In 2012, Facebook changed the entire landscape of social media by switching from a chronological News Feed, whereby the newest content is shown first, to an algorithm-based News Feed. It was the first of its kind to decide that it knew what you wanted to see most.
LinkedIn would soon follow suit. Ditto Pinterest and Google Plus. In early-2016, Twitter announced a ‘Top Posts’ feed would be replacing the most recent tweets seen at the top of your News Feed. And finally, in mid-2016, Instagram completely rolled out their algorithm-based News Feed – making the ‘Insta’ in its name rather ironic.
Social media for businesses is becoming more and more reliant on high-quality content to be seen. To put it in perspective, prior to Facebook’s launch of the algorithm-based News Feed in late-2012, businesses could reach around 80% of their followers organically; now, that number is down to just 2%. The stronger the quality of the content you post, the more engagement your posts generate – and therefore, the more people who see your content.
So, how can you increase the exposure of your content?
- Firstly, optimise your posts to be something that more news feeds prefer to share: This includes using the correct spelling and grammar, not using (or at least not overusing) all capital letters and symbols, and keep your posts short, sharp and to the point – Twitter’s 140 character limit is a good rule of thumb for all networks.
- Give your followers something to look at: Posts with attachments hold a far higher engagement rate than text-only updates. In order of popularity, the most engaging types of attachments are: videos, photos and GIFs, and link attachments. Algorithms will also know when an image has been edited or covered with text, so stick to natural photos as much as possible.
- Ask your followers to get involved: A call to action can improve the performance of a TV, radio or digital ad – so why not a social media post? Ask your followers questions, encourage them to share with their friends and tell them where to click for more information.
- Know your audience: All social networks have an insights or analytics panel. Use them! Focus your attention on who your current followers are, rather than who you want your followers to be. See when they are most likely to be online, where they are most likely to view your content and what actions they are most likely to take.
- Finally – and most importantly – realise that social media is no longer free: Social media is now very much a “pay to play” medium, and even a low but regular budget can help your posts reach over 10 times more users than they would organically – so long as you set the right objective.
To give your business a boost on social media, simply contact us.