Navigating the Changed Social Media Algorithm: Twitter, LinkedIn & YouTube

Social media algorithms have such a massive impact on social media channels. In the first article of this series, we saw how the new social media algorithms were affecting social media as a whole, and in the second article, we looked at ways to beat the algorithm on Facebook & Instagram. Now, let’s understand how these algorithms affect the remaining three big platforms.

Get your tweets, articles and videos in line with these tips

The new social media algorithms have affected platforms Twitter, LinkedIn & YouTube in more ways than one. Some of the key changes the algorithms have introduced are:

  • Automation bots are no longer allowed to suggest or schedule content
  • Platforms promote posts across different levels of connections and create very high barriers for businesses to scale
  • Algorithms change and evolve based on the insights AI provides them, making any plans marketers make completely redundant

This is creating immense challenges for brands in finding and engaging with audiences. Knowing what to do to beat these new problems will help organisations design a plan of action that is bound to be effective.

Image credits: Pixabay

1. Twitter

42% of Twitter users use the app every day looking for engaging content and product/service information. To get found by them, brands need to ensure their posts are algorithm-compliant. Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Time your tweets right

What with the bots banned from scheduling Twitter tweets, it’s important for brands to consistently post relevant content during the times when their user base is most active.

Let’s say your target audience is most active between 7 & 8 PM. Posting relevant content extensively at this time will give you a better chance of getting your posts high on their timeline.

The logic is simple – if your target audience finds your posts relevant and they see these posts at the time they are most active, they are more likely to engage with your posts, improving its ranking in the eyes of the algorithm.

  • Develop and focus on content/subject-specific posts

Subject mastery is key to helping you develop content which is actionable, insightful and useful to readers. When you’re the top authority on a particular subject, you are more likely to post about topics that will be relevant to your readers.

Producing quality and relevant content will let your tweets shine. They will also start being visible at the top of the timeline, irrespective of the date of publishing.

  • Put Twitter Analytics to good use

Twitter Analytics is a God-send when it comes to combating the changed algorithms. The analytics tool helps businesses get insight into important factors like:

  1. Tweet impressions
  2. Comparison data for a different persona
  3. Followership growth pattern
  4. Engagement rate
  5. Trend analysis
  6. Live/video performance metrics
  7. Basic demographic insights

By having access to this information, brands can create content that is perfectly suited to the needs of unique groups of audiences and personalise tweets to become more relevant to each group.

Image credits: Pixabay

  • Reply and retweet to your followers

Higher engagement translates to greater visibility online. When it comes right down to it, no algorithm is powerful enough to overtake the effects of an insanely popular profile. This is where engagement helps.

If you push yourself to reply to your audiences’ comments, like their tweets and retweet insightful information, you are more likely to be noticed and followed.

  • Make use of the extended word count

The whole point of the algorithm promoting relevant content to users is to make the tweets useful to them. You can help the algorithm (and in turn help yourself) achieve this objective by making complete use of the new 280 character limit on Twitter.

The longer the word count, the more enriching the tweet is likely to be. Give more information, set the context, provide examples – the sky is the limit.

  • Avoid anything that makes your profile look like spam

One of the key algorithmic changes on Twitter was banning the use of bots on Twitter for content scheduling and data collection. This was predominantly because of the villainous role bots played during the Trump Presidential Elections.

Bots have very distinct features which identify them as not human- the lack of a human profile image, little to no details in the bio, endless stream of retweets and a huge number of tweets (above 1000) posted throughout the day.

If your profile exhibits any of these signs, the new algorithms will wrongly recognise you as a bot, automatically demote your posts and shut down your profile. To prevent this, you’ll need to make sure everything is transparent and human-like on your timeline.

Image credits: Pixabay

2. LinkedIn

61 million LinkedIn users are in the senior management position and are often the influencers or deciders for B2B purchase decisions. Speaking of influencers, LinkedIn is home to some of the most famous social media influencers like Richard Branson whose personal brand is worth 100X more than their company’s and who can really help brands with their marketing.

To get noticed by both types of influencers, brands need to navigate the challenges posed by the new algorithm. Here are some ways to do so:

  • Network only with the most relevant

The LinkedIn algorithm actively promotes articles engaged by users to their first and second-degree connections, without marketer intervention. If used correctly, brands can leverage this feature to attract relevant audiences.

Start by searching for readers who belong to the same industry or who actively purchase or resell the products you specialise in. Post customised content exclusively for them. The more you do so, the higher is the chance of them engaging with your articles.

The moment they like/comment/share your articles, they will start appearing in the feed of their first and second-degree connections, who are in all probability a hidden market for your product/service.

