The deafening hate speeches against social media algorithms have to stop.
My friend Todd Brison calls it the algorithm apocalypse. The algorithms that run our favorite content apps constantly change. None of us know why or how Mr Algorithm is going to evolve.
You shouldn’t care anymore.
The title of this story, “Be so Good That You Don’t Even Have to Think About Algorithms” comes from Youtuber Matt D’Avella.
Let’s dissect how to move on from algorithm talk.
The hidden job of the social media algorithm
Social media algorithms don’t exist to make your little content creator dream a reality. Sorry.
Algorithms are set up to prioritize ads, not your free content. So you’re already behind the 8-ball if you didn’t know this, or more likely, you forgot.
You can complain about the algorithms all you want. In the early days of a social media platform like TikTok, it’s designed to make your content get seen a lot and get you hooked on the drug.
Over time the algorithm is programmed to shift slowly away from the interests of the users, to the interests of the owners of the platform.
Understand it or die as a creator.
The #1 thing you don’t know about social media algorithms
They have an experience factor.
If you b*tch and moan like a baby rather than create content, you become less relevant to the algorithm. So your views drop and you post “XYZ platform will die and I’m leaving” in retaliation.
Why would an algorithm reward a lack of consistency? Or a creator that’s been on the platform for 30 days over a creator that’s been on the platform for 5 years? It logically doesn’t make sense when you think about it.
Don’t poke the algorithm with a stick
The worst thing you can do is knock the algorithm and blame your broken content creator dreams on him. When you do, the algorithm that uses machine learning is paid to learn what bad behavior looks like.
When you behave badly, the algorithm takes a note. When you mock its master creator, the algorithm takes a note.
Then every time you publish, your work gets seen by less and less people. You’re no longer a priority because you took actions that were bad for the users and the business model of the platform.
In some cases the algorithm will blacklist you. You won’t be told. You’ll just live through a form of shadowban and be left to cry in the corner.
Be nice to the platforms you post on. If you don’t like what they’re doing then that’s fine. You’re not shackled to one corner of the internet.
Instead, try this…
Cheat on the algorithms if you feel they’re dropping the ball
The way you do it is to repurpose your content for more than one algorithm. If one algorithm is being a son of a b*tch, then simply find its competitor and publish there for a while.
Keep them both as life partners. Say “I love you” to each of them.
The key is to repurpose like a badass. Don’t just copy and paste content from one platform to another. That’s lazy. You’ll get nowhere.
Each platform has its own quirks. Learn the quirks and then edit your content accordingly. For example don’t copy and paste a self-help piece of content directly onto LinkedIn. It has nothing to do with work or careers.
Edit the advice for a business audience. Remove swear words. Make the users of LinkedIn look good in front of their bosses. Get to the point.
Success Formula = Publish for multiple algorithms
Lazy effort, lazy results
I’ve watched the algorithm angry mobs closely. I’ve gone to their creator profiles. Here’s what I noticed: Around the time they say the algorithm died, their content got lazy.
They started inserting overly used stock images. Their headlines began to suck. They didn’t remove mistakes. They posted way too much garbage. They kept asking the audience for stuff. They tried to take the audience off the platform too much with external links.
Don’t get lazy and blame an algorithm.
Focus on this instead … quality.
Quality defeats even the most broken algorithm
Quality content always wins. Let’s go through the ingredients that make up good social media content.
- Add personality every time. Stop imitating other creators and copying them. Be yourself. Use strange words. Make up your own words. Talk about stuff you love, not what’s cool and trendy.
- Do research. If all your content is from your point of view then something is wrong. You’re not uber-successful like Gandhi. We expect you to back up what you say and pull from external resources to show depth.
- Format to make the audience’s lives easy. Lay out the content clearly. Use the magic of white space. Change up the structure so all your stuff doesn’t look the same. Add graphics. Use pull quotes. Throw a video in. Mix and match content from other social media apps.
- Start with a bang. Make the first thing you say memorable. Write good titles every day to become a master at it. Be clever with chapter headings. Make us want to consume your work.
When your work is high quality, you won’t need to care about algorithms.
The audience will relentlessly share your content. And the reason they’ll share your work is because 99% of the content on the internet is garbage.
When your work is shared a lot, the algorithm of whatever platform you’re on is programmed to pay attention and reward you by letting your posts be seen by more people. Make sense.
The bottom line is this:
Stop blaming algorithms for low-quality content that focuses on your interests and is lazy.
Instead, create better content. Share it on more platforms. Get good.