“It’s the algorithm's fault” - something many social media users will say when they never see or like their friend's post or do not get “enough” likes on their new post.
Misconceptions of social media algorithms seem to be taking over the world. There is no surprise, however, seeing as there are billions of social media users.
These misconceptions are causing everyone to blame the algorithm when something doesn’t go “right” or “well” for them when using social media apps. Although the algorithm and the control of social media networks are somewhat at fault, they cannot always be put to blame.
What Is The Algorithm?
The algorithm is a set of rules that social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc) put into play behind the scenes of apps. It calculates and evaluates a person's habits when scrolling and engaging. It is supposed to optimize a user's experience. However, that seems to not always be the case.
If algorithms control and sort a user’s feed based on their interactions, why are they not satisfying people?
Misconceptions About Algorithms
It controls what posts of yours your followers see
Many people misconceive that social media is in control of what your followers see. While it is typical to guess that social media can hide your posts from your followers, that isn’t the case.
Social media algorithms work by creating feeds based on how a person interacts with another feed.
For instance, if your friend rarely sees or likes your content, it might be because they simply do not interact with it like they do others. They might interact more with celebrity posts. If so, the algorithm will push those celebrity posts up to the top of the feed and, therefore, ahead of yours.
So the algorithm is not to blame for what people see. It is simply based on how they interact with others. Hence, their feed is tailored to what the algorithm assumes they want to see more of.
Content is not key
Although great content is going to make your feed look great and makes your followers interact with you, it isn’t the key to growing a following or attaining more engagement on social media.
The algorithm cannot see what content is “great” or “not” and, therefore, will not push people’s accounts up to other people’s feeds because of the content created.
To increase a following or attain more engagement, it will help if you engage with others. If you want your friends to see your posts, then you can simply ask them to engage with your content when they see it instead of blaming the algorithm.
Posting more will help you gain more followers
Likewise, people assume that posting more consistently will help them grow a following on social media. Although it can help in some respect, it will not always be the answer.
Nobody can ‘trick’ the algorithm. It is all about how users engage with you. If they rarely like or comment on your posts, then your content will have a smaller chance of being seen on others’ feeds.
How Can Algorithms Be Useful And Used To Be Beneficial?
Regardless of what social media users think of the algorithm, it cannot be controlled. Instead, it works by calculating how users interact with others.
In some ways, the algorithm is beneficial.
Targeted Ads. Although some social media users dislike seeing social media adverts, some like it. The algorithm will help to show you relevant and targeted ads. Whether you have been shopping at your favorite store or searching for certain products, you will likely see ads that are tailored to your preferences.
See lots of family/friends content first. If you interact with your family and friends feeds the most, then you will likely see their content before anyone else. This can be helpful in keeping up with those that matter most to you.
Enjoy content that benefits you. As well as seeing more posts from family and friends (if that’s what you desire), you will also see more content that benefits you. For example, if you regularly interact with a page about positivity and well-being, then this particular page and similar pages will show up on your feed. Therefore, the more you interact with pages and people that inspire you, the more inspired you can feel when using social media.
Although we might like to blame the algorithm, it does have some great benefits. Yes, it can be disheartening when your post isn’t engaged with as much as you’d hoped for. But, the algorithm can help you spend less time on social media apps by tailoring your content so that you can see what you want to see more often.