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The Social Platform Shift on the Rise

Are you ready?

Years ago when social media just started, likes, followers and vanity metrics mattered.

But as algorithms keep changing and platform users become accustomed to the platforms, things are shifting.

And personally, I’d rather have 10 followers who engage and connect every time I publish something rather than 10 million that couldn’t care less.

Think about it

If you were to ask your followers for help with getting a message out, who’s more likely to lend a hand?

  • The 10 million followers who don’t see your content or care to read it frequently?

Or

  • The 10 followers who see your content every time you publish and actively engage?

Personally, I’m team 2.

Algorithms are people

I’m not actually saying that an algorithm is a person. However, what do algorithms do?

They were made to help people find content that they enjoy so they stay on the platform longer and see more ads.

Algorithms are based on human behavior.

It’s all a psychology strategy.

Creators of algorithms care about:

  • What you’re interested in right now
  • How you interact easiest
  • What ads should reach you and when
  • How often ads actually work (to determine ad-blindness and shift to accompany that)
  • What happened right before you clicked off
  • When you came back and how long you typically stay on the platform

They’re trying to keep you as interested, engaged, and alert as possible.

So that when you come across something you like, you engage.

When you engage, you’re more likely to see another ad that targets that specific topic or type of content.

And ultimately, they’re leading every person through a path to a sale so they make money.

The problem

The problem is that now we’ve all become accustomed to this working, we’re tired of it. We’re so tired that we’re becoming content-blind.

When you scroll, now it’s more mindless. You engage less. You give less validation to the creators that are only creating to make money and use you.

This isn’t a problem for people, it’s a problem for the algorithm. Because they’re looking for the areas we aren’t blind to yet.

The upcoming solution

Video and audio content.

For years we didn’t have access to video or audio content. We had mainly written and visual.

But now, conversation and connection are key metrics.

Interacting with creators Live, watching a video for a certain amount of time, and listening for a certain amount of time are all the new “vanity” metrics. Because they’re more reliable.

Just like in Email lists, opens are no longer a reliable resource for determining engagement. Why? Because we’re still content-blind.

We read it and forget it. It means nothing to us.

What means more, is more personal interaction.

Personal interaction metrics

Personal interactions are the new best form of making sure people engage.

Like DMs, clicks, commenting, and length of time watched/listened.

As a creator, having more followers doesn’t matter. How engaged they are does.

Having more subscribers doesn’t matter. How engaged they are does.

It used to matter when we were gauging how far of a reach we had. But now, it’s how impactful that reach is.

Final thoughts

If you’re someone who still values followers at face value and is doing follow for follow or like for like, you’re wasting your time, energy, and possibly hurting your own algorithm for the future, too.

Don’t focus on how many followers you have.

Instead, focus on creating content that people actually want to engage with. That you actually enjoy creating (so you don’t burn out). And that creates an impact on the people that engage.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree or disagree with where we’re headed? Do you see something else happening that I didn’t mention above?

This article was originally published on Medium by Lillith Elaina.