There’s a massive mistake too many people are making when trying to build their brand — they’re concentrating far too much on their content and not enough on their people…
“WAAH! Waah! Waah! I’m posting every day on social media, but I’m still the best kept secret. Nobody’s seeing my stuff!”
…cried a million small business owners, ‘solopreneurs’, coaches, healers, therapists and authors across the world.
I hear it all the time. They’ll complain that social media is a waste of time, Facebook pages don’t work, LinkedIn is full of recruiters, Insta’s for kids and Twitter’s dead.
Of course, that’s all bullshit.
It’s not that social doesn’t work, it’s that they’re not using it to the best of its ability — and they’re certainly not working it to their advantage.
Here’s what frequently happens…
Someone running their own business watches a webinar on social media, buys a programme, maybe goes to a workshop. They listen to all the bits that pique their attention. They decide, from that day forward, they’re going to show up, post every day and make their mark on the world, goddamnit!
Anyone can do this, right? There’s gold in them there virtual hills.
They’re right. There is. Except they’re digging for fool’s gold and nothing more.
Here’s where it all goes wrong…
The business owner — let’s call them Sam (safe, gender neutral, non-specific… you can picture Sam any way you like ) — starts getting really excited about telling everyone about their business.
They post every day. Sometimes more than once. It’s usually the same content, splurged across all platforms, from one central social management suite.
Sam never bothers to check if anyone’s responding, because they do everything from their Hootsuite deck. They don’t believe they need to and, honestly, they don’t really care that much.
Sam’s posting every day so, sooner or later, the enquiries and leads are bound to come flooding in.
Except they don’t.
- If Sam isn’t checking those platforms, instead of sitting in their ‘schedule and bail’ comfort zone, Sam has no idea whether that content is hitting the mark. It’s really important to keep an eye on your comment streams and your stats. No, it’s not all about the numbers, but if the eyeballs on your content tot up to a big, fat ZERO, you need to find out fast and change things up.
- Sam’s probably just talking about business offers, products and services. Sam’s using old skool marketing/advertising techniques in this bright, new world, where people buy from people and stories are far more impactful than an online catalogue masquerading as a Facebook page.
- THIS IS THE BIGGEST, MOST COMMON MISTAKE I SEE PEOPLE MAKING ON SOCIAL MEDIA… If anyone is commenting on Sam’s posts, Sam isn’t bothering to reply to any of those comments. Sam is far too important for that — influencers don’t need to speak to the little people, right?
Social media algorithms, to be a little broad brush for a moment, thrive on engagement. If conversations are happening on the comment threads accompanying your posts, those social platforms will see a ‘popular’ post and show it to more people.
On LinkedIn particularly, the algorithm doesn’t really differentiate between a comment on a post and your replies to those comments. Word on the virtual street is that comments of five words or more are best so, if you have 10 comments on your post and you reply to each and every one, you’ll be doubling your engagement levels as far as the algorithm is concerned.
That’s enough for now
There’s more — I could harp on forever about some of the social media faux pas I see, but these are the top three that could be standing in the way of your brand growth, visibility and, of course, client attraction.
See, social media really is a two-way mirror. If you just stand before it, preening and making sure everyone sees the image YOU want to present, without stopping to think that people are looking in and reading between those lines, you’re onto a loser.
It’s not about presenting a perfectly sculpted, contoured and lacquered image, shiny products gleaming under the spotlight. It’s SOCIAL media. It’s about caring, sharing, being of service, giving people a REASON to engage with you and want to find out more about you and your business.
The more people comment, share and love your posts, the more word will spread and the more successful you stand a chance of becoming.
Social media. Give a damn about your potential audience instead of just your ego, logo and company message.
Quit hiding behind that scheduler and start creating conversations.
Two way mirror. Two way street.
You’ll create far more influence by being as interested in your audience as you’d like them to be in you. Perhaps even more so.
Until next time,
Taz Thornton is the author of Awesome Sauce — a free, weekly positive life and business round-up, with good news stories, positivity tips and visibility hacks for your brand. In a few minutes each week, you get a dose of optimism and some awesome advice to get seen and stay happy.
Taz is also a best-selling author, inspirational business speaker and consultant on confidence, personal brand and visibility, award-winning coach (UK’s Best Female Coach 2018 — Best Business Woman Awards), consultant and creator of the #UnleashYourAwesome and #BrandMasterypersonal and business development programmes, as well as #UNLEASHED — an affordable confidence, content and cashflow building programme for coaches, healers and therapists.
She has been featured on BBC, ITV, in HuffPost, Diva and countless other newspapers, magazines and podcasts. Taz is also a regular columnist for the America Out Loud talkshow network.