I would consider myself an excellent Googler. As a consumer and a digital marketer, I have believed that you can find almost anything with a few quick keystrokes into the search engine.
However, recently I found myself querying “healthy smoothie recipes”. Millions of results, but the first page of results were mostly mass produced round ups, not what I was looking for. I opened Instagram on my phone and searched again “healthy smoothie recipes”. Bingo. Hundreds of beautiful foodie images appeared. I become a follower, consumer of content and a prospect of at least 5 new brands.
User behavior, like mine, is evolving. Whether social media provides better results or is just more convenient because you’re already on the app, more people are using social media to research and discover than ever before. According to Twitter, there are 19 billion searches on Twitter every month.
Traditional SEOs have long obsessed over how to hack the Google algorithm to move to the top of SERPs. Now the new kids on the block, social platforms like Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, each have their own algorithm.
Improving the visibility of your content within social media can be as calculated as your SEO efforts. Erin Monday, marketing manager at Lenovo, shares tips to hack the new social algorithms in her presentation at #CMWorld.
5 Steps to Hack the New Algorithms and Achieve Greater Content Reach
Step 1: Get discovered more often
There are three main touch points for users to consume content via most social platforms. Let’s break down the hack for each touch point.
Passive: The Native Social Wall Feed
How to Hack It: You can’t really. A user’s feed is made up of content created by or interacted with by someone in their network. To gain more visibility for your content, connect with more people.
Reactive: An internal search query
How to Hack It: Post a lot of quality content and include keywords for topics where you want to show up. Frequent posting will widen the umbrella of opportunity to show up for more internal search queries. Optimize social content for keywords the same way you would for search. Mention topics where a lot of conversation already exists and queries are more likely to happen, check trending topics or hashtag usage to monitor topical usage. Tweets with pictures and videos are more likely to show up in search results.
The SERP: Tweets are now showing up within search results in certain markets
How to Hack It: Very similar to how you would hack the internal search query. Post frequently and optimize content for commonly used search and social phrases.
Step 2: Use tools in order to automate
From an algorithm perspective, more content increases the likelihood of showing up within search results and in feeds. Of course quality matters, good stories are more likely to resonate across mediums. However, leveraging tools in order to automate the creation and posting of content will make it easier to post more content and show up more frequently.
Step 3: Leverage employees to syndicate
Erin mentions the opportunity to syndicate social media content across employee channels in order to achieve great reach. LinkedIn, for example, allows you to opt-in employees to a feed so that when the post goes live it posts across an employee group or team.
Syndicating across employee channels is a great way to achieve reach across a really targeted, relevant audience.
Step 4: Take advantage of the opportunity for amplification
Organic amplification increases the reach of a post, increasing the exposure of your content and brand to new users. Using hashtags is a great way to appear more within search results, as well as really amplify content. Erin provides the example of creating a hashtag driven contest within Twitter. Ask your audience to do something cool, tag it with a branded hashtag, and then choose a winner.
Step 5: Get out of the Way
Sometimes the best things a brand can do it get out of the way in order to let customers determine what content is important and shows up. Reddit is a great examples of this. The first page of Reddit is determined only by the up and down votes of users.
For a brand, this means allow customers to drive content conversation and to co-create content which is posted and tagged.
Social media is impossible to ignore not only as a platform to consume content via a news feed, but as a competitive search engine. This is a great opportunity for brands and individuals to reach new users, early in the funnel via social content. Take advantage of this opportunity in order to achieve greater reach via social media.
Header image via @