think you’ll engage with the most. But how do they know What posts are you likely to interact with? They take into account the type of post you have an engagement history with and will push similar posts your way. They are pulled from a variety of media types, such as images, text, and videos, to make your news feed as engaging and “scrollable” as possible.

  1. Facebook algorithm prioritizes content from friends and family than businesses. Organic content posted from business accounts on Facebook often struggles because Facebook drives content based on user relationships – meaning posts about friends and family come first.
  2. Facebook algorithm prioritizes content from people you interact with. This goes hand in hand with pushing content from friends and family, as it means people engage a lot with people they know.
  3. The Facebook algorithm prioritizes the type of content you interact with. Do you often interact with photos or videos more often? Facebook will learn the answer and calculate your news feed accordingly.
  4. Facebook algorithm prioritizes the number and length of comments than likes.
  5. Facebook algorithm prioritizes popular posts. Reactions take precedence over likes and shares over comments, etc.
  6. Facebook algorithm prioritizes group posts and events because they are “the two biggest reasons people visit Facebook every day”.
  7. Facebook algorithm prioritizes recent hits. The newer it is, the higher it will appear in your feed.
Facebook algorithm vector

Instagram algorithm

Instagram’s algorithm is much more business-oriented than Facebook’s algorithm. It’s a well-known platform that offers a ton of benefits to businesses, whether it’s in the form of brand awareness, influencer partnerships, or just general conversions. Even so, Instagram insists that its algorithm places equal emphasis on both personal and business content. Instagram has announced more details here.

How does the Instagram algorithm work?

Just like with Facebook, the more we interact on Instagram, the better this serves Instagram. That means they can continue to show us more ads and thus earn more profit.

  1. Instagram algorithm prioritizes likes. The posts with the most likes will be the most successful and will be pushed to your news feed.
  2. Instagram algorithm prioritizes recent posts. It’s been a big deal on Instagram lately. Before the age of algorithms, Instagram content would appear on people’s feeds in reverse chronological order. This consideration of time still plays a part in algorithms today. Recent posts are more likely to be relevant and generate more engagement.
  3. The Instagram algorithm prioritizes posts from people you interact with. If you’ve interacted with certain accounts in the past, Instagram may push their content to you in the future. This is because you are likely to continue to engage with their content based on your past history.
  4. Instagram algorithm deprioritizes clickbait. Any content they deem to be decoys – content primarily intended to attract attention and encourage users to click through to a certain website – including contests and giveaways.
  5. The Instagram algorithm de-prioritizes content with no added value. In general, Instagram considers reposted content to be non-value-added and therefore won’t drive it forward.
  6. Instagram algorithm prioritizes consistency and frequency. Content from accounts that post consistently and frequently gets higher priority and gets pushed to people’s feeds more than content from less active accounts. This incentivizes accounts to post more to increase their numbers and keeps Instagram as fresh and engaging as possible by making sure there’s always fresh content being viewed. Constant and regular posting on stories is absolutely essential.
algorithm ranking factor vector

TikTok Algorithm

If you want to learn more about working with TikTok, then our TikTok Marketing and How to Grow TikTok Followers for Business tutorials will guide you. As for TikTok’s algorithm, The Wall Street Journal has conducted an investigation to uncover the truth behind it. Since TikTok boomed relatively recently, its algorithm has been shrouded in mystery. However, TikTok did give some insight into how the app recommends videos in the #ForYou page.

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How does the TikTok algorithm work?

  1. The TikTok algorithm prioritizes posts from people you interact with. If you follow accounts, like, or comment on other people’s content, you’ll see more of their content.
  2. The TikTok algorithm prioritizes the type of content you interact with. Whether it’s a video with subtitles, a specific track that grabs your attention, or the hashtag challenges you follow. Completing an entire video is one of the strongest signs to TikTok that you’re interested in that type of content.
  3. The TikTok algorithm prioritizes content related to your account and device settings, such as language preferences, country settings, and device type. These factors are less important than user interaction and engagement.

Twitter Algorithm

Twitter is a very different platform than its social media cousins. While Instagram is purely visual, Twitter is much more copy-oriented. As a result, the way we interact with content on Twitter will vary, which means the algorithm must be fed accordingly.

How does the Twitter algorithm work?

Twitter likes content that generates a lot of interaction in the form of retweets and comments because this recycles existing content to keep the platform full of content for everyone. The more content that exists per feed, the more people will scroll and the more ads they can show you.

  1. Twitter algorithm prioritizes recent hits. You’ll see recent content at the top of your news feed, especially considering how much Twitter is used to provide and discuss breaking news and current events.
  2. Twitter algorithm prioritizes high engagement. Twitter not only emphasizes the content you interact with, but also promotes it by tallest interaction in general – whether or not you personally interact with the content of that profile.
  3. The Twitter algorithm prioritizes content from the people you follow. On the platform it’s easy to see content from accounts you don’t follow on your news feed, which is important.
  4. Twitter algorithm prioritizes retweets and comments. Some platforms, like Instagram, value likes the most, while Twitter prioritizes retweets and comments over likes.
pre-coding robot

LinkedIn Algorithm

LinkedIn is the social media network for professionals, and in that way is also used quite differently from networks like Instagram and Facebook.

How does the LinkedIn algorithm work?

  1. LinkedIn algorithm prioritizes consistency. Consistency is a recurring theme across all algorithms. The more consistent accounts posted on LinkedIn, the more their content will be prioritized by the algorithm.
  2. LinkedIn algorithm prioritizes content from people you interact with. Just like all other platforms, it makes sense, doesn’t it?
  3. LinkedIn algorithm prioritizes high engagement and it will appear on your news feed regardless of whether you have a history of interactions with the account itself. Of course, this is only when the algorithm determines, based on other factors, whether you are likely to interact with this particular piece of content.
  4. LinkedIn algorithm prioritizes comment length. The longer the comment, the better. This takes precedence over response count, which is not the case on every platform. This is because LinkedIn is a platform where content is valued, not just images.
  5. LinkedIn algorithm de-prioritizes business content. This may come as a surprise, as many businesses are known to use LinkedIn as part of their marketing strategy.



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