Definition: Recommendations are algorithmic suggestions made by major social networks for people to follow, pages to like, and posts to read. Recommendations provide another mode of discovery for online businesses seeking further engagement.

Social media platforms connect users with people or businesses they may be interested in and/or are already familiar with via recommendations. Users receive personalized recommendations based on their previous engagement and usage on a platform. Recommendations can be either paid or organic depending on the platform, tapping into vast social data to present users with businesses that relate to their interests or network.

How different social platforms make recommendations

Recommendations take various forms across major social platforms, but the aim of every network is to encourage engagement and find relevant connections.

  • Facebook users receive a variety of recommendations such as to 'like' a business Page, join a group or go to an event. When 'liking' a page, users are prompted with similar pages to like or visit. To determine its recommendations, Facebook employs a "collaborative filtering" system that uses a data set made of more than a billion users and 100 billion user ratings. Just make sure to go into your page's settings to allow your page to be recommended to others.
  • Twitter users can get recommendations in several ways. If they follow the @MagicRecs account, it will send them messages based on which tweets other accounts they follow have retweeted or favorited. They can also receive what are known as tailored suggestions, which recommend users you may know or should follow. Twitter also allows "promoted accounts" that blur the line between organic recommendations and advertising. Simply create an account, write a compelling description inviting users to follow it and decide which user groups to target. Your account will then appear on users' recommendations for Who to follow. According to Twitter, 70 per cent of followers will provide free marketing through retweets.
  • Instagram users receive recommendations for people to follow based on their network of followers. Users can opt-out of receiving recommendations.

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