Your business’s biggest problem is obscurity. If people don't know you, they won't do business with you. Your product could be amazing, your customer service could make clients shiver with glee, but if they don’t know you exist, you’ve got no chance of helping them. Zero.
Social media is one of the most effective tools out there for generating that awareness and catapulting your way out of obscurity. These amazing, free channels of communication are available for all of us to use, and most of us squander these opportunities day in and day out. For shame.
I know you’re not satisfied with the level of traction you’re earning on social media. I’m always looking for those unique opportunities to skyrocket my clients’ social media followings and get more attention for their brands.
If you’re not satisfied with the level of attention you’re getting on social media, then it’s time to do something about it. Here are some reasons why you may not be getting the traction you want on social media.
You’re not posting often enough.
When drafting a social media posting schedule, remember that you’re not looking to check off boxes, you’re looking to get attention for yourself and your brand.
There are plenty of social media scheduling guides out there, but really there is no right answer to the frequency question. The bottom line is this: the more you post, the more opportunities you have to engage with your fans.
I can say with almost 100 percent certainty that you’re not posting often enough. I used to tweet one or two times a day and got good engagement. I will, at times, post more depending on the topics of discussions.
You’re posting at the wrong times.
If you like posting on social media at 2 a.m., but your audience doesn’t check their phone until lunch, then your posts will go largely unnoticed. Similarly, if you post on LinkedIn at the same times that you post on Facebook or Instagram, don’t be surprised if you get wildly different rates of engagement. Different platforms have different users and different behavioral patterns.
Using a social media scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite is extremely helpful for testing out different types of content at various posting times. Feel free to inform your decisions based on existing data, but understand that what works for others may not necessarily work for you. As you continue to test, eventually you’ll notice patterns and identify the dead zones and which times are the magic moments when your fan base is really buzzing.
And remember, the more you post, the more opportunities you have to get that buzz you’re after. If you post once per day, you have just one opportunity to capture the attention of your audience. If you post 10 times per day, that’s 10 times the opportunity to test your content and cast a wider net.
You’re not memorable.
Memorability can come from a number of things. Consistency is certainly up there -- the more often you see or hear something, the more memorable it is. I know Geico can save me 15 percent or more on car insurance because it’s been drilled into my psyche.
On average, it takes 5 to 8 impressions to remember a brand. Now just imagine how many more times it will take if you look and sound like everyone else.
So focus on standing out. Share your story and be personable. Look for ways to delight your fans, compliment people, collaborate and make your audience feel positive emotions when they see your name. All of that work will ensure that the next time they think of your industry, they’ll make the connection -- ding -- and think of you too.
You’ve put all your eggs in one basket.
You’ve done loads of demographics research. You know for sure which social media platforms your target audience is on and which they’re not. So you sign up confidently for one or two platforms and poo-poo the others. I’ve made this mistake before and I’ll tell you right now -- you won’t know for certain where your audience will be most engaged until you test your theory out.
My initial research found Twitter to be my best bet, so I began to make my home there. It’s working well, but over the last year, as I’ve tracked the engagement metrics on my blogs and I discovered that my website is where I get the majority of my traction. that’s where my articles get shared the most. Go figure. Try your content out on different platforms to find the communities that are most engaged with your content.
You’re expecting people to come to you.
You see people with amazing follower-to-following ratios on Twitter and figure you’ll get there if you just start sharing some great content, but that’s not how it works. Building an online audience is a grind.
When you’re looking to grow your business, you don’t just turn the lights on and wait for customers to come to you. You go after them. You experiment with marketing and advertising. You seek out PR opportunities. You set up a sales funnel and work your tail off getting referrals.
Growing your online audience is the same way. You may need to follow hundreds of people in order to get the valuable attention of a select few. You’ll want to engage with your biggest fans and figure out who your key influencers are. And yes, you’ll want to occasionally set up those paid campaigns to help supplement your organic efforts.
You’re not adding any value.
Take a hard look at the content you’re sharing on social media. Are you just posting news articles from the same publication with no commentary? Are you adding anything original to the conversation? If you’re not giving people a reason to share your content, they won’t. There is far too much competition on social media for you to stand out by being forgettable and unoriginal.
Sharing your own original content is a great way to provide unique value. So too is sharing a carefully selected mix of external news articles, blog posts, pictures, and videos. Make your news feed visually appealing, share a variety of content and give your audience something valuable to come back to day after day.
You’re hot and you’re cold. One day you’ll post on social media, the next day you’ll respond to a comment and then you’ll forget for three weeks straight.
At its core, social media is a way of engaging and interacting with other people. And just like any other form of communication, if it’s clear that you don’t really care about your audience, they’re not going to stick around for long.
If customers have a problem and they can’t get a hold of you via social media, they’re much more likely to leave a negative review. So make yourself a consistent schedule for posting updates and checking your notifications, and stick to it!
You’re forgetting visual content.
There’s an incredible amount of data out there on the power of visual media in encouraging engagement online. Tweets with images get 150 percent more retweets than tweets without images. Content with relevant visual content get 94% more tweets than content without. YouTube has the longest session time of any social platform, averaging 40 minutes on mobile per user.
If you’re not taking advantage of videos, pictures, graphics and gifs, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. Make it your mission to make your social content as visually appealing as possible. It will look great and you’ll earn the engagement metrics to make it worth your while.
You’re just focusing on yourself.
If you share content that is interesting to you, but not to your audience, then you’re just being plain selfish. Nobody wants to engage with a page of spam, random thoughts or advertisements. Social media users want to be educated and entertained. They want value, not ads. Instead of focusing on what you want -- more sales or a larger audience -- focus on what your audience wants -- more value. Make the answers to those questions your driving thesis behind your social media activity. Do your absolute best to provide as much value as possible for your target audience, and you’ll reap the reward.
FDMC Social & Digital Media
Roy has over 30 years experience in the broadcasting and marketing fields. He carries strong credentials in mass media, social media, advertising, marketing, public relations, and video production. Mr. Garton is also a professional actor and voice-over talent.
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