How Understanding The Social Media Algorithm Can Help Your Business

Social media marketing is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness and grow your business. However, without an understanding of how social media works, you won’t be able to effectively use it.

Marketers and content creators must understand each social media’s algorithm and ecosystem so you can understand how to create and distribute content.

In this article, we’ll discuss how understanding algorithms can help your business.

Social Media Algorithms

Social media platforms care most about the user, which is why they aim to deliver personal interactions first. If your business’ post competes with a post from someone’s best friend, that person will see their friend’s post over yours. Years ago, social media platforms would deliver the most popular posts first, so if your business’ post received thousands of likes, then someone would see your post instead of their friend’s.

However, in recent years, social media algorithms prioritize your friends’ posts and those that don’t send you to an external website. While there are some differences in algorithms depending on the platform, they all have three things in common when it comes to what is rewarded and more likely to show up in user’s feeds, including:

  • Regular activity
  • Native content
  • Content from credible pages and profiles

Ultimately, your content should be geared towards each platform’s user rather than for promoting your business. Content should be:

  • Informative and educational
  • Entertaining
  • Engaging

When someone interacts with your page or post, it tells social media this person would like to continue seeing your posts.

This is why influencer marketing has become so popular in recent years. Influencers are real people with high authority in your industry. Not only do they know the type of content their audience likes, but they daily post entertaining and engaging content.

In many cases, social media users trust influencers more than they trust brands, which can give brands a leg up against the competition when influencer marketing is correctly done.

How Can Understanding the Algorithm Help Your Business?


Now that you understand a little bit about how the algorithm works, it’s time to learn how this knowledge can help your business.

Allows You to Reach Your Audience

Because the algorithm prioritizes posts from user’s personal life, such as their friends or family, you know you need to make content that will stand out so more people are likely to engage with your brand to help your content rankings.

By creating more engaging and educational content, you can reach your audience, especially those you might be targeting. If someone is interested in your content and likes or shares it, this tells social media platforms this individual is interested in what you have to say.

On the other hand, if someone following you sees your content and never interacts with it, then it’s likely your content will be hidden or pushed to the bottom of their feed.

The takeaway from this is you need to know how to create engaging posts. You can do a mixture of content types, including sharing blogs, photos, asking questions, and more to get social media users to engage with your brand.

For example, if you are working for a company like Road Runner Sports, having  content around fitness, gear and health will be beneficial to share on social media platforms and engage the readers to further look into your website and products.

Determines the Best Type of Content

Depending on the platforms you use, you’ll have to prioritize different types of content. For instance, Instagram will require you to post high-quality photos and videos to capture your followers’ attention.

However, now that you know promotional posts are downgraded in social media algorithms, meaning fewer people will see them, you should create content that provides value to your audience.

Nobody wants to see a sales pitch on social media, especially if it’s not an advertisement. Instead of constantly promoting your business, you can provide better content that’s tailored for your audience, helping you maintain valuable relationships with your potential customers and clients.

Helps You Grow Your Follower Count

You can’t grow your follower count without creating engaging and interesting content. The more shareable your content, the better, so aim to create different types of content people are sure to share with family and friends. Growing your follower count on organic social media is becoming increasingly more difficult because business posts are no longer prioritized, even if they have thousands of engagements.

This is why viral content is more important than ever. The better the quality of your content, the more followers you can expect to obtain and maintain each month.

Promotes Better Engagement

One goal of social media is engaging with your customers and clients while offering them a more personal experience. Understanding the social media algorithm allows you to create posts that make your followers want to talk to your business to build a relationship. The better the relationship with your business, the more loyal your customers will become.

Promotes Sales

Understanding the social media algorithm can help you boost sales. While you shouldn’t overly promote yourself on social media, you can invest in social media advertisements that can help you reach your goals. Social media ads are one of the most cost-effective advertising solutions, allowing you to reach thousands of people at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.

The algorithm for advertising on social media is slightly different than the algorithm for organic social media. First, your ads are no longer competing with family and friends, but you will be competing with other businesses, so your ads need to provide value to your target audience.

Second, you’ll need to play by the rules of each platform. For example, Facebook has rules against types of images for weight-loss ads, so you must follow the rules to get your ads approved and get a high-quality score. The higher your ad’s quality score, the more likely you are to show up in the feeds and stories of your target audience.

Taking Advantage of the Social Media Algorithm

Now that you know how the algorithm works and what it demands from your business, it’s important to take advantage of your new knowledge and begin posting content that resonates with your audience. Make sure to track your analytics and referral traffic to your website so you know which posts perform best and why.

Constantly tracking your posts can help you shape future posts and learn what’s not working. You may want to survey customers and ask them which social media channel they found you on, which can show you which platforms work best for your business.

At the heart of all social media, campaigns should be interacting with your audience rather than promoting your business.

About The Author

Marné Amoguis holds a B.A. in International Business from UC San Diego. She is a contributing writer at where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, playing music, and hiking.