Death By Algorithm

I love numbers, analytics and data as much as the next person. I also enjoy keeping up (somewhat) with what's going on in the various ways that social media platforms treat our content.

But that DOESN'T MEAN that I spend all day every day trying to game the algorithm to increase my organic reach from 2.5% to 2.51% if I just tweak this and adjust that.

Algorithms Run Our Lives

I see a few lawyers who are kind of obsessive about what the latest algorithm shift is. They watch the updates from Google with hawk-like intensity. They panic if their reach drops by a few people, and wonder what they need to do in order to “fix” their content.

It's true, of course, that mathematical algorithms have a large amount to do with any form of social media marketing. They determine who sees what, how far things get pushed, and generally have a big effect on how people can find our firms in an online world.

What's not true is that you need to spend too much of your time worrying about it.

Here's why.

It's the Wrong Focus

if you're living in a land where your decisions are determined by algorithms, I encourage you to let it go – and start living in a world of people

Content is for people.

Social media is about people.

Marketing is about people.

In short: everything you do should be about people, not about algorithms.

No algorithm is going to stop you messaging someone to see how they are going. No algorithm is going to tell you which 20 questions your clients have most recently asked you. No algorithm can prevent you from writing in a style that's approachable and easy to digest.

If you're focused on the algorithms behind the programs, then you're not focused on people.

It's Out of Your Hands

If LinkedIn decides, tomorrow, to reduce the organic reach of your posts to your top 5 connections and only spread it further if all 5 of them comment on your post, then there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Same goes for Google, Facebook, Instagram and the like.

Of course I'm not saying that you should ignore all changes completely – if a platform does something completely mad, then you might decide to change your strategy.

But I'm saying that you can't obsess over it, because ultimately it's somebody else's decision.

And if you're focused on people, then any strategy you decide to adopt should be consistently well received in some way – even if it's on a one-by-one, granular level through a personal messaging system.

You'll Go Crazy

You can't keep up – it's impossible.

Between watching the Google volatility charts, reading constant updates from platforms and generally trying to stay abreast of everything, you're spending a tonne of precious time simply trying to keep up with what other people are doing.

The truth is that you don't even know, let alone change, the factors that just Google takes into account for your SEO efforts. That is a world of speculation and intrigue, with theories developed by people who make a living from making things more complicated.

The best bet for almost everyone is to keep up with the big stuff, master the basics of each platform's approach to content, and then learn by doing.

Executing the plan is always a better use of your time then worrying about whether it's the “right” plan in the first place.

So if you're living in a land where your decisions are determined by algorithms, I encourage you to let it go – and start living in a world of people.



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