Thursday, June 14, 2018

Social Media Strategies in this New World of Algorithms

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

This has been a world-shifting year in the realm of social media. It began with the new Facebook algorithms in January. This was followed by the changes in the Twitter algorithms. Directly related to these two shifts, we've seen somethings change. Thunderclap has been shut down, and this past week so has Klout.

With all these changes many people are scrambling and scurrying. Chasing trends, new apps, and giving up aren't the way to deal with this new world. Today I'm going to lay out my strategy to help you find a blueprint to continue to make valuable online connections.

Things to Give Up
There are things we can continue and things we need to let go of.

1. Scheduling Facebook posts through Hootsuite or Buffer. No, I'm not giving up Hootsuite altogether, but Facebook has slanted their algorithm to favor posts that are NOT scheduled. Instead, I've cut way back on how many updates I share on Facebook daily. I now concentrate on one or two posts and work on starting—and having—a conversation with what I share.

2. Checking Klout. The free version of Klout has gone away. Klout was acquired by Lithium and is supposed to have another social media tracking platform but it has yet to happen.

3. Scheduling repeat tweets. There was a time when we could compose a tweet and release the same update to our twitter followers over a period of days or weeks. No longer. Now twitter isn't allowing this kind of repeated update. It's still fine—and even encouraged—that we retweet content. But repeating is no longer allowed. This change led directly to the death of Thunderclap. A program that shared the exact same social media update over thousands of networks at the same time.

4. Sharing as many links on Facebook. Another change to the Facebook algorithm is the fact that they want all conversation to stay on Facebook. Because of this, any post with a link that sends people away from Facebook has limited visibility. Instead I compose my Facebook updates with conversation starting text and an image. If the conversation revolves around a specific blog post, I don't put that link in the original update. I wait and post the link in the first comment below the post.

Things to Concentrate On
1. Authentic content that encourages connections. All social media networks are skewing their algorithms to favor anything posted that leads to conversation.

2. Diversification: with all that’s going on in the digital universe we can see the wisdom of not putting all our social media eggs in one basket. Now may be an excellent time to begin experimenting with Pinterest or Instagram or LinkedIn. 

3. Video: We need to be more open about trying new things and new ways to connect. The hottest thing this year is video, particularly Facebook live. It's time to be brave and begin to venture out of our comfort zone.

4. Blogging: Now more than ever writers need to build a stable digital foundation. Social media networks no longer qualify as stable. Small changes can hold devastating results if that’s our only audience-building strategy. This means we need a viable website or blog. If we only have a website, it’s hard to get it found because of Search Engine Optimization. That’s why blogging is such an important component.

and the two most important things of all...

5. We must remember that social media is not about me or promoting my books or making sales. Social media is about making connections—authentic—relationships. When we truly bring value to the lives of others our numbers will grow. 

6. Social media allows us to make a positive difference in the world and I must not grow weary in that purpose. We can reach people and places we'd never have the opportunity to if we were going physically. My personal belief is that I'm called to be used by God to share the love of Christ. Social media allows me to do that in ways never possible before. 

This is my strategy for a year where social media seems to have turned itself upside down. What I'd like to know is how you're dealing with the upheaval. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Don't forget to join the conversation!

Social media strategies in this new world of changing algorithms - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

What is your strategy for a time when #socialmedia seems to have turned itself upside down? @EdieMelson shares her thoughts (Click to Tweet)


  1. Thank you for keeping us updated on all things social media. In regard to FB, do you point people to the first comment section for the blog link in the conversation part?

    1. Cathy, not usually. Instead I just get the conversation started and invite them to join the discussion. Then in the first comment I usually say something like, “I’ll start the conversation with this link to a post...”

  2. Thanks Edie for educating us on these updates.

  3. Thank you. I appreciate this insight into the ever-changing online landscape. I especially love reading about the renewed focus on blogging. For those of us who never left (I’ve blogged since 2008) it reinforces what we already know: that our blogs are OUR platform and worth putting effort into.

    1. Linda, you're so right! Thanks for dropping by, Blessings, E

  4. If anyone had predicted to me a year ago that I'd be spending more time marketing, blogging, and posting on a (my own) website I would have looked at them and said, 'seriously?' and under my breath I'd be saying, 'yeah, like that's gonna happen'. But it has. Thank you, Edie. Social media isn't my favorite animal, but it is something we as writers must do.

    1. Donevy, these changes are ones I definitely didn't see coming. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Blessings, E

  5. Thanks for the updates. I know I can check here for valuable info on social media.

  6. Awesome article.

  7. This is so helpful, Edie. You are brave and tenacious to keep tackling this and teaching others about it. Does this mean that instead of posting my weekly blogpost and link I should start a conversation about it and then include the post link once someone comments on my topic? This will be a big change for me- I post a link weekly to my blog's new content and have historically (pre-FB changes) had lots of traffic that way.