Whilst social media seems like a combination of pretty pictures and captivating content, there’s more to Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn than meets the eye. Beneath the surface, there are algorithms that examine the activity of users and present content based on what they might want to see.
To post successfully on social media, you need to understand what works with the algorithm and is likely to get picked up and put in the feeds of potential followers.
Whilst the premise stays the same, over time the algorithm has changed and updated, and 2022 is no different.
What is a social media algorithm and why is it important?
Summed up, a social media algorithm is basically a set of simple guidelines that are put in place behind the scenes of the platform, which determines what posts will be successful and reach more users. This may be based on trends, hashtags, and the content of the post, but can also be dependent on engagement. If a post has a high number of likes, comments, or shares, the algorithm will notice that it is a good post and seek to place it at the top of feeds.
To truly understand how social media algorithms operate and how you can use them to reach more people, we will outline how they work for each platform and our top tips for using them to your advantage.
In the past, the algorithm on this platform prioritised posts from friends and family, but over the years Facebook has evolved, adapted, and updated to meet the changing world. Now, posts from friends, pages you are subscribed to, posts shared on Facebook Live, and posts your friends have liked are more likely to take centre stage.
Additionally, the search feature has been updated so users can easily search for content and topics that they may find interesting.
What does the Facebook algorithm prioritise in 2022?
- Content that you engage with (through leaving a like, comment, or sharing a post)
- Posts with a high number of interactions (especially those with lots of reactions and comments)
- View time on posts and stories (think video content)
- Prediction based content – Facebook will show you content that it thinks you will enjoy by assessing your profile, likes, dislikes, and pages that you are interested in
- All content that you follow – such as content from friends and family
Tips for posting to Facebook
- Plan content based on what is trending on the platform to help with engagement and reach
- Create posts that are focused on getting more engagement. This means posting consistently, interacting with your audience, and sharing photos that are likely to receive reactions, comments, and get shared.
- Break up text posts with video content. In 2022, short-style videos have grown increasingly popular with platforms like TikTok leading the way. Facebook has jumped on the bandwagon and is beginning to shift focus from traditional text posts to video content, such as live streams and reels, to keep users on the platform.
- Post your content at the right time when your audience is most active. Peak times for Facebook include the morning, lunchtime, and the evening when people get home from work. However, once you start posting and develop a following, you can use Facebook Insights to keep track of your audience and learn what times they are online.
In the past, the Instagram algorithm has been seen as difficult to get right as there are many important factors that determine whether your content is picked up. Instagram themselves have said that it should not be referred to as an “algorithm,” but “algorithms” as there are many boxes that content must tick to be successful.
What does the Instagram algorithm prioritise in 2022?
- Follower relationships – Engagement s a high priority on Instagram, part of which involves how you interact with your followers, so, whether you message each other, leave comments, tag each other, and search for usernames.
- The algorithm cares about the nitty-gritty details of each post on the platform. It assesses how well posts do, timeliness, who’s tagged in it, whether a location has been included, and the use of hashtags. All these small factors add up and help the algorithm determine whether the post is relevant and popular.
- Content with a high number of interactions is more likely to be shared, appear in feeds, and have a big impact (think likes, comments, tags, shares, and more importantly, saves)
- Newer posts always take priority over old content
How to work with the Instagram algorithm in 2022:
- Understand the community guidelines before you post. The algorithm is incredibly sensitive and limits the visibility of content that goes against the rules – this includes misinformation, political content, or even just low-resolution media. Sharing anything under this umbrella will mean your posts will be less widely distributed.
- Encourage engagement by asking questions or sparking discussions. The more comments and likes a post receives, the more likely it will be favoured by the algorithm.
- Scheduling your posts at the right time and on the right day will make a huge difference as to whether your post gets seen. Once you start building a following, you can track when your audience is most active through analytics.
- Get creative and post short Reels. According to Instagram, the platform has a team that is dedicated to sifting through video content and selecting the best clips to feature. Those that get noticed are usually, short, sweet, and filled with fun effects and music.
Unlike other platforms, Twitter’s algorithm is not set in stone: users don’t have to see content pushed by the algorithm if they don’t want to. This means that when you scroll through your timeline, you can choose to view Top Tweets or Latest Tweets – AKA algorithm or no algorithm.
However, the Trends, Topics, and Explore tab recommend accounts and tweets based on a user’s profile and interactions.
The Twitter algorithm in 2022 prioritises:
- Content that has a high amount of engagement from users that you follow
- Content that has more retweets and comments than likes
- New content that has been recently posted
How to work with the Twitter algorithm:
- Stay active and show that you are committed to the platform. Tweeting regularly and consistently will boost your visibility and increase engagement, both of which are key signals for the algorithm.
- Tweet during peak hours to reach the most accounts. According to Hootsuite, the best time to post on Twitter is 8am on Mondays and Thursdays. However, depending on your audience and where they are based, you may need to post more regularly and throughout the day to ensure it gets seen.
- Hashtags are the bread and butter of Twitter – posts without any at all are less likely to get attention.
- Join in on discussions by following what’s trending. If you find an opportunity to jump in on a trend and find a unique way to get involved, do it!
The professional platform is considered essential for any business and marketer that is looking to make connections and start networking. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is continuously changing, meaning that you need to understand how the algorithm works to master it.
What does the LinkedIn algorithm prioritise in 2022?
- Clear, focused content that is relevant, which the algorithm thinks users will like
- Content that has a high number of interactions, especially a large amount of comments
- Posts from personal profiles rather than business pages
- Native content that is hosted on their website and doesn’t have any outbound links. According to Hootsuite, posts without links receive 600% more LinkedIn impressions – almost 4 times more reactions and 18 times more comments.
- Content that inspires followers, provides solutions, and helps them work towards their goals
How to beat LinkedIn’s social media algorithm in 2022:
- Focus on employees’ profiles rather than just the business page. Post from these as well for a personal touch.
- Increase reach and engagement by sharing business content from team profiles
- Experiment with posts to see which content gets the best response from your audience. Include text, share images, and create exciting videos that have a positive impact.
- Stay consistent and post at times when your followers are most active and are scrolling through their feed. You can learn more about your visitors by tracking analytics.
- Create content that speaks directly to your followers and encourages them to interact. Ask questions, host live streams, and spark conversations – the more comments you receive, the better.
- Build connections. LinkedIn’s main USP is the concept of forming a network and connecting with business owners, employees, and thought leaders. Therefore, it’s important that you regularly follow new people and reach out to new communities. By staying active and building a large following, you’re more likely to get noticed.
- Consider using Creator Mode – this will provide a whole host of new tools and options with a greater focus on content creation.
Have you mastered social media algorithms?
Whilst social media algorithms can seem confusing (and they often are), once you’ve got to grips with how they work and why they are important, you can effortlessly create content that will grow your online presence. If you’re not a fan of them, well, unfortunately, they are here to stay!
We hope that this overview of how algorithms have changed in 2022 has helped you to understand how each platform works and what content is favoured by AI. If there are any tips that we missed, leave a comment or get in touch.
For more help on content creation, contact us on 01904 863511 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org