Using the Algorithm to Increase Engagement

In the math and programming world, the word algorithm is familiar and used for nearly everything. In computing, an algorithm is the list of instructions and rules that a computer needs to do to complete a task. In a general sense, an algorithm is how a set of facts is transformed into useful information.

Now in terms of social media, algorithms are a way of sorting posts in a user's feed based on relevancy instead of publishing time. Because social networks want to increase activity, they prioritize certain content a user sees in their feed when they open it by the likelihood that they’ll actually want to see it and continue interacting on the network. There are algorithms on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more.

There are some benefits to this. Your closest friends and family may be displayed higher up in your feed because those are the accounts you interact most often with. However, the algorithm on social media is also controversial. As someone trying to boost themselves or their brand on social media, the reach and impact they have on any given network can be negatively impacted by the algorithm

Before the algorithm switch, social media feeds displayed posts in reverse chronological order. Marketers typically preferred this, as they had more control over the reach their brand received. However, there are tangible steps marketers can still take to optimize their posts. The ideal scenario is that a balance will be discovered for what an algorithm wants, and what kind of content an audience wants.

How to Optimize Your Posts Using the Algorithm

Social media algorithms think of engagement as a reason to promote content on the feed. The more engagement content gets, the more likely it is to be rewarded by the algorithm. Therefore, brainstorm ways to generate more activity by your content. Encourage interaction and connect with your audience.

Tag Accounts

Another way to boost engagement is to tag other accounts. Tag a friend, tag a business, or tag a brand or customer any time you are mentioning their account. This way, you are gaining traction through engagement within the algorithm, and raising awareness for your own account.


Hashtags are essential to make your content easy to find, and it creates a category for your posts. Hashtags make it more likely for your content to appear on the feed of a user interested in the hashtag and who may want to interact with your account.

Post Timing

Knowing what time your followers engage the most with your content is important to benefit from the algorithm. Timing is a huge factor in determining how much engagement any piece of content gets, and posting when your audience is most active will mean your posts are more likely to be seen and receive interaction. There are different times for different social media platforms that return the best engagement.

Different Types of Content

Posting the same type of content over and over on social media can bore followers or consumers, losing their interest can drop and decrease engagement. To keep users engaged, while also working with the algorithm, switch up the type of content you are creating and posting to your feed. Some ways to do this are to switch up image-based posts versus text-based posts, add more videos, use links when posting content, and using multiple hashtags.

Don’t be discouraged or defeated by the algorithm! Learning how to work with the algorithm rather than against it is crucial for the success of your business on social media. Knowing what the algorithm is, and how to promote your brand using it, is best for your long-term social presence.

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