The Algorithm Isn’t The Reason Your Engagement Has Dropped

If you've noticed a lack of engagement on your social media content, then you might be panicking about how the latest algorithm updates will affect your clients and what you should do about it.

But the truth is that the biggest reason most marketers fail is that they are too focused on the algorithm. Being quick to blame the algorithm when content isn’t working won't help you get results. Don't start looking for ‘engagement hacks’, or think you should be using a specific type of content that the algorithm favours.

Often when marketers find their content isn’t working, they look to others to validate that it’s not just them facing this problem.

Is anyone else seeing a decline in reach?

I think I’m shadow-banned!

Facebook is a pay-to-play platform now.

Sound familiar?

Truth is, it’s not the algorithm that is causing the content to fail; it’s the content itself!

For proof that the algorithm is not punishing you, let’s take a look at how it works.

Firstly the algorithm shows your content to a small section of your audience. The purpose of that is to validate if your content is valuable enough to keep people on the platform. If your audience proves that it is by engaging with it, then the algorithm will ensure more people see it.

It is important to remember that social media platforms are businesses. And by keeping users on them, they can make money from selling ad space in the newsfeeds.

However, if your audience doesn’t like your content enough to engage with it, they are signalling to the algorithm it is not valuable. And therefore, is not likely to keep people on the platform. Your audience is telling the platform (and you) that the content sucks!

It’s your job to ensure that the first people to see your post like it enough to take action.

When your content pleases people, it pleases the algorithm.

The best marketers barely consider the algorithm.

Ask any successful marketer what their secret to success is, and they’ll all say it’s down to knowing their audience.

But it’s not enough to just understand who they are. Or what they like or dislike. It’s about having a deep understanding of how they use social media. What they’re thinking, feeling and doing. And how to get them to take action.

The best marketers will never blame the algorithm for a lack of results. Instead, they’ll look at their analytics and question why someone might not have taken the desired action. Was the hook not strong enough? Did it not get shared because it would make people look bad?

And having learnt, they’ll adjust for next time.

Get your audience to show your content to more people.

The first step to success on social media is to focus on the reaction you want people to have when they see the content.

This is called a Reaction Goal®, and every piece of content on every platform should be created with a Reaction Goal® in mind. If you want people to comment, give them a reason to. If you want people to save, make sure they have a reason to refer to the content again. Whatever the Reaction Goal®, make sure the content is created to achieve it.

Unfortunately, most people don’t create content with their Reaction Goal® in mind and then complain that they didn’t get the results they wanted despite never having set a specific goal in the first place. 

And, of course, it’s easier to blame an algorithm than blame yourself. But when you create content designed to move the person on the other end of their device to do one specific thing. They will.

Remember that you are creating content for a human on the other end of a device, and there are many reasons why people might not engage with your content.

Social media hacks are out.

Success on social media comes from understanding the psychology of your perfect people and creating content to get a reaction from them. Having first decided what that reaction will be.

Because the truth is if your content isn’t working, it’s not because the algorithm didn’t show it to enough people. It’s because the ones that saw it thought it sucked!

Harsh but true!

Focus on psychology-driven social media marketing

Physiology-driven marketing is not new. All brilliant social media marketers will understand the psychology of marketing, and you can too. Our online programme, social prf, looks at social media marketing from an entirely different perspective, with psychology at the heart of it and a focus on getting the audience to take action so you can take them through 3 core phases with your business or your client's businesses. Find out more about social prf.