You will never beat the algorithm. Here’s why.

desktop with notebook, pen, keyboard, cactus, candle

Was that title too harsh? I know you might not like to hear that, but I would never lead you astray so I’m coming at you with some hard social media knowledge this week as your partner in marketing your business.

How many times have you overheard marketers say, “we need to beat the algorithm to get our content out there!”? I’m going to set the benchmark here at 100 times. And that’s conservative.

At first listen, it *sounds* like a great plan. You want people to see your content. Social media algorithms prioritize certain content, much of which remains a mystery, so surely the best way to reach new audiences is by getting around the algorithm, right?

Ok, no. And let me tell you why.

For one thing, if the algorithm controls the content people see, how can you get around it? I don’t think you can just call up Mark Zuckerberg and tell him you’d like to opt out, thank you very much. (Unless you can because you’re his friend or business partner, in which case, please email me so we can be friends too.)

So you need a new plan. A better plan. And here it is:

Work. With. The. Algorithm.

You heard me. This is one area of marketing where you don’t want to be swimming upstream. Leave that for your creative ad strategies.

So now you’re probably wondering: how do I work with the algorithm when I’ve spent so much time trying to get around it?

The good news is that even if you’ve been trying to get around the algorithm, you haven’t. So all of your post data will guide you through this strategy shift.

Take a look at the likes, comments, shares, and other engagements on your organic (unpaid) social media posts from the last 6 months. Look for your best performing posts and plot out the common themes. What were the topics? How long was the post? What type of image or link did you use?

Once you gather and analyze all of that data, you’ll be better equipped to understand how the algorithm has been sharing your content. The next step is pretty basic: do more of what’s working.

Seriously. That’s it. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel every week. Do more of what’s working and reevaluate every 2 weeks or every month to see if your patterns still hold true. Make adjustments as needed.

Need some help sorting through your data and coming up with an approach? Reach out to me! I’m happy to help get you started.

Crucial editor’s note: organic social media, no matter how well you are sticking to what works, can only get your business so far. And it’s not very far. Working with the algorithm is a smart strategy but it’s not a miracle cure. Facebook and Instagram absolutely prioritize paid content so you should make it a marketing goal, if you haven’t already, to set aside $50-$300 each month to promote your content. Do that on top of your new organic social media strategy and you’ll get a lot farther ahead each month. 

Good luck!