Social media algorithms are a lot like “Dog Years.”

They seems to progress and change at a rate of seven years for every one year on the human calendar.

We’ve seen first-hand the dramatic declines in traffic and organic reach over the last two years as so many businesses have.

But despite the challenges that marketers face with social media algorithms, there is still a way to overcome them and share your content with the world.

Michael Stelzner, CEO and Found of Social Media Examiner, has been in the business of social media since 2009 (when organic reach and traffic numbers were going strong). We had the pleasure of chatting with Michael all about how social media algorithms work and how marketers and businesses can implement strategies to use algorithms in their favor to get great content seen.

A huge thank you to Michael for jam-packing this episode with actionable wisdom and takeaways for social media managers and marketers alike looking to understand how and why social media algorithms are in place and how to use them in their favor.

How to listen: iTunes | Google Play | SoundCloud | Stitcher | RSS

This episode is available on:

In this episode, here’s what you’ll learn:

Michael Stelzner shares all of his insider secrets and knowledge on how social media algorithms work and how you as a marketer or business owner can overcome them. You’ll also learn tips like:

  • Why algorithms are important for consumers
  • What Live video is the darling of algorithms right now
  • How the Facebook and Twitter algorithms work
  • How to overcome social media algorithms
  • Michael’s most important steps for small businesses and brands

Social Media Algorithms: How they Work and How to Overcome Them

3 Key Takeaways for Marketers Looking to Use Social Media Algorithms in Their Favor

In Michael’s words…

1. Rethink

Rethink is the keyword here. Rethink your posting strategy on social media – Less is actually more!

2. Live video is the flavor of the day

Live video is currently the flavor of the day with algorithms and so figure out a way to do it. We have nearly 13 sessions on live video at Social Media Marketing World 2017. We’ve got some preliminary research that marketers are all in on live video and so it’s time to do it – do not delay.

3. Refocus

Refocus on the reason why you have a social community in the first place. There’s a community there and so it’s important to refocus on community development. Stop worrying about the numbers and stop worrying about the traffic. Start focusing on cultivating the right people to build a strong affinity and relationship with your business so that they become evangelists.

A Great Moment

Michael Stelzner Quote on Social Media Algorithms

“The moral of the story is that there were the “good old days,” but the good old days are over. They’re never coming back and we need to accept that.”

– Michael Stelzner

Awesome People and Stuff Mentioned in the Show

Favorite Quotes

  • Traffic has been going down, down, down and down. For years! That’s the challenge – you’re not getting the reach or visibility and we have to be OK with that reality.
  • With the algorithms in place, high-quality content can be seen at any time. This is important.
  • The old mentality of ‘scheduling when people are there’ has been thrown out the window. The whole idea of algorithms is that posts are not in linear order… these are like radical re-thinking strategies.
  • Due to the implementation of algorithms over the last year or so, we’ve completely gotten rid of our evergreen reposting strategy on Twitter and LinkedIn and only selectively repost to Facebook.
  • We know that the more we go live, the more our non-live content get exposure in the Facebook News Feed.
  • We are refocusing a lot of our efforts on community development with social media. We are actively doing things with our community to provide value to them.
  • Facebook is like the Hotel California – you can come anytime you want, but you can never leave. And they don’t want you to leave, marketers!
  • First and foremost, if you’re a small business with little traction on social media or on your blog, you have to figure out your email acquisition strategy.

How to Say Hello to Michael (and us)

Michael Stelzner is the go-to resource for everything social media – especially when it comes to staying on top of the latest trends. You can follow along with Michael on Twitter here or check out Social Media Examiner on Facebook here. And don’t forget about Social Media Examiner’s Award-Winning Blog.

Thanks for listening! We’d love to connect with you at @buffer on Twitter or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a rating and review on iTunes!

About the Show

The Science of Social Media is a podcast for marketers and social media managers looking for inspiration, ideas, and results for their social media strategies. Each week, we interview one of the very best in social media marketing from brands in every industry. You will learn the latest tactics on social media, the best tools to use, the smartest workflows, and the best goal-setting advice. It is our hope that each episode you’ll find one or two gems to use with your social media marketing!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

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Written by Brian Peters

Humbled and grateful to be living the social media life at Buffer! California coast born and raised, but always on the go with my lovely wife Katelyn. Love reading, designing, writing, running and adventuring.

  • According to what Michael said here, let me confirm two things which relate to Buffer’s future product development:

    1. Buffer’s Optimal Scheduling Tool is now obsolete.

    2. There’s no point in Buffer trying to copy MeetEdgar anymore because such repeated posting is a waste of time.


    • Brian

      Hey Dylan! Thanks a ton for listening to the podcast – this was such an interesting episode for us.

      1. While optimal timing certainly means something different in the era of social media algorithms, there’s still important data around when audiences interact with content the most which makes “optimal timing” still important.

      2. Mike makes some great points in the episode about the effectiveness of reposting content! Depending on the industry, the amount of content available to post, the type of content, among lots of other factors may determine whether or not to repost content. For Social Media Examiner, they’ve found that it doesn’t quite work, whereas, we’ve actually seen that it can at certain times. We do encourage constant experimentation.

      Hope that is helpful and thank you for the interesting questions.

      – Brian

  • Hey Brian,
    Thank you for a great article. It feels like everyone is talking about algorithms but not many knows the true meaning of it and what the algorithms mean.
    This article made it clear and I hope that a lot of people read it.

    • Brian

      Hey there, Jaylene! Thanks for that 🙂 I couldn’t agree more – I’m excited to hear if people are able to see some results from these insights. Thanks for listening and for the comment! – Brian

  • Thanks for this informative article!!!!!!!

  • Jenny Kinsman

    I really enjoyed this blog post! The key takeaway I learned from this post is to remember who your target audience is. It is important to create content that appeals to the interests of the audience that is listening or reading. I used to think that I had to explain myself on social media with long drawn out posts about my every opinion on a topic. But I resonated with your suggestion, “less is more.” I think that writing an engaging post and then backing it with an engaging article is more effective than trying to explain yourself in 140 characters. I have learned on Instagram to keep my captions short but add hashtags to reach a larger audience. A cohesive and understandable social media strategy will go a long way.

    • Brian

      Love the insights there, Jenny! So true 🙂 Thanks so much for giving this episode a listen and for the awesome comment! – Brian

  • Roshan Singh

    Nice post bro, this is an awesome blog – Best Ad Blocker Apps for Android to Block Ads

  • David R

    I hired a company to design my business website app for mobile, it is a very nice app for use and easy to handle.

  • Payel Maiti Das

    Thanks Michael and Brian for such productive discussion. Michael thanks for the guidance of social media strategy you shared for small businesses also.

    • Brian

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Payel! It was an honor to be able to chat with Mike and to be able to gain some truly actionable insights from him 🙂 Thanks for listening! – Brian

  • ZC Social Media

    Thanks for Sharing this useful informational Blog!

  • Emma Waldron

    Very interesting blog post! Great discussion and extremely useful insight on how to best use social media algorithms. Definitely would recommend this post to anyone in digital marketing!

  • Wow! that’s nice. Thanks Brian, every marketer should know about this social media algorithms.

  • Preeti singh

    Tricks Youth Thank you for a great article.

  • Roshan Singh Sodi

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  • Very well written! Impressive way to explain it in very ease manner. I think, live video are in trend now a days. It helps to improve the user engagement also. Thanks for your valuable thoughts on this great topic.

  • Jacob Baadsgaard

    Great article and podcast. Have you seen any success with live video for B2B companies? Thanks