Why you need to stop chasing social media algorithms

Key learnings

Straight up, if a social media ‘expert’ is telling you they know how to beat the algorithm, you should turn around and run away.

The reality is that social media algorithms aren’t for chasing. Trying to beat them is a pointless exercise that will waste precious time and money in your business.

Deb explaining work to officemate

Understanding social media

Before looking at social media algorithms, it’s really important to have a solid understanding of social media – and its goals.

Social media has an important role to play, but it’s not a magic pill. No matter how much time, effort and money you spend on social media, it’s going to be ineffective unless you have the basics down first. And that means having a strong digital brand and an effective website.

In order to survive and thrive you need to build your digital brand – via your website – and then you need to engage with your customer base to build trust.

And that’s where social media comes into play. Social media is part of a mix that includes your website, SEO, articles and video… that collectively help you attract and retain clients.

Man's hands working with notes background. Social networking scheme

Social media algorithms explained

On Facebook alone, there are more than 2.5 billion active users. There are also more than 80 million Facebook business pages worldwide. Each and every day a staggering 55 million + status updates are shared on the platform. Those are some big numbers.

While Facebook is the largest social media platform, the other major players have similar stats.

At their most basic, social media algorithms are designed to organise the constant flow of information. Social media algorithms are AI that run 24/7. They constantly watch our behaviour while we are on the platform and tweak what they show us to keep us coming back for more.

Algorithms work to ensure you have an enjoyable experience by seeing the content you want to. Simultaneously, the longer you stay on a social media platform, the more advertising you will see – and the more money the platform makes.

Businesswoman using smartphone at night in the city

The risks of social media

As a business owner posting content on social media, you naturally want it to be seen by your followers so they can engage with your brand.

In the early days of business pages, this was easy. You would post a link and watch the traffic flowing to your website. But as social media algorithms have become more sophisticated and the social media platforms have become revenue-generating machines, it is no longer possible to get that level of traffic or engagement.

One key thing to understand is that once you post something on social media, it belongs to the social media company… and they have control.

Busy news day? Your post will likely be lost in the rush. Want it to still be viewed down the track? All social media posts eventually disappear.

Many business owners fall into the trap of thinking that they have to be prolific on social media to get traction. They post multiple times a day in an effort to beat the algorithm. But it doesn’t work. And while they have been spending that time on social media, other areas of their business that needed their attention have suffered. It is a waste of time, money and effort.

Man smiling at the camera

Running your own race

The best analogy to use in reference to trying to beat the social media algorithms is about running your own race.

If you are in a race and your focus is on those ahead of you, or even those behind you – anything but on your own performance – then you will lose form.

Your energy is directed towards the other players in the field and what they are doing, rather than setting a pace that you know will get you to where you need to go.

You’ll collapse over the finishing line, disappointed in your performance.

The social media algorithm is like that leader of the pack setting the pace for everyone behind them. They are always one step ahead and it doesn’t matter what you do, you just can’t catch them. If you try to beat the social media algorithm you will get nowhere, fast.

Three ladies discussing using their laptops

Strategic social media

Instead, social media relies on a strategic approach. One that works for you and not the other way around.

Stop trying to chase social media algorithms in an effort to beat them, but rather be smart about what you post and when.

Social media will play a bigger role in some businesses than others. For a small B2C business, you might start with a social media presence and build a website as you grow.

For a larger B2B business, social media is a cost of doing business and your website is where the money is.

It’s crucial that you have an overall digital brand strategy and know where social media fits into your business. It’s ok to only post once or twice a week on your chosen social media platforms. No, you won’t beat the algorithm if you use certain words or phrases in your posts. In fact, you will never beat the algorithm and you may die trying!

Social media excellence

At Brilliant Digital, everything we do for our clients is part of a considered, strategic approach… social media included. We use social media as a tool to build connections and drive traffic to each client’s digital home – their website.

The website is where you build your digital brand, where you keep content long-term, where you have control.

We never chase social media algorithms. We know what works… and what doesn’t.

Related posts

How to choose the right social media platforms for your business
The social media metrics that matter for your business
How to create thumb-stopping social media content

We'd love to
hear from you.


    Brilliant Digital has been amazing! They provided a very professional and high-quality service. They understand the niche areas to target when building websites, which has helped make our website a Ferrari with a strong engine, rather than something that looks good but doesn’t bring in the clients. Thank you, Brilliant Digital!

    Matthew Guy

    Accounting For Good has been working with BD since late 2018 – starting with a website refresh and snazzy update to our logo. They’ve curated a solid website with great SEO. I can write, but it’s easy to get distracted and forget to write your content, so outsourcing is such a great option. I *love* our BD content writer – it’s a real partnership. She understands our business and gets the tone I want so spot-on that I think she can actually read my mind.

    Kirsten Forrester
    Accounting For Good

    Brilliant Digital has helped me grow my family business. Once we developed a fully functioning, professional and productive website, we doubled our client base, and we continue to have consistent inquiries. We will definitely be continuing our professional relationship with Brilliant Digital and use their services for our future endeavours.

    Michael Rahn
    Power with Purpose

    Positive: Professionalism, quality, responsiveness

    Brilliant Digital has a wonderfully friendly, helpful and knowledgeable team and has been invaluable to my business.

    Ian Donald
    Ian Donald Optometry

    Our business website was looking dated and needed a revamp, and we weren’t happy with our current website managers, so we shopped around and were immediately drawn to Brilliant Digital. We set up a meeting and a few weeks later had a great new website, and we’ve had great feedback from clients since about the new look. The website has no doubt drawn new customers to my business and I feel that it has been worth every cent spent.

    But wait there’s more!

    Brilliant Digital has been a fountain of knowledge on all aspects of internet and web marketing and social media, and we’re really grateful for their knowledge and expertise and the huge impact they have had on our business.

    Ari Ende

    My website has been critical to my success. It is literally the face of my business… it’s the shop window.

    I can’t recommend Brilliant Digital highly enough. It is the only company that has taken the time to gain a deep understanding of me, my business, what I want to achieve and where I want to go with it.

    Julie Nipperess
    Step Up Group

    Our website was up and running in six weeks as promised. I couldn’t believe it, actually. Our first website was such a long, tortuous process.

    Brilliant Digital has done everything they said they would do. We’ve never had a problem, even with all the increased traffic from the new marketing campaigns. We’ve been very happy!

    Brett Churcher
    Playoust Churcher

    We really feel that the end product was just at such a high standard. It’s really crisp, really clean, and it’s gone from scope all the way to that delivery piece. It’s been quality all the way.

    We value that and we think the Brilliant Digital team has far exceeded our expectations.

    Janelle Dixon
    Facilities First

    We are a very busy medical practice that recently engaged Brilliant Digital to develop our website and online presence.

    Straight away we realised we had found someone with invaluable marketing experience, who explained in plain speaking the pitfalls and advantages of the online world.

    This allowed us to get on with the more important issue of running our practice.

    We have received lots of positive feedback regarding our website and mobile site from many of our patients.

    Jacqui Ellsmore
    Glebe Family Medical Practice

    When we came to Brilliant Digital, the selling point for us was the strategy. It wasn’t just about building a website; it was about having a philosophy.

    Hugh Edmunds
    Edcon Steel