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The Creator’s Guide to Algorithm-Proofing Your Reach

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In the world of social media, the one constant is change. New platforms emerge, trends shift, and content evolves. And few things seem to change more than social media algorithms. 

Social media companies frequently modify the formulas and rules that decide how content is prioritized and displayed on their platforms. These adjustments impact what users see in their feeds, which can inadvertently affect Creators who depend on social media to speak to their audience and make an income. 

Algorithm updates may be inevitable, but the good news is, they’re not insurmountable! In fact, some changes can even benefit Creators by promoting higher quality content or giving exposure to rising Creators with highly engaging, niche content. 

Here’s everything you need to know to understand and skillfully navigate these algorithm shifts.

Why do social media platforms change their algorithms?

Every platform faces their own unique challenges, so there’s a variety of reasons for algorithm updates.  Here are a few of the most common:

Six ways to adjust to frequent algorithm updates.

We know algorithm changes can feel overwhelming. But you shouldn’t feel pressured to deeply understand every technical update. In fact, Google makes thousands of changes to their search algorithm each year—learning about each one would be impossible! 

Having said that, if your goal is to support yourself as a full-time Creator and grow your social media presence, it’s important to have a content strategy that takes changing algorithms into account. Here are six ways to keep calm and keep growing in the face of ongoing algorithm changes.

1. Comply With Rules & Regulations

Creators can be dinged because their content isn’t complying with a platform’s rules and regulations. 

Even if you’ve been creating the same type of content for years with no problems, one algorithm update may lead to different ways of identifying pages that aren’t following community standards. Recently, some social media companies have started incorporating AI technology into their content moderation process, changing the signals that identify non-compliant content and leading to an increase in suspensions and flags. If you’re creating controversial content, you may be flagged for using terms that lead to content deprioritization

If your content has low reach, or your account has been penalized, this might mean you’re violating the platform’s terms. For example, Meta has flagged Creators for posting content that appears to their content moderators to promote “counterfeit” products. This content may include logos of brands that are commonly knocked-off, or using “suspicious” keywords like “discounts” and “cheap.” To adjust to this flagging, some Creators have made back-up accounts in case their accounts are suspended. But Meta has “recidivism policies,” which prevent individuals with IP-disabled accounts from creating new ones. In this case, a backup account might lead the system to continually penalizing that IP address, doing more harm than good. 

Even if a platform mistakenly flags your content or account, continually posting the same type of content may lead to more flags and a possible account suspension. These machine-based systems are programmed to simply flag the same type of content over and over again, whether or not it’s a mistake. It’s important to understand why your content was flagged, and adjust your content and strategy so as to not repeat the issue. 

In any case, it will be well worth it to dig into each platform’s terms, conditions, and community standards, and update your content accordingly. Some platforms, like Instagram, even have tools to show you the health of your account.

2. Lean into your data & analytics

If you’re suddenly seeing a change in your organic reach and engagement, and you’re complying with all platform rules and guidelines, it’s time to take another look at your data and analytics and dig into why.

Understanding which types of content performs for you will give you valuable insight into the algorithmic changes by a platform. For example, if some of your Reels videos aren’t performing while others are taking off, you might notice that videos without captions or audio are getting a much lower reach, and are clearly being deprioritized by the algorithm. 

If you’re a Collective Voice Creator, you can use our Analytics page to view earnings by channel. Our Retailers page (in the Discover tab) has a section entirely dedicated to your top 25 earning retailers. You can leverage these learnings to see where your content makes the largest impact, and where you should be sharing your shoppable content to maximize sales and traffic.

3. Diversify your social channels, and take advantage of the newest features

Some Creators have spent years building an audience on a specific platform, giving them a go-to place to create consistent content. However, putting all of your proverbial eggs in one platform’s basket makes you more vulnerable to algorithm changes upending your strategy, organic reach, and income.

