Navigating the Algorithms

Finding out what your Target Audience Wants from Your Business

What is an algorithm? It is a set of rules and calculations that dictate how information online is accessed and shared. The algorithms used by online social media pages and search engines are your gateway to your target audience. On most search engines and social media sites, the algorithms use your recent searches and activity, keywords, interests, and popularity of things within the topic you’re trying to dive into to curate a “personal” experience that is geared towards what it thinks fits what you want the best.

For small business owners, breaking into this algorithm is sometimes the hardest thing to do. We’re not mind readers, and sometimes, it’s small niche things like how frequently you use a word that can keep you out of your target audience’s reach. In this article, we will dive into different types of algorithms and how you can use them to your advantage to reach your target audience online.

Search Engines

The job of a search engine is to help rank the information within their data to find what is both relevant and higher in quality. The most commonly used ones are:

- Google controls 92% of the search engine market share worldwide. That includes 72% of the desktop market and 92% of the mobile search engine market.

- Bing search market share in the U.S. (all devices) is 6.44%.

- Yahoo serves nearly one billion users across the world every day.

Social Media

The algorithms used for social media function a bit differently. They sort and push content based on factors such as popularity, engagement (likes, comments, shares, etc.), user activity, and other elements called signals specific to different social media pages. Here are some of the items that the popular social media sites' algorithms focus on.


Facebook's algorithm focuses on:

- Content you usually like or engage with through friends, groups, and pages you follow.

- Who posts what and your amount of interactions with whoever posts the content.

- Past behavior and interactions to determine what you may want to interact with this time. - How much you interact with it. The higher the score, the more likely you’ll see it.


Youtube’s algorithm focuses on:

- How long people stay on videos, how many times they’re watched, and how many like them.

- How relevant the video is to what the person searches for.

- Videos and content people have interacted with in the past and topics or channels they come back to often.


Instagram’s algorithm spurts based on on:

- If something is a photo or video.

- If someone engages with another user's posts, and how often they do so.

- A user’s interaction history.

- The type of content a user interacts with (videos, pictures, reels, etc.)


TokTok’s algorithm focuses on:

- Posts someone interacts with (completion rates, likes, comments, followers accounts, etc.).

- Information on posts such as hashtags, sounds, effects, and trending topics.

While each social media platform has similar signals that it focuses on when ranking or spreading information and posts, they vary enough to where one tactic will not work on all of them to keep your business pages relevant. You have to adjust your tactics on every platform to match what section of your audience is on each and the different trends and staples that each platform uses.

Analytics are the Key

To understand how to navigate the algorithms, you must first dive into your analytics. Your analytics are the pages that give you insight into the performance of what you share online or how your pages perform on different social media sites and search engines. Studying your business’ analytics on different pages can help you break into the various algorithms and allow you to:

- Raise customer retention rates.

- Streamline your marketing strategies on different platforms. - Organize products based on what your customers want and need (including updates and changes to what you offer.

- Find out what your customers enjoy more to make the experience more tailored to them.

Search engines and social media platforms have built-in analytics for users. For example -


• Bing

• Yahoo

• YouTube

• Facebook

• TikTok

• Instagram

Taking the time to look through your analytics and keeping in mind what each social media platform and search engine prioritizes in their algorithms is extremely important. It helps your business online when it comes to increasing your outreach and making sure your target audience is aware of the latest updates to your business and its products. If you’re finding it hard to crack through the algorithm, implementing new tactics to your marketing strategies, or having trouble understanding your analytics, Comprehensive Consulting Solutions for Small Businesses will be happy to help you!