Updated: 31 September 2022
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. Maybe, you're a bit ahead of the game and your posts are planned weeks ahead. But still, that planning may only consist of slotting in sales posts, some inspirational quotes, and a few questions here and there for your audience.
If you haven't worked on a strategy to get your audience interacting with your posts, whether it's general engagement or clicks through to your website, you're not likely to get the results you're looking for. On top of that, posts with very little interaction then get caught up in the algorithms of social media, never reaching the audience you worked so hard to get. The goal of all social media platforms is to keep their audience engaged, and so their sophisticated algorithms determine what gets seen according to what is known to be interesting. 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.
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.
This wastes precious opportunities for you to connect with your audience. To create a connection with your audience, you need them to stop scrolling long enough to see what you have to say. To create an impact you then want them to take some sort of action, whether it's to like your post, share it, or respond to your call to action.
How to be seen online: 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. Look at Me Posts
You know the post I'm talking about. It's post after post of “I did this” and “I did that”. You've seen enough of them by now to know that most of the time there's nothing there for you. The style changes depending on the latest trend that everyone is jumping on. Currently it's the heart-wrenching story punctuated by a selfie and finished up with a sales pitch. But just like a TV ad that's interrupted our favorite show, people start to recognise what's coming and they fast forward – just like TV.
To be fair, some of these posts do get good engagement, though often it's from friends who are trying to be supportive. However this still doesn't guarantee you'll be seen by your target audience who will be the one's pulling out their wallet.
How to be seen online: Make the post about the reader and 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, your audience is unlikely to connect with you. The more you can speak like yourself, the easier it will be for people to get to know you, and feel a connection. 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 “This is what happened today” 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 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.
How to be seen online: 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. While this sounds like it takes a whole lot of extra time, using a social media scheduler like Buffer, Agorapulse or Sprout Social makes it super easy and fast.
4. Copying 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 of some extra success, makes you a copy not an original. If our posts sound 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.
How to be seen online: Making sure you have a strong positioning statement. That is, where do you fit in the marketplace and why should people buy from you rather than anyone else? 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 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, all social media platforms know what your audience wants to see, and that's what they'll show them. Without analytics it's all just guesswork.
How to be seen online: Keep 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, the description, the popularity of the topic or very likely it was that your post connected with your audience emotionally.
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. The ones I mentioned before, Buffer, Agorapulse and Sprout Social are popular options.
Okay, so there it is. 5 social media mistakes that stop you from being seen online. These will give you a great start to giving your social media a makeover to become more visible online. Now if you're ready to really start moving forward, you'll want to download my guide to Marketing Truths to Help you Get your Message & Business Out to the World. Enjoy!