As a public affairs professional, it's important to understand algorithms to rationalize and defend the use of social media. The platform manager must keep on top of algorithm changes through social media evaluations; via formal updates from the platforms and testing of content and posts.
With information as the 7th Joint Function, you need to remember that social media is a competitive space. Platforms like Facebook set the rules of engagement but it's up to you to win the loyalty of your audience. If you stick to traditional methods of communication and don’t look to build a conversation, then you will use a disproportionate amount of time repeating messages that won’t resonate or reach your audience.
The core value of any platform's algorithm is to keep the user on that platform as long as possible. If your content can do that, then you are golden with any variation of the algorithm. More interactive content means a larger voice in a crowded space.
Ranking Signals at a Glance
Algorithms look at a number of different signals to determine where and how to feature your content. Here are some of the most common.
Explore the sites and pages put together by Facebook/Instagram and Twitter below but research any platform you're on to know how they rank content. Use that research to inform your organization's social media strategy, but remember, as a DoD-affiliated site, you are not permitted to advertise or promote your content.
Facebook and Instagram
Facebook Business offers a myriad of tools from audience insights to online classrooms for both Facebook and Instagram.
Twitter offers brand resources and audience insights.
For more information on social media algorithms, check out Hootsuite's Social Media Algorithms: A 2023 Guide for Every Network.