Social media algorithms

If you’re an avid social media user, or if you do social media marketing for a living, you would have come across the concept of “algorithms”. 

In this article, we look at why algorithms matter, how you can use them to achieve marketing objectives, and why they’re so important for digital marketing in the coffee sector.

What are social media algorithms?

Put simply, algorithms are sets of rules that control how content is displayed, who sees it, and where it appears. 

In the past, platforms like Instagram posted their content chronologically, meaning that the most recent posts always appeared first. However, with changes implemented in 2016, mathematical algorithms now prioritise content that the platform deems to be most relevant to each user.

The algorithms do this by analysing each user’s past behaviour and by monitoring how these users view and engage with different content. This results in social media feeds that are tailored to each user’s interests and behaviours.

There isn’t just one algorithm that decides how content is displayed to social media users. Rather, for each different type of content (photo, video, text), there are a series of algorithms and processes that observe users’ behaviour and adjust content accordingly.

Why do algorithms matter? 

Algorithms can be intimidating for people who are new to social media, or for those of us who simply don’t understand how they work. The most important thing to know is that social media platforms use algorithms as a way to display popular content, which ultimately affects your business’ reach.

 Here’s what you need to remember:

  • Having high quality social media content is more important than ever before. 
  • Algorithms reward content that is engaging (content that people engage with).
  • Engaging posts are those that followers are commenting on, sharing, saving, and accounts that are posting consistently. 

In order to make the most of algorithms, you need to be able to consistently produce and post excellent content that your audience enjoys. Your followers need to click, like, comment, and share. The more engaging your content, the more these algorithms will favour it.

How can you use algorithms to achieve marketing objectives?

Now that you know the basic principles, the next step is taking action to achieve your marketing objectives. 

 Perhaps you’re looking to increase your followers, create a better sales channel, or generate more leads on your website. No matter what your aims, understanding algorithms is an important part of achieving success on social media. 

Generally, social media platforms prioritise two main things in their algorithms: 

  • New features: Each time a new feature (like Reels on Instagram) is introduced onto a platform, these features are prioritised in order to quickly increase their use and popularity. 
  • Engagement: For all types of content on social media, engagement provides the most accurate feedback for what users like and would like to see more of. 

In order to achieve your goals with digital marketing, you need to manipulate these two priorities. Focus on utilising new and popular features of social media platforms, and ensure that your content is created in a way that encourages users to engage.

How do you measure success with algorithms?

Which are your most successful posts? Which posts have the most engagement and impressions? Are you able to replicate the variables that made that post successful? Most importantly, have you seen successful content from other social media users that you could use as inspiration?

There’s no single way to measure how well algorithms are favouring your social media content. However, you can use analytics and built-in insights on social media platforms to observe the reach of your content and how algorithms have affected them. 

  • If you’re registered as a business account on a social media platform, you will have easy access to analytics and valuable insights for each post.
  • More importantly, you can use insights and analytics to measure long-term performance.
  • Take note of how well your content is performing, and after making changes to tap into algorithms, monitor how these figures change over time.

Why are algorithms important for coffee businesses?

As with many other industries, brands and companies within the global coffee sector face some stiff competition from one another. Coffee is one of the world’s most consumed products, and when it’s your primary source of content, you need to make it stand out.

 With so many different coffee businesses using social media to build a community and encourage sales, it’s important to make sure that your brand is seen, heard, and above all, engaged with.

 In the short term, it’s not always clear how social media success influences increases in sales and enquiries. However, the long term results are the most important.

If you take anything away from the above, it should be that the kind of content you’re posting matters more than you think. It’s not enough to just post on social media – you should be approaching your content strategically, exploiting algorithms to grow your community and achieve your goals. 

If you’d like to learn more about social media strategy, content marketing, and elevating digital marketing for your brand, contact us to speak to a member of the PDG Media team.

Social media algorithms