We’ve all been there. Scrambling to catch up with work, we get so busy that we lose sight of promoting our business online. As a result, it’s easy to then start posting without thought, and posting the same sort of content week after week, even if it didn’t work for us before. Or maybe, you’re a bit ahead of the game and your posts are planned weeks ahead. But still, that may entail slotting in sales posts, some quotes, and a few questions here and there to try and get your audience to talk back to you.
If you haven’t really worked on a strategy to get engagement on your posts, they’re likely not to get too many likes, comments or shares. What happens then is our posts get caught up in the algorithms of social media, never reaching the audience we worked so hard to get. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even Pinterest (although Pinterest isn’t ‘social’ as such), social platforms have sophisticated algorithms that determine what our audience wants to see. Unfortunately for us, if our posts aren’t engaging to our audience, this leads to invisibility online.
Posting without strategy is the barrier to being seen on social media
So what’s the solution to breaking through that noise on the internet? It seems like many business owners decide that shouting the loudest online is the way to be heard. Like anything else in business, there’s a more strategic and elegant way to to tackle this issue. As the old saying goes: work smarter not harder. So let’s take a look at the solution to posting smarter and being seen online.
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5 Social Media Mistakes that Stop You Being Seen Online
1. Posting something. Anything!
As I touched on in the introduction, often business owners will post something hurriedly due to the overwhelming need to post something, anything. Or worse, they leave the posting to someone else who doesn’t understand their business or customers.
But posting for the sake of it without thought as to what your audience wants to hear, wastes precious opportunities for you to connect with them. If you’re going to post on social media, you want to have an impact on your audience. You want them to notice you, and stop scrolling long enough to see what you have to say. Ultimately you want them to take some sort of action, whether it’s to like your post, share it, or respond to your call to action.
Be seen online by: Planning your posts ahead of time is the first step. The second step is vital: ensure those posts are providing some sort of benefit or value to your audience. Spend a day with your calendar mapping out what it is you want to express to your audience, and when. Adding the crucial step of double-checking that what you’re saying is interesting to your audience. Re-read your posts. If you were scrolling through, would you find it interesting and would you click on that post? Algorithm-wise, it’s far better for you to post less, and make your posts more interesting. The key is quality over quantity.
2. Speaking like a robot
You know the post I’m talking about. You’ve seen them not only on business pages, but you’ve also probably seen them on your friend’s personal Facebook profiles. You can tell they’re either trying to sell you or convince you of something. It’s like you’re reading an ad. I’ll say it over and over again: people don’t go to social media to be sold to. So when our posts sound like a TV ad that’s interrupted our favorite show, people fast forward – just like TV.
Be seen online by: Making the post about the reader. Your posts will come across authentic when you provide genuine value to your audience. People pay attention when there’s something in it for them. Also remember to re-read your posts, do they sound like you? Or do they sound like an informercial? If the post sounds like an informercial, then it’ll look like it’s been written by a someone else, someone who your audience can’t connect with. The more you can speak like yourself, the easier it will be for people to get to know you, and feel more connected to you. The bonus is that you will stand out because your audience will start to recognize your online ‘voice’.
3. Not Posting Natively
The quickest way to get ignored on Twitter is to post a tweet saying something like “Results of today’s efforts” and then a link to a photo on your Instagram account. No one is going to click that. The thing is, while we feel it’s saving time by pushing a post from one social media platform to another, and then to another, without changing it up, it’s actually a waste of time if our audience scrolls right on by.
People who are on Twitter, want to see their news on Twitter. And sending them to Facebook or Instagram to get the content isn’t going to happen. Your audience doesn’t want to click away from where they are, unless they see some real value in clicking that link.
Note: There are some exceptions. For example, you might not want to post a whole video on Facebook as you prefer to get the views on YouTube. But that’s going to depend on your personal Social Media Strategy. For the purpose of this blog post, be aware that pushing your tweets to Facebook and vice versa, or your Instagram photos to Twitter, means loss of visibility and engagement on the social platform your post was copied to.
Be seen online by: Give your audience the full picture and your full attention. This is invaluable if you want to stand out on social media. If you’re going to be on more than one social platform, then you want to get to know it well. Hang out on the social network for a little bit and study how that audience likes to receive their information. If you want to show people on Twitter a photo, then post that photo right there on Twitter. Remember that if you want people to click on your link, you need to tell them what they’ll get from clicking on the link. “Check out my blog post” doesn’t cut it.
4. Trying to copy your competition
This is the fastest way to lose sight of your brand and vision. I know it’s difficult not to look at what others are doing. You want to see what makes that other person so special. But constantly watching your competition, and trying to emulate them in the hope that you also raise engagement on your posts, makes you a copy, not an original. We’ve heard it thousands of times “people buy from those they know, like and trust”. So if our posts start sounding like the competition, why would anyone buy from us rather than them? Your audience needs to get to know you, and what you have to offer the world.
Be seen online by: Making sure you have a strong vision for your products/services and brand, and keep that vision in mind when you’re creating your posts. Also think about your ideal client. You might think your competition is hoarding all the customers out there. But you’re more likely to make a name for yourself in your industry, if you focus on your speciality and those who you can serve best.
5. Not Watching Your Analytics
Not watching your social media analytics is like driving in the dark. You think you’re going forward in a straight line but you’re not really sure. And worse, others can’t see you either.
As we said earlier, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest know what your audience wants to see, and that’s what they’ll show them. After all, that’s what keeps people coming back. Without analytics it’s all just guesswork.
Be seen online by: Keeping an eye on analytics allows you to figure out which of your posts are performing the best and spot trends. Since popular posts get pushed through the social media algorithms and onto your audience’s screen, these are the ones you want to try and recreate. There’s lots to look out for. What makes a post popular might be the photo you used, or the description, or maybe the time of day you posted, or the popularity of the topic.
To save you time and frustration jumping around one analytics page to the other, your best solution is to use third party software which can show you analytics for all your social networks all in the one place. This will allow you to quickly view what you’re posting, when and where there are gaps in your content. You can see all my favourite social media analytics tools here on my Business Tools Page, under Social Media Management.
Okay! So there it is. 5 social media mistakes that stop you from being seen online. These tips will give you a great start to giving your social media a makeover to become more visible online. But if you’re ready to give up messing around trying to figure out why you can’t convert followers to clients, I invite you to book a call with me. You can tell me how you’re going on social media, and I’d be happy to talk to you about what you can do to turn around your social media and get it headed in the right direction.