May the Odds Ever Be In Your Favor: Beating the Algorithm

increasingly SMEs, creative professionals and entrepreneurs have had to become more tech savvy.  This has been a natural occurrence over time as technology has come to dominate our world.

While there will always remain evil scientists looking for ways to create tech to destroy and intentionally obsolesce workers, we’ve still seen some great advances in the tech sphere.  Part of those upgrades has been from the globalization of technology and advances in the field of blockchain, coding and silicon wafers.   Tech has helped to properly bolster the world into the information age. The contributions to growth has come from talent worldwide.

But that development comes with a caveat, especially for SMEs, entrepreneurs and professionals.  While data privacy issues (not just from hackers, but from techcos and your own government remain high, artificial intelligence (AI),  Virtual Reality (VR) and algorithms remain top opportunities and hurdles for the populace.

These technologies might offer your small business a major convenience through a chatbot to direct your online clientele, but they may also invade your privacy by allowing your smartphone to map your home or route to work.  (Especially If you haven’t turned of the VR function on your phone,  someone at a big tech company might know the spatial and physical layout of your bedroom).

The tech layoffs in recent times may underscore the double-edged usefulness of AI and algorithms now obsolescing their programmers.  AI and algorithms are having much more effect than what we believe is organic.

If you are an SME or entrepreneur or professional, the challenge might be reaching the very contacts you helped to grow on the platform you use most.  It might also mean that social media platforms use AI and Algorithms to control how many people see your posts or are able to follow your page. This matters for sales and tangible business. It’s a sticky catch-22 for SMEs who thought they could engage in social media marketing using talent alone. Now, many companies and managers must fight the AI and the algorithms.

Some groups have complained that AI and the algorithms on social media platforms are racist, ageist and skewed among other things, to weed out their posts; and keep their posts from reaching the very people who actually want to see it.  In fact, current social media is busy firing off awkward or agenda-based ads that don’t connect with users interests or ideals.

I haven’t had a personal social media account since the early 2000s when I began to realize algorithms were increasing and privacy was decreasing.  If you live in the marketing or communication space, you understand the implications of algorithms on organic, science and talent-based, communications strategy.  It becomes less about the behaviors of the target market and more about beating the algorithm.

If you are a digital marketer, entrepreneur, professional or SME you have to understand this vital fact. You are not courting the market,  you are trying to beat the algorithm. Yes, you’re right, it’s actually trying to stop you. For some, in the hope you will buy more ads and post more content; for others more nefarious reasons. The bottim line in each scenario is that it doesn’t actually increase your odds.  And may the odds ever be in your favor, because the algorithm ensures that they are not.

There was astronomical growth for many accounts on various platforms across the digital and social media echosphere in the early 2000s. However at about the 2015-2016, techcos started implementing algorithms.  Increasingly it became less about what you chose and more about what the techcos wanted you to see. 

One could literally go from one user device to another and see a whole different set of news and analysis, ads and trending topics.  It was cleverly disguised at first, as user interests or choice, until it became evidently spoon feeding.  It pushed me as a content producer and journalist to international news to find real-world context beyond the mainstream bubble. I found ways of beating the algorithm and could finally know what was happening in the world beyond cats in trees, the latest missing hotbod, and more political theatre.

As a marketer, creative or business, you have to find a way around the algorithms and the AI.  After 2015/2016 users started to see their subscribers dwindle, followers meant less, and a tech echosphere where the AI set demand.  This caused revenue and eyeball hungry marketers and creators to push celebrity and mainstream content to maintain AI/algorithm-allowed views.  Tons of your favorite online personalities and influencers suddenly disappeared into obscurity or struggled to make subscriptions numbers.

It wasn’t a fluke. It was an algorithm and possibly a dubiously programmed AI.  Lots of users, influencers and SMEs started to post less because of demotivation and less ad dollars/monetization revenue.  Some became desperate and started posting/creating celebrity, viral and salacious content to satisfy the algorithm. 

The point is that, to win the social media game now, you must beat the AI and the Algorithm.  This means you can’t be content to buy a few ads and post regularly. It means you’ll need to think outside of the box and use new techniques to win your market.

For insider tips on beating the algorithm and the AI for your SME or content plan, schedule an appointment today.

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