Every social media manager has found themselves frustrated at being thwarted by a social media network’s algorithm. We create great content, we write engaging posts about it and fill them with gorgeous visuals, and then nobody sees them. Why? Because the network’s algorithmic timeline decided that our precious content wasn’t good enough to show to 94% of our own followers.

What is an algorithmic timeline in social media?

An algorithm is a clearly defined and calculated repeatable process, most often used by computers to solve problems.

Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest use algorithms to attempt to predict what their users enjoy and want to see more often, based on how they engage with similar content within their platform.

Each time a friend, family member, or page you follow publishes a piece of content, algorithms get to work analyzing it. These algorithms analyze all kinds of data, from which posts you like or share to how long you spend reading a post or an article that you clicked on, and use the results to assign rankings to future posts by sources you follow to decide which content deserves to appear in your personal news feed or timeline.

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This algorithmic timeline is the result of a buzzing hive of algorithms, working together to show you what the social media networks hope is content you will love every time you log into your social media account. The reasoning behind it is that you’ll likely enjoy your social media experience more if you are only shown things you want to see, and you’ll be more inclined to return for more. It only shows users the content that the algorithms have decided that they want to see, and for the rest, they have to visit each friend, family member or page individually to opt into seeing their content.

Successful social media is a combination of quality content and human interest. But there are three best practices that can definitely help you along the way:

  • Only share content that is helpful, relevant, and interesting. Don’t post on social media just for the sake of posting.
  • Make sure that all of your website’s pages, from blogs to case studies, only use optimized images to ensure a speedy page load when someone accesses them from social media.
  • Remember that it’s all about the user, not about you! Today’s social media networks are flooded with promotional spam. If you want to stand out and be heard, make sure that each post brings value to the user – your potential customer.