Social Media Algorithms And What They Mean For Content

How to understand the algorithm and its updates on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook and utilize that information to plan your social media content.


While we would consider ourselves social media experts, we don’t believe that there is anyone that can call themselves an algorithm expert due to the ever-evolving changes that reveal themselves on the platforms daily — and we do mean daily. However, despite these regular updates to algorithms, we’ve got some pointers to help you nail down a strategy for your upcoming content.

So, what is a social media algorithm? An algorithm is a set of rules and signals that automatically ranks content on a social platform based on how likely each individual social media user is to like it and interact with it. Essentially, it dictates the order in which posts show up in your feed. Depending on certain factors, the platforms will push content in the order that they deem is most relevant to you specifically. 

For example: if you interact frequently with an account through liking and commenting on their posts, the platform will push their content to the top of your feed. Additionally, if you were to like a video of say, two golden retrievers playing in the snow, your page will likely show you more videos of animals doing cute things. Every interaction you have on your account will be used to map out your “For You” or “Explore” pages.

Even if you were to follow the same accounts as another person, you’ll likely never see all of the same content. This is because each account is tailored to that person, based on their algorithm that derives from their certain likes and interests.

Now that you understand the algorithm, let’s walk through each platform and their different approaches to mapping out your feed.

Current Instagram Algorithm:

Current TikTok Algorithm:

Current Facebook Algorithm:

So now that we know what the algorithms like, what does this mean for content? While there are constant changes happening with how each platform prioritizes content, the trick is to stay within some guidelines, regardless of the platform.

For instance, short-form videos took over social media within the last couple of years! If you haven’t shifted your strategy to incorporate videos, your account probably hasn’t been growing because the platforms are not pushing images into the algorithm as frequently. Come to find out, Instagram is about to start prioritizing images again, while TikTok is prioritizing carousel images…(we can’t keep up.) When it comes to back and forth changes like this, our pro-tip to stay ahead is to plan ahead! In this particular case, from here on out, do a healthy mix of both video and imagery. The beauty of video content is that on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, your videos don’t have to be professionally shot. Prioritize the budget for professional photoshoots, and have your team capture video content during the shoot.

Some additional tips to beat the algorithm changes:

So there you have it — our best tips and tricks to be smarter than the algorithm. Like we said, there is no way to fully understand all of the things behind-the-scenes, but what you can do is do your best to be prepared for any changes in the algorithm by keeping your content unique, trendy and engaging.

Skyler M.

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