By branching out to a handful of key platforms, you not only safeguard yourself against one platform’s whims, but also open up fresh opportunities to experiment. Maybe you’ve been a Facebook devotee for years, but you join TikTok and watch your following grow as your video content goes viral. Or, you repurpose your video content across TikTok, Facebook Reels, and Instagram Reels, tripling its potential reach.

Testing different platforms and content types will help you learn what works, empowering you to diversify your content according to what clicks with your audience. 

As social media evolves, staying on top of the latest trends and features is also key. With the global success of TikTok, short-form video has been dominating the industry. Audiences are flocking to these bite sized, easily digestible pieces of content, and platforms are quickly jumping on the bandwagon with features like Facebook Reels. Embracing these changes, rather than resisting them, will keep your content working in the algorithm’s favor.

4. Invest in owned & operated content

Though blogs and newsletters aren’t as new and shiny as TikTok and Instagram Reels, they have a few huge benefits for Creators. Namely, these are channels Creators own, and that are largely unaffected by social media algorithms.

Blogs are still popular, successful platforms for many Creators, providing a central source to post their product reviews, affiliate links, travel guides, gift guides, Nordstrom sale inspiration, and more. They can provide Creators with traffic through SEO and organic search, and blog content can be continually updated, repurposed, and reposted for a longer shelf-life. 

Similarly, email newsletters allow Creators to own their own audience data, and speak directly to them through a guaranteed spot in their inbox. Newsletter reach, conversion, and click-through rates all tend to be higher than those of social media posts

These channels give you the freedom to express your most creative, authentic self, as your content doesn’t need to fit specific, narrow parameters required by social media algorithms to go viral. By building a consistent audience on owned and operated channels, you can protect yourself against algorithm changes and provide more value to your audience (and brand partners) with your authentic, in-depth content.

No blog? Collective Voice’s link-in-bio solution, TapTo.Shop offers all creators a dedicated space to include featured (commissionable) content for followers to explore and shop.

5. Focus on creating the best content possible

We know—this feels obvious. But when in doubt, consider how you can continue to create quality content that your audience will love. Focusing on creating content that inspires you will even help you feel less beholden to the algorithm

If you’re really struggling to increase your reach or engage on all channels, it might be time to re-evaluate what quality content means to you and your audience. Take a step back, and ask yourself what stops you from scrolling? What gets you to save a piece of content, or share it with a friend? It may be that your content is too broad, and you need to hone in on one niche. In fact, niche content gets promising engagement rates, and much higher conversions. Niche content can work to your advantage as algorithms recognize that audiences often deeply care about these topics, and will specifically serve niche content to engaged, interested audiences.

Audience feedback is hugely helpful here as well. You can use Meta’s new Threads platform, Instagram Stories, or even your Facebook group to pose questions to your audience. Identify what they truly love to hear from you and the content that resonates with them, and then continue to entertain them authentically so you can create a genuine connection.

Not everything you post will go viral, but if you’re consistently providing value to your audience, you’re doing your job as a Creator.

6. Find supportive resources

Whether it’s trading algorithm secrets with your Creator friends or turning to agency and brand partners, a support system can better help you navigate the evolving social media ecosystem. Here are a few helpful ideas:

  • Build a network: Making Creator friends will make you feel less alone, and will give you a sounding board to test out new ideas. You can find other Creators in your niche to organize meet-ups or coffee dates, or look for networking events for Creators, Marketers, and social media professionals in your community. 
  • Follow experts for the latest updates: We frequently turn to social media experts to stay on top of trends and news. Here are 7 Creator podcasts to get you started. 
  • Get your news from the platforms directly: While social media companies may not give away all their secrets, they will post articles with general guidelines on their feeds and best practices for posting
  • Work with supportive platforms: At Collective Voice, our goal is to empower our Creators with the resources and knowledge to continue adapting, growing, and navigating the world of social media. We work closely with social media platforms and brand partners to keep up with industry updates, and help both Creators and brands block out the noise when it’s not helpful.

Collective Voice is a content monetization platform built just for you. Level up your content with our affiliate tools, educational resources, sales insights, brand partnership opportunities, and more. Start monetizing your content now.