Even when I write the words “the algorithm,” I feel they should come with their own daunting theme song.
<Think Darth Vadar…>
I’ve spent so much of my career worrying about social media algorithms and (what felt like) falling victim to it. In all honesty, I’d do what I could, get frustrated when I didn’t see the results I wanted immediately and give up for a day or two.
(This got me nowhere, by the way.)
Instead, over the years, I’ve gravitated to researching the trends. Better understanding what trends are being boosted in the algorithm is helpful, but not the end-all-be-all. Let’s use the example of Instagram Reels for this discussion.
Reels are not exactly my favorite thing and that’s mainly because I don’t love being in front of the camera. Yes, I can and will do it, but it is a comfort zone I have had to learn. So when Reels started becoming essential for exposure and growth within Instagram, I cried a little into my coffee and assumed my social media existence was doomed.
<Yeah, I tend to get a little overdramatic at times>
After months and months of refusing to make Reels, I decided to give it a try. It was not easy for me at first to learn the process, so I was initially very frustrated. Then I got the hang of it and made one every now and then, but without consistency. It was fine. Some did well and others didn’t, but that’s how social media content creation can go.
I finally decided I needed a better solution; one I was happy with and was sustainable. Here is what I lean into for any kind of social media content creation without falling victim to doing everything “they” say to do to stay high in the algorithm.
- Post with consistency. Whether that’s photos, long- or short-form video, graphics, podcasts, etc., it doesn’t matter. Decide how many times per week you have the bandwidth to post and stick to it. There is a reason I mention bandwidth and not just “how often do you want to post”. If you don’t have the ability to keep up with a posting schedule, you won’t. (Read that again.) Do what you CAN so you will CONTINUE showing up.
- Determine your comfort level. If you’re not comfortable in front of the camera, don’t do videos. Your audience will see that in your delivery and you will be less inclined to continue to produce them. Instead, start when you’re comfortable and build from there.
- Point back to your content. You are taking the time to produce content (blog, video, podcast, etc.) so use that to your advantage. Your message is important, so point people to it with your social media posts. Stories and a link in your bio are great ways to make this happen.
- Quality > Quantity. Every single time. Posting “just to post” won’t move the needle for you. Instead, focus on quality content every single time and engage with your audience. By creating relatable content, your following will organically grow. That in itself is important when watching your account move forward – the follower count doesn’t matter. It is more important to have followers who actually show up and want to hear what you have to say. This equals more engagement, which is better in the long run.
The algorithm isn’t going away and changes regularly. However, that doesn’t mean you need to uproot your system and start over. Instead, determine what is most important to you, then do it with consistency.
Trust me, I’m a mom, wife and business owner who doesn’t have a whole lot of extra time to build and restructure certain systems every so often. Make the most of your time by being engaged because ultimately, your audience is there because of YOU. They want to hear what you have to say and will show up to do so. Just make sure you’re serving your audience and dare I say…be mindful of the algorithm, but do not build (or rebuild) your strategy based on it.