Escaping the algorithm trap: Building authentic connections on your own terms
Recently I’ve witnessed two different scenarios where people referred to the algorithm as though it were a being:
“The algorithm doesn’t like me today.”
“We can’t stop posting or we will be penalized by the algorithm.”
While both of these quotes came from influencers with huge followings (400-500k), it gave me pause and made me sad as these reflections of frustration over the control that this beast, the “algorithm” had over them and their livelihoods.
The fact that the algorithm was being perceived as a judge who could dictate and ultimately influence futures and outcomes made me cringe, made me sad, and made me worry about how we are determining our sense of success. Chasing likes, views, and followers is exhausting and not healthy.
Being beholden to social media’s algorithm feels a bit like the tail wagging the dog.
Social media is not a strategy.
Yes, social media and its algorithms help with discovery and reaching new and ideal people. They can be amazing tools and channels for amplifying your visibility and ultimately creating bigger communities (that ideally convert into people with whom you would want to work).
But if you have no other means of getting your message and content out into the world – then this can be a dangerous hill to climb – and it’s why I urge clients to focus more on building a platform that is truly belongs to them and engaging in a community that is theirs. It’s imperative to be independent and not subject to the whims and mercies of social media’s latest trends or popularity.
Now, if you are truly an “influencer” whose initial success is based solely upon stratospheric social media growth, then this advice is not necessarily for you.
If you are, however, an expert, an author, a thought leader, and a movement maker with powerful messages, quality content, inspiring speeches and talks, peer and press recognition, and you are making the world a better place – then keep doing what you’re doing. DO GOOD WORK!
From your good work, then you can focus on:
- Letting your good work speak for itself so other people refer you and mention you
- Giving talks, speeches, and granting interviews so people can discover you and your expertise
- Building an email list so you can easily reach your community
- Creating consistent thoughtful and optimized content on your website and elsewhere, so you are easily searchable.
But relying on the algorithms of social media as your only form of community building is a slippery slope on a very unsound foundation that quickly leads to big frustration and ultimate burnout.
It’s crucial to prioritize the people in your community—the individuals you serve and those who benefit from your expertise. Focus on meeting their needs and preferences rather than fixating on what the algorithm thinks of you. By nurturing your community first and leveraging social media as a complementary tool, you can foster genuine connections and create a more meaningful impact.
Interested in learning more about this approach or creating the best strategy for building your community and platform? I’d love to chat! Schedule some time now!