I remember the early days of social media, where everyone talked about how social media was a great free way to bring in the big bucks. But the reality is that many businesses are doomed to fail on social media. In this article I get into seven reasons why your social media efforts aren’t paying off, and what to do about it.
I've handled content management for a number of top entrepreneurs, including Patrick Bet-David. And one thing that sets these entrepreneurs apart in all aspects of their business, including social media, is consistency.
If you've watched any of the regular Valuetainment episodes, you may have noticed down at the bottom of the description this statement:
And let me tell you, come hell or high water, it happens. If that wasn't the case, Patrick's YouTube channel would not be the great success that it is.
This article published on Entrepreneur.com is focused on how to grow a massive following on Instagram, but many of the tips apply to all social media platforms. Here are two regarding consistency:
1. Pick a theme and stay consistent.
The focus of this point is to be consistent with your voice and your message. When you're first starting out, this can be challenging, as you may still be working on figuring out who you are and the how you want to convey your message. But it's worth working on, and the more you get out there, the clearer your theme will become.
2. Keep your posting schedule consistent.
The article advises:
You need to post at least once a day. You can't grow if you don't post for a week or a few days here and there. Your followers will come to expect your content so it’s important that you constantly deliver what they want.
Consistency is indeed a challenge. It can be hard to be consistent in anything, including social media. But without consistency, you're doomed to fail on social media.
The article, Without Twitter's 140 Character Limit Brevity Is No Longer the Soul of Wit gets into a recent change in Twitter, and that is that tweets can now be longer than 140 characters. You can read the article for all the ins and outs regarding the change, but I wanted to share the one quote that stood out to me the most:
Embrace 140 characters. As humans we have a tendency to over complicate what we’re trying to say. Even with the new update, practicing brevity in as few characters as possible is a great way to challenge yourself.
An important point here is that every social media platform is different, and the differences are what makes them effective in different ways. A big mistake that many entrepreneurs make that makes it almost certain that they will fail on social media is that they treat every social media platform the same. For example, they may use the "@" symbol on all social media updates, even on ones that don't tag people in that way. Or they may create "tweets" and then use the exact same wording on Facebook or worse, fail to emphasize visuals on platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram that are all about visuals.
Speaking of Twitter, be sure to check out the article and video published this week right here on PatrickBetDavid.com:
The article 8 Companies Changing the Social Media Game published on Entrepreneur.com features eight companies that provide tools to help you succeed on social media.
For example, it goes into why visuals are such an important part of social media and recommends Canva for creating visuals. It also recommends Buffer for scheduling social media posts and Animoto for easy video creation.
To see the full lists of tools, be sure to check out the article here.
This entire article published Entrepreneur.com is worth a read, because it provides 11 reasons why you're not gaining traction on social media.
The one that stood out to me the most is that you're not memorable. There is a lot of noise on social media, and with so many companies competing for attention, unless you stand out in some way, no one will pay attention to you. Here's how this article puts it:
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.
Here's what I would encourage you to do. Look at your competitors and ask yourself, "How am I different? What is there about my content that would compel people to follow me when there are so many other options?"
This may seem overwhelming. But here's the good news. One of the best ways to be memorable is to simply be yourself in ways that are true, honest, and dare I say it, vulnerable. If you do that, people will remember you and you'll connect with the people you were put on this planet to influence.
This article is about how to increase engagement on Pinterest, but it has a lot of great tips that apply to other platforms as well. For example, it talks about curating content and having multiple contributors. The focus here is about building strong partnerships with others, rather than being completely focused on yourself. A related point is to follow others. Again this shifts the focus away from only promoting your own content, but on interacting with other people in your industry.
Another great point that the article makes is to analyze what's working and do more of that:
Examine what pins get the most engagement and what’ so special about them. Are they useful, inspirational, or beautiful? All of the above? Is it an infographic, or an image, or maybe even a video? Does it have a price tag, or a really cool description?
Particularly if you're on Pinterest, I'd recommend reading the entire article for more tips.
But let's say you're not really involved with Pinterest. Here are two tips of my own regarding engaging with followers:
- Don't post and run. When you post something, be prepared to respond to people who comment or share your post.
- Focus on helping others more than promoting your stuff. Now it's true that often you can help others by sharing your content, but if you do nothing but share your content, people won't engage with you. A great way to help others in a way that isn't at all promotional is to answer people's questions, connect people, share resources other than yours that fit the need someone expresses and so on.
This is a great article and video published right here this week on PatrickBetDavid.com on how to use social media verification tools. The video and article cover some really great ways to tell if someone is faking it on social media. For instance, they may have a huge Twitter following, but a lot of the followers are fake. Or they may have a lot of YouTube views, but very few comments, which indicates they are buying views.
But for me the biggest takeaway is the importance of building a real following on social media and your website. Faking it won't do you any good - what do you think those fake followers are going to buy from you? Not only that, since it's easy for people to find out the truth about you, it's much better to be honest. Work on building your brand and real followers and then you can be proud of your social media presence.
Be sure to check out the entire article and video for some great insight into the topic:
Let's say that you work your butt off, do things the right way, and build a legitimate and engaged fan base on social media. If you don't take social media security seriously, you could fail on social media in spite of all your efforts.
That's why I wanted to end this article by sharing 5 Ways to Keep Your Social Media Accounts Safe From Hackers. Here's why this matters so much:
Social media is such a critical part of business these days, making it extremely important that you keep your accounts safe. Imagine if someone gained access to your accounts? It would be devastating and it could potentially have a severe negative impact on your business.
The article goes on to list the following types of things that can happen if someone hacks into your social media accounts:
- Stealing your account and changing the handle in order to take your hard earned followers.
- Sending out compromised links to your followers.
- Attempting to phish personal information from your customers.
Obviously, you don't want to go to all of the hard work required to build a massive social media following and then have that type of thing happen.
The good news is, the article provides five things you can do to secure your social media accounts. You can read the entire article here.
So there you have it, seven things to avoid if you don't want to fail on social media, and what to do about them.
What are some steps you've taken to succeed on social media? If you're just getting started yourself, feel free to share why you follow various people on social media.