Understanding Social Media Algorithms for 2024

by Lindsay Bonamigo, Senior Digital Marketing Specialist

Social media algorithm changes have altered the way content reaches users. They now emphasize personalization and an enriched user experience.

That shift reflects how digital platforms rely on each user’s preferences to tailor the recommendations the platform makes to those users. Social media algorithms will continue to integrate more advanced AI to refine content delivery and make it more appealing.

Learning why and how platforms curate content can help you write for social media and reach your target audience.

Social Media Algorithms: Why You See What You See

Social media has become more than a platform for personal connections. It’s a business with the primary goal of keeping customers coming back.

The content on your feed isn’t random. It’s carefully curated by complex algorithms designed to maximize your time online. Algorithms analyze your interactions, preferences and time spent on specific posts and use that data to deliver similar content.

The more you interact with a certain kind of content, the more you’ll see. That cycle encourages users to stay on a social media platform longer. It can also give you a better chance of getting your products and services in front of those users.

Social Media Algorithms by Platform

Algorithms vary by platform, and they address the needs of their different users.

Facebook Algorithm

Facebook boasts a global user base and has transitioned from a social network to a multifaceted site that provides news, entertainment and business information.

The expansion necessitated a more complex algorithm, which is evident in its latest iteration centered around:

  • User engagement: Facebook’s algorithm emphasizes likes, comments and shares. Those interactions indicate content quality, so more engaging posts receive higher visibility. That incentivizes content creators to produce material that resonates with their audience.
  • Content relevance: The algorithm cultivates related content based on the types of posts users connect with and the time they spend on each one.

Instagram Algorithm

Instagram focuses on visual content and appeals to a younger demographic that values creativity and aesthetic presentation. The platform has become a hub for influencers, brands and individuals who share visually intriguing content, from personal photos to professional graphics.

The algorithm prioritizes:

  • Image and video quality: High-resolution images and videos are more likely to appear in user feeds because Instagram prioritizes content that offers an aesthetically pleasing experience.
  • User engagement: Likes, comments and shares are crucial to success on Instagram. The algorithm promotes content that looks good and sparks interaction to keep different communities connected.
  • Timeliness: The algorithm values new content that matches users’ previous actions and preferences.

X (Twitter) Algorithm

X is known for news updates, trending topics and public discourse. Its user base is diverse, ranging from company accounts to high-profile celebrities and politicians.

This platform prioritizes:

  • Trending content and hashtags: The algorithm places importance on trends and popular hashtags to expose users to current events and hot topics.
  • User interaction and network: X evaluates network influence, so posts with more traffic are more likely to appear in multiple feeds.
  • Personalization and interests: The algorithm customizes each person’s feed to include posts and topics that align with their interests to create a personalized social media experience.

5 Tips for Appealing to Social Media Algorithms

  1. Consistency is key, so post regularly to keep your content relevant.
  2. Respond to comments and messages to encourage communication.
  3. Use popular hashtags on X and Instagram to increase your content’s reach.
  4. Leverage video content to boost engagement.
  5. Use insights and analytics to determine which content resonates with your audience.

Post Ideas to Promote Social Media Engagement

  1. Behind-the-scenes posts: Offer glimpses into your operations and personal aspects of your brand to connect your audience with your mission.
  2. User-generated content: Showcase content from your followers to build community and inspire interactions.
  3. Polls and questions: Sharing polls and asking thought-provoking questions can inspire your audience to voice their opinions.
  4. How-to guides and tutorials: Share practical tips or step-by-step guides to provide value to your audience.
  5. Challenges and contests: Initiate challenges or contests with incentives to drive participation.
  6. Live videos and Q&A sessions: Talk with your audience during live videos and Q&A sessions.
  7. Promotions and announcements: Create a sense of urgency with exclusive deals and important announcements to prompt action.
  8. Infographics: Make complex data visually appealing and shareable by converting it into infographics.
  9. Personal stories and experiences: Share anecdotes, testimonials and experiences that humanize your brand and help your audience relate to your mission.

Partner with Social Media Experts Who Know the Algorithms

TouchStone Digital specializes in navigating social media marketing. Our team focuses on staying ahead of the curve to provide you with an effective social media strategy centered around your target audience. Call 419-299-9000 or send us an email to start a conversation.

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