Social media has become part and parcel of our lives. According to a study by Statistica, the average social media user spends 151 minutes a day on social media. Other studies indicate that over 60% of the world’s population is on social media.
With such a huge number of users, there is a need for order on the social media feed. This is where the social media algorithm comes into play. This article will examine how the algorithms of the leading social media sites work.
What Is A Social Media Algorithm?
A social media algorithm is a set of instructions programmed to deliver content based on your past behavior. The algorithm takes into account different factors to determine the posts that appear on a user’s feed. These include historical data, content relevance, and popularity of previous posts. However, different social media platforms have different algorithm rules.
Since there is a lot of content to be shown, the algorithm aims to bring users what they think is relevant to a user and weed out irrelevant content. This creates order on social media sites.
How Social Media Algorithm Works
The algorithm shows user’s posts depending on several factors. The most common in all social media sites are:
- Relevance. If you keep interacting with specific posts, social media sites will show similar posts.
- Noise filtering. While social media sites prioritize posts from friends and people you follow, they also filter out noise. That means they will hide the content of a friend you don’t regularly interact with.
- Sponsored content. If the algorithm thinks a sponsored ad meets your preference, this will be shown in your newsfeed.
How Different Social Media Algorithms Work
As we noted earlier, different social media sites have different ranking signals determining the content they show. Let’s see how the algorithms of the top options work.
With close to 3 billion active users, Facebook is the leading social media platform. The Facebook algorithm focuses more on meaningful user engagement. The platform uses four signals to determine what to show the user. These are:
- Type of content. The algorithm will take note of the kind of content you spend time on. It will then show you more of that.
- Popularity. The site gives more prominence to posts with a higher engagement level, such as more likes, comments, and shares.
- Relationship. The site prioritizes content from family and friends.
- Quality of content. The social media site also gives priority to informative and authentic content.
While paid ads are ranked differently on Facebook, they mostly revolve around customer interest, customer response, and relevance.
Twitter uses several factors to rank articles. These include:
- Relevance. The account you follow will be shown on your feed.
- Recency. Twitter also prioritizes recent tweets.
- Personal interest. The algorithm considers the tweets and accounts you regularly interact with.
- Virality. The algorithm gives prominence to trending topics and users’ engagement levels in your network.
YouTube, too, has several ranking signals, such as:
- Watch history. The video-sharing platform will show you videos you have watched and interacted with recently.
- Popularity. YouTube will also give prominence to videos with many likes, comments, clickthrough rates, and shares.
- Search history. The site records videos you searched recently and will recommend others in the same niche.
TikTok is one site that has exploded in popularity in the recent past. The site has a personalized algorithm that considers different factors, such as:
- Video details, like descriptions and captions
- User interaction
- Device/Accounts settings
One thing you will love about Tittok is that it doesn’t consider the number of followers when recommending videos. If you create good video content, it will show your videos on people’s feeds.
The Instagram feed will show you stories from the accounts you interacted with in the recent past. Some of their key ranking factors are:
- Activity. If you like, comment or share a post on Instagram, the social media site will show you more of such posts.
- Post details. The platform also considers different factors, like the number of people who liked a post, the length of the post, and when it was posted.
- Interaction history. When you follow people, you will see more of their posts. The accounts that you visit will also be shown more on your feed.
Instead of creating followers, LinkedIn focuses mroe on networking. This reflects also on the way its algorithm works. Some of the factors its algorithm considers are:
- Content relevance. The site aims to promote engagement and, therefore, prioritizes the quality and relevance of content. The site classifies posts as spammy, high-quality, or poor-quality. It also considers if the content is easy to read, has hashtags, includes strong words, and if it spurs responses.
- Connections. The platform also shows you your posts appear in your close LinkedIn connections.
- Early engagement. This is another factor determining whether a post will be pushed higher.
You should understand how the social media algorithm works to grow your number of followers and become an influencer. Once you do, you can tweak your account and posts to push your content highly on people’s feeds. But with most social media sites also showing content to your followers, you may also want to buy social media followers. This way, you will have a ready following to see your posts on their feed.