Last week, I spoke on Facebook Live about just how futile it is to try to outsmart the Instagram algorithm (or Facebook, Youtube, or Twitter or whatever).
What can we learn about social media feed algorithms from Google’s algorithm?
I started doing search marketing in 2007, working for a small internet marketing agency. When Google first started, all you had to do was add some text to your website’s code to tell Google what your site was about, and boom, you ranked on the first page of Google for your search term.
Savvy web developers started stuffing keywords into their websites to rank for the searches they wanted to rank for. Once everyone caught on to that, Google started making tweaks to their ranking algorithm. They looked at links. They looked at how many people mentioned your website. They looked at technical things like page load speed. They looked at how much time people spent on your website.
Then, in 2009, Google started giving preference in ranking to large brands. This was in part due to the fact that everyone recognized those brands, and in part due to the fact that large brands have more marketing dollars to spend on things like purchasing links.
Now, in 2018, Google’s search rankings are, in large part, static. New players don’t rank for competitive search terms in industries like travel, fitness, or ecommerce.
We are at an inflection point in social media very similar to what happened to Google. Back when Facebook first started, you could get tons of traffic and attention just by putting up something mildly interesting. Then people started engineering clickbait articles and doing things like tapping the screen to get you to turn the sound on.
With all due respect to my colleagues, reverse engineering these organic algorithms that change constantly is exhausting and annoying. I enjoy doing it, but most people don’t.
On top of that, most of these “beat the algorithm tricks” only bring marginal increases in sales.
So what can you do?
Other People’s People
One thing that has worked well for me, and for artists that I know, is to leverage other people’s people.
Bloggers, journalists, and other influencers with large followings can make a huge difference in your business by sharing and recommending your art. And the reality is that its not as hard as you think to get them to share your stuff. One artist just emailed me to tell me that this Summer she’s doing an event where over 100,000 people will see her work on display, and influencers are coming to her to ask if they can participate.
On March 23, we are doing a one day workshop where we will teach you all about getting attention from influencers. You can learn more about that at this link.