Want to grab the attention of your social media audience? Wondering how to maximize your organic reach with all of the new algorithms on Facebook and Instagram? Read on. The two go hand-in-hand.

The word that should get “word of the year” for 2016? Algorithm. It’s the word that we’ve all been hearing and we’ve all been affected by it…first on Facebook and now on Instagram.

Algorithms are complex, made up of thousands of factors in the ranking process that are tweaked and experimented with daily. Even if we were to have the secret sauce in our grasp, they would change it on us again by tomorrow.

But there is one thing that we do have control over and it’s this: posting content that our audience actually likes and will engage with. One thing is for sure: FB and IG want to give priority to posts that viewers “have a high likelihood” of engaging with. This plays into a huge factor in the algorithms. In other words, figure out what your audience likes and wants to see from you, and post it with consistency.

While you may post something that most of your followers will “see”, the best benefit in social media organic reach is “engagement” (conversations via comments, likes, etc).

What this means for you and me is that we need to post content that our audiences will like. Seems simple enough, but here are some tips that will help you determine what to post for maximum engagement (and thus, maximum potential for organic reach in the algorithms).

VIDEO. It’s the main focus of the article for a  reason: FB is currently giving preference to all video in the feed. But not just videos…videos that people have watched from beginning to end! Chubaka Mom’s video went viral and ranked high because, among other factors, it was watched all the way through to the end (by everyone watching it). This is key. In order for someone to want to watch your videos they need to capture the interest from the very start— and keep them through all the way to the end!

A few tips for this:

1/ CAPTIVATING: From the start, a video needs to have a strong pull. This can be done with music, with animation (meaning, by your voice, body language, attention-grabbing movements) and with quick transitions. When a video of any sort (either still images in flip-style video or actual video clips), is posted on FB or IG, it’s competing for the attention of a viewer who is bombarded with imagery and content. Grab them in the first 3 seconds to keep them

2/ LENGTH: 60 seconds on IG seems so short…but it’s an eternity when it’s in a feed filled with so much “noise” and content competing for the attention of your audience. A 15 second powerful and captivating video is much better than a 60  second sleeper. Remember, the goal is for your audience to watch the entire video for full engagement.

3/ WHY: In other words, why am I watching this video? Is there a story? Is there a punchline? Is it asking for a call to action or is it filled with captivating movements and music? Hint: 80% of content on social media should be “social”. That leaves 20% for you to get to use a call to action to make your investment of time on a platform “worth it” for your business. You don’t have to be everywhere but where ever you are, make it count. Some of your videos can (and should) have a call to action for your audience.

4/ YOU. Yes. I just went there. For those of you that have sworn-off live-streaming or posting any videos that include “you” in front of the camera, I hear you. It’s not easy and it can be hard. But if you can get over this mountain, I promise you that you will have pushed through a barrier that will open up the flood-gates of new territory for your brand. Trust me. Try it. Show your audience the “you” of your brand. Start out with a short 2 minute “introduction” clip on IG or FB. You’ll be amazed at the engagement you get when you share your authentic self and the “face” behind the brand.

5/ LIVE-STREAMING: There is nothing more engaging than live-streaming video. While most teens are not on FB, their moms are. It’s the perfect platform to share content (via video streaming) that you know teen moms would want to know about your business. Also, “real-time” posting is just as powerful and this is available via IG, FB and of course the all-powerful platform of Snapchat. The #1 marketing tool that’s on the rise is video-marketing. Showing the authentic side of your brand by “pulling back the curtain” is powerful.

Again, the most important thing to remember on any platform is to “grab the attention of your audience” from the very beginning. Those first few seconds are GOLD!