  • Go native

Native images, videos, articles and interactive games are content which the new social media algorithm actively encourages over non-native content. One of the best ways to beat the algorithm is to increase the production and marketing of on-site, native content.

We recommend the 80/20 rule here. Focus 80% of your content marketing efforts on creating native content and the rest 20% on outbound, website content. These days, you have specialised content marketing agencies which can create and promote bespoke content both on and off social media.

Image credits: Pixabay

  • Choose status over blog posts

The LinkedIn algorithm shows blatant favouritism to status updates. This is why you’re more likely to find statuses in your feed compared to long-form blog posts. A good way to ace content marketing is to produce content that the algorithm shows a clear preference for.

Like they say, if you can’t beat them, join them.

  • Experiment with broetry

If you’re a regular user of LinkedIn, you may have seen some statuses that look positively weird, almost poem-like. These are called ‘broems,’ and they are the latest fads on LinkedIn which the new algorithm adores.

Broems or broetry, as it is formally known, comprises of 2-7 lines – which includes context and an emotional hook. Essentially, they are self-help mantras condensed to the form of a poem. The objective of the broem is to inspire the reader to follow a link to another article on LinkedIn or a website outside the platform.

This kind of content has become so famous these days, it receives one of the highest engagement online. It is because of this engagement alone that posts that use broems are promoted over those that don’t.

Micro influencer and digital marketing entrepreneur Josh Fechter is a master at making broetry. Take a look at some of his work here.

Image credits: Pixabay

3. YouTube

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine followed by Google and over 1 billion hours of videos are watched every day on YouTube. This makes the platform very lucrative for businesses.

Unfortunately, beating the YouTube algorithm is one of the most challenging things in the world. Why? Because no one really knows how the YouTube algorithm works. Not even YouTube engineers.

YouTube uses high-end machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to power their algorithm. This AI and machine learning-led algorithm use billions of parametric combinations to dynamically change the way videos are promoted on the platform. (To learn more about this, watch YouTuber Tom Scott’s video here.)

All that the best marketers can do is create videos that are traditionally favoured and which have a track-record of increasing watch rate. To do so, they’ll need to follow these tips:

  • Stick to 7-16 mins videos

The time of treating long videos like outcasts is long gone. With Internet connectivity improving and commuting times increasing, people have more resources to watch longer videos.

Surveys show that videos between 7 & 16 minutes duration have the highest engagement. Neither are they too short to appear inconsequential nor are they too long to look like a know-it-all.

A good way to meet algorithmic parameters is to stick to video lengths that people prefer.

  • Get people hooked in the first 30 seconds

As with any post on social media, engagement plays a key role in getting on the algorithm’s good side, and a video can engage a viewer only if it’s interesting. While ‘interesting’ is a subjective term, it’s important to get viewers hooked in the first 30 seconds to prevent them from exiting your video. The longer people watch your video, the more likely they are to share/like, which, in turn, affects the video’s ranking.

Some ways to make videos super-interesting before the 30-second mark are:

  1. Use high-quality static images of your topic in the first 15 seconds, with a voice-over explaining what the video is about
  2. Give relatable examples and make the video more human
  3. Take the video at an unusual angle
  4. Show the spiciest cutaways at the start and then move to your video

Image credits: Pixabay

  • Increase your subscriber count

Another way to combat the YouTube algorithm is to actively increase your subscriber count. When more people follow you, you’re bound to have more views, higher engagement and a better search ranking. These are sure to improve your position on the algorithm as well.

To improve your subscriber rate, you need to:

  1. Promote videos actively across channels
  2. Create videos on what people want to see and not what you want to post about
  3. Set up playlists which a variety of audiences can enjoy
  4. Create titles that are searchable
  5. Include relevant YouTube hashtags
  • Be consistent in your posting

Renowned YouTuber Graham Cochrane has one advice for video creators – post only four videos a month, never less, never more. Why? The ‘one video a week’ plan is consistent, sticks to a predictable schedule and doesn’t spam viewers with sudden, unwanted and unanticipated videos.

When viewers expect videos and receive them like clockwork, they are more likely to visit your page and engage with you more often. They also won’t find too many ads for your videos, annoying them unnecessarily.

This can help you rise through the algorithmic ranking at a slow and steady pace.

Wrapping it up

Social media is a minefield of challenges, and these challenges have been exacerbated by the new algorithmic changes. But with care, these changes can be navigated.

These tips and tricks when implemented, can improve the effectiveness and reach of your content marketing efforts online. Try them out and give us your feedback.

Feature image credits: Pixabay