How I Dealt with the Social Media Algorithm: As Told by a Social Media Manager
As a Social Media Manager to several clients, finding the right balance between engagement and posting –to the utilization of platform features, gave me a complete headache.
In all honestly, Facebook, Instagram –and all the other major social media channels, are making smart moves on their end. I mean, think about it –the algorithm typically pushes out content for those who participate.
Now, participation can mean a lot of things. They (social media channels) say that engaging with your audience (commenting, reacting, sharing, etc.), or utilizing their features (IG & FB stories, exploring hashtags, joining social media groups, using their built-in emojis or filters, etc.) will help your chances of being discovered on the platforms –and yes, I agree with that. But when you're running your own business –or say, are a Social Media Manager like me... who has time for that?
For months, I noticed my clients' social media engagement go wayyy down. I used to take it personally –and so did my clients. We'd think, "is anyone out there?" or, "are we talking to a brick wall?", which soon become more and more frustrating for me, since I should have the answer for them. I mean, I really, really wanted to know what the deal was –after all, the content was great and I wanted to fix the problem for my clients.
So, I researched. And researched. And did a little more research. I soon found, that to really be seen on these platforms, you'd have to "pay to play" (or pay for a strategic ad to get your content seen). Even worse, I was horrified to find that less than 6% of your followers are even seeing what you're posting! *cue hairpulling*
With that bogus statistic, I started running paid ads for my clients to see if we could make some noise. *crickets* Yeah. So, I continued running new ads each month, split testing, increasing budgets –and still not getting the results we wanted.
I began spending hours upon hours each day –sometimes at night or on my weekends engaging, interacting –taking suggestions from any articles I'd read, etc. But it became suuuper draining for me and would bug me all. the. time. It also made me feel like I wasn't doing my job correctly, and that was the worst part.
So, I did what any creative would do and I came up with a plan:
Full performance reports
I typically always scan my analytics at the end of each month for every client –but this time, I did it a bit more thoroughly. I wanted to see which posts got the most reactions, which posts received zero love, which posts got more comments, etc. Once I gathered all of that, I took note.
Batch and repurpose
After learning the rather, depressing statistic about how many of your followers are actually seeing your content, I decided to give this "repurposing" thing a try. I mean, I've heard about it a few times, but never really understood why you'd share the same thing twice –or on a regular basis, at that! But, with less than 6% of your people seeing it the first time, the likeliness of the same 6% seeing it again is pretty slim. So, I put it into my system.
An easy process
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Once I got into this groove of analyzing content each month, I'd start archiving the high-performing posts into a library for that specific client. I'd then pull rich, solid, content that I thought would be worth sharing again, and I'd re-schedule it for other people to see. Recently, I’ve started using Smarter Queue, which literally categorizes, queues, and recycles content over and over again. There’s no way your readers would know it was recycled either because you can create numerous text and media variations, giving you dozens of posts —that technically, stemmed off of one. Super cool, and highly recommend. Once this was set up, it freed up so many of my hours, and I could spend my days engaging and growing client accounts –not racking my brain all day long with which content I should create.