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How Social Media Algorithm Changes Affects You

How the user experience is changing across Social Media

The allure of being in the moment with connections around the world brings in droves of users to social media sites. Perhaps you missed a night out with friends over missing a new Netflix series and still want to feel like a part of the crew. Just log in to a social network of choice so you won’t miss a beat. Chances are your friends are sharing the night’s highlights as they happen.

Ideally you’d like a chronological view of the evening’s shenanigans, but depending on which social media network you’re logged into you may not see it that way.

 

Twitter, Facebook, and subsequently Instagram have adopted timeline or newsfeed algorithms that determine what posts a users sees when they log into their accounts. This information is no longer dispersed chronologically; however, by default, the social sites use historical behavior to determine which posts you see when.

So small businesses shouldn’t shy away from the idea of paid campaigns that could potentially bring in new customers

While Twitter will first show posts from the accounts you interact with the most and tweets you engage with, how Facebook and Instagram choose which posts you see is a little more mysterious. Looking just beneath the veil we see Facebook’s motivation is to show users “posts you care about the most.”

 

Missing a night out with friend’s doesn’t sound like too big of deal, but what about world events or breaking news in your area? Given its news-driven roots, Twitter does give its users the option to opt-out of algorithmic timelines. On Facebook, jumbled feeds can help the most popular posts from friends crop up to the top, but it can also make posts anti-climatic if they’re sharing moments from events where chronology is important.

 

Facebook took changes to its feed a step further by prioritizing posts from friends and family, a move that nearly edges out marketers. “Nearly” because marketers can still show up in a users feed if they pay, a notion most small business marketers have surely become accustomed to when it comes to the social media giant.

 

Sure, there are ways to optimize your small business page to minimize the negative impact of the algorithm changes on Facebook but the one surefire tactic is a strong paid strategy. Facebook and Twitter have paid media options for all budgets, so small businesses shouldn’t shy away from the idea of paid campaigns that could potentially bring in new customers, spread awareness and keep your current audience engaged.

 

What is your experience with algorithmic newsfeeds on social media? Hopefully by time you weigh in this topic isn’t very, very old news.

About Author Nicole Lightbourne

Nicole Lightbourne is a digital & social media professional with increasing experience in public relations, corporate branding, message development and B2B marketing. She has strategized and launched communication activations for some of the world’s largest brands. Most notable is her experience managing the strategic (and award-winning) use of digital and social media for Fortune 100 brands.

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