You publish many posts with a broad variety of topics on your social media channel, but the engagement is very low? Your corporate social media channel has a few hundred or thousand followers but your posts only earn three to ten likes. And even fewer shares? If so, you might be interested in how social media platforms work and how they decide on how a post is delivered to a user’s timeline (or not).
And here we can jump right in: Because delivering the right content to the right audience is what it’s all about.
Social media is a constant battle for relevance. Posts have a limited audience and are not automatically seen by all of your channel followers – contrary to what you might think. But why is this?
Organically publishing social media posts with a broad variety of topics is like throwing messages in a bottle into the sea. You may think that your followers are interested in each of your messages; that they are standing on the seaside eagerly awaiting the next bottle. But that’s rarely the case – especially if broad channel content causes most of the messages to be irrelevant for a certain recipient. So even if wind, waves and tides were to provide the same conditions each time, the variety of topics may lead to decreasing performance. The reason is simple: Your bottles aren’t opened anymore because they don’t seem to contain useful information.
And this was just a simple comparison. Now imagine a beach, flooded with thousands of bottles – not just yours. Which one to open first? Are any of the contents interesting at all? Do people really want to spend time at such beaches? These are fundamental questions that social media platforms need to answer for their users in order to provide a great pastime. So the question from this point of view would be more like: How to keep the beach in a clean and tidy condition. This is ultimately the biggest challenge that platforms are facing. That’s why Facebook, Twitter & co. developed sophisticated algorithms that decide which of your posts is shown to a certain user and which is not – even to those that are following your channel. How these algorithms work in detail is not completely transparent and may change constantly, but it always boils down to the user’s interaction with your messages.
Ride the tide
In our experience, posts on corporate social media channels normally don’t reach more than ten percent of its followers. Or, if you prefer, nine out of ten people walking on the beach don’t get your bottles anymore, because there was a big clean-up before they came along.
For this reason, the three or ten likes that you happen to get on your posts do not necessarily point to insufficient content or assets. It could rather be that:
- you need to implement basic strategies that keep message relevance high
- you need sophisticated strategies to determine how social media platforms decide on showing your posts to users.