How to overcome the algorithm with algospeak

Beating the algorithm: how to use algospeak to get in front of your audience

In today’s digital age, algorithms are everywhere. They dictate what we see on social media, the results we receive on search engines, and even what companies we get content from.

Algorithms have revolutionised the way we interact with technology. If you’re on the wrong side of them, however, your business could be missing out on valuable engagement. So what can you do to ensure your content is reaching your target demographic?

Understanding algospeak

With the development of algorithms has come the emergence of algospeak. Hootsuite defines this as “code words or expressions that social media users adopt in order to avoid content moderation systems”. On social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Facebook, content that would usually be removed has the opportunity to trend.

For example, during Covid-19 when sites censored content on the virus due to misinformation, users turned ‘pandemic’ into ‘panini’. This helped to bypass moderators and share their personal stories and opinions without being shadow-banned.

Shadow banning is largely debated by social network media users. The Sprout Social definition is “social content [that] has been blocked or restricted in some capacity without you receiving any notice”. The term rose in popularity following accusations by the conservative government in 2018.

Users have experienced their posts being partly or entirely hidden. This may be because of particular words that have been flagged by content moderation systems. Algospeak prevents individuals’ posts from being caught by this and allows them to post and communicate freely.

People from marginalised groups, who could be at risk of hate speech, have also been able to communicate on their own terms through algospeak. The LGBTQIA+ community made ‘LGBT’ into ‘leg booty’, which created a space that was harder to find by social media trolls.

Subsequently, this new language has allowed communities to form and thrive where they may otherwise have not existed.

Algospeak in business terms

Digital marketing is now an integral part of communications strategy for all companies so, as a business, algospeak needs to be on your radar. Knowing where your audience is and how they are communicating is essential to reaching them.

Of course, there is no one size fits all solution and it’s important to determine where algospeak fits within your sector. Specifically, you need to understand the code words that are used in your industry and target audience and use them appropriately.

Knowing where you stand from a professional viewpoint is important. Is it appropriate to use slang and incorrect spelling to bypass content moderation? While it may not fit your overarching brand tone, you should weigh up how it can be integrated into your community management approach.

Adopting algospeak should be done with much consideration, as there are rules in place for a reason. Overstepping the line or misinterpreting language could see you engage with accounts that don’t align with your values.

What are the risks?

Although algospeak offers a space for more people to raise awareness on issues they care about, allowing creators to share their stories, other accounts are using this tactic to be hateful.

There are rising issues with hate speech and other inappropriate content appearing on people’s feeds, sharing messages and videos that would usually be blocked by the algorithm and allowing people to spread harmful content.

Certain words won’t mean what you think they do, and if you get in on the wrong trend you could attract new followers that may be unwanted while displeasing your target demographic. You must ensure you do your research on slang words before you adopt algospeak.

You may create a wider misunderstanding as people outside particular communities may try to adopt coded words without knowing their additional meanings.

How to overcome the algorithm

Your company and its purpose could be the perfect solution to a user’s problem, but if they don’t see your content they’ll never find you. Expanding your organic reach by optimising your content to the algorithm will help push your brand to your target demographic.

Here are some top tips on how to drive more engagement through your content strategy:

Focus on posting quality content

Algorithms are designed to promote content that is relevant and interesting to users. By focusing on creating engaging content that is valuable to your audience, you can increase your chances of your post being promoted by the algorithm. Short-form video content is a particularly popular trend at the moment, more so than photos.

User interaction is really important according to TikTok guidelines. When people interact positively, it’ll bring your content back to them again on their For You page. Like all marketing, a call to action is key.

Use data analytics to your advantage

Algorithms rely on data and insights to make decisions. By using data analytics to better understand your audience, you can produce content that is tailor-made for them. This can help you increase engagement and boost your visibility on the platform.

Create content with compelling keywords and hashtags

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a key part of getting your account on-side with the algorithm. Make sure you’re doing your research on what hashtags are popular with followers and the specific content you’re posting.

Engage with social media users

Algorithms are designed to promote content that is engaging and interactive. By connecting with your audience through leaving a comment, direct message, or other forms of communication, you can increase your engagement and improve your visibility on the platform.

Work with influencers

Influencers have a strong following on social media and can be powerful friends and allies in your quest to beat the algorithm. By working with influencers who have a similar audience to yours, you can increase your visibility and reach a wider audience.

Adapt your posts to each platform

For example, the Instagram Explore page algorithm works differently from the TikTok For You page feed. Therefore, your Instagram Reels need to be different to your TikTok posts. Use specific tools to discover what the trends are, such as popular sounds or hashtags.


Navigating a new content strategy can be a daunting task, and getting an experienced agency on board can help guide you to create a new content plan that will see success for your brand. Get in touch to discover how AMBITIOUS can help. Call 0117 905 1177 or email [email protected].