What is Algorithm in Marketing & How does it affect your Promotional Efforts?

Are you tired of being confused about the term algorithm in a digital marketing context?  Algorithm has seemingly become a scapegoat for failed marketing efforts through social platforms, particularly Facebook.  This malicious phantom diminishes our post reach and engagement by limiting visibility in our fans’ and followers’ feeds.  We feel trapped within this ubiquitous set of rules because we cannot figure out how to control the productivity of our carefully planned posts.

This first step in problem solving is to identify the problem by recognizing what it is.  Algorithm is defined as a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps, as for finding the greatest common divisor.  Okay, that makes sense… right?  Yeah.  I think so.  I mean, basically, yeah.  Not really.  So, how do you apply that definition to making the time you have spent on creating content more productive?

By trying to understand how the word algorithm is applied to digital marketing and social media, we may be able to beat its apparent limitations.  Newsfeed is designed to display content that is relevant to individual viewers.  Syndacast has noted that social media is much more complex than what we might see on the surface and that each social media channel has its own algorithm, which determines how frequently and extensively your content gets shared.

Algorithm is not just written code but lots of little pieces that are trying to accomplish the overall goal of connecting you with what you’re looking for and what you like.  Techs are constantly working on changes that may take months to launch. Analysis, evaluation, experimentation, and implementation are used in changing codes to benefit the viewers according to a YouTube spokesman.

Social pages are a significant part of establishing your online identity and marketing your business. As newsfeed continues to be a competitive place due to the inundation of content, we are pushed to find the most effective way to be part of it.  Organic reach continues to decline, so the notion of “pay-to-play” becomes more relevant.  Social channels are free to join, but business owners often gripe about having to make a financial investment in promoting themselves through social channels.  But, really, we’ve all been living there for free for a long time and the rent is due.

According to Convince & Convert, Facebook has altered the math of the game so that only posts that get a disproportionate amount of engagement (likes, clicks, comments, shares) will be seen by a lot of people – regardless of whether those people are fans or friends. This opens up more real estate for Promoted Posts (ads) from companies or people.

Page posts considered overly promotional have been limited in their ability to reach fans.  SocialTimes has identified how Facebook designates brands as such through three factors:  posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app; posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context; and, posts that reuse the exact same content from ads.

So there you have it.  That makes sense.  Social networks can and have changed the game.  Brand pages have to accept and adapt to see the return on investment in their time, efforts and sharing of ideas.

News Feed algorithm considers the type of posts with which individual users typically engage that influences what shows up.  MarketingLand has some advice to page owners: create and publish a variety of interesting content that will attract shares, comments, likes and clicks. That requires understanding your Facebook fans — from the types of posts they interact with to the different devices they might be using when they’re on Facebook.

Do you have a somewhat better understanding of what algorithms in digital marketing are and how they affect your promotional efforts through social media?  It can seem pretty complicated, but the sources cited above have some in-depth and helpful information about about this topic.  Essentially, to work with channel algorithms you must identify your audience and what they want to see, create quality content that doesn’t overly promote your brand, and strategically invest in boosting select posts.

If it still seems more complicated and your time is too limited, contact us at High Road Digital to take the pressure off utilizing digital marketing resources for your brand.

Written by Kate Van Huss

Written by Kate Van Huss

Director of Digital Advertising and Social Media Contact Kate

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