You keep hearing that in order to stay relevant these days, you must have a social media presence –that if you build it, they will come. Well that’s only partly true. A social media presence can get your brand in front of larger audiences, boost brand awareness, and allow your customers to connect with you on another level; but, none of this will happen without a strategy in place for creating effective content.
If you’re posting to social networks regularly and see nothing but tumbleweed every time you check your Facebook notifications, Twitter mentions, YouTube views, etc.; guess what, it’s time to reevaluate your content. In this blog post, we are going to give you five reasons why users may not be engaging with your social media content. As you read through each reason, note what steps you can take to immediately improve your strategy and get your audience talking.
1) Your content is not native to the platform
Users log on to each social networking site with an expected experience in mind. For example, they get on Facebook to see how their family and old friends are doing; they hop on twitter to discuss current events as they happen; they turn to YouTube for how-to videos; and they sign in on LinkedIn to network with potential referral sources and read articles that will help them to grow professionally.
With this in mind, make sure that you’re not crafting one message and posting the exact same thing on each social networking site. At the very least, utilize different graphics that will best grab that audience’s attention. In regards to wording, it is okay to be a tad more detailed on Facebook (where older audiences are more likely to read longer posts), but on Twitter, keep it short, conversational, and enticing. Here’s the rule of thumb: pay attention to how your audience is posting on each social networking site and follow suit.
2) Your content is interruptive
If everyone is talking about a particular subject, whether it is breaking news, or the hottest television show, then guess what- this may not be the best time for you to post your ‘ten tips for buying a home.’ This is where being an active social listener comes into play. You must know your audience and what they care about in order to time your content appropriately. Many brands fall victim to using tools like Hootsuite to schedule every post. Scheduling your posts may save you time and help you to stay consistent, but it’s not ideal to set ALL of your content and go. Keep your ear to what’s being discussed, and frame your content appropriately.
Also, and you’ll hear this come from us a lot, -do not use social media to hard sell in post after post after post. That is the definition of interruptive when it comes to using platforms designed for relationship building. Remember that givers gain. Your goal is to educate and engage your audience so that they get to know you; not to bug and nag them into buying from you all day. Those posts will easily be ignored, and will probably get you unfollowed if a sales pitch is all you have to offer.
3) Your content is not helpful
Make sure that every single social media post will bring value to your audience. When planning out your content, ask yourself –is this helpful, or is it just fluff? Follow the 80-20 rule that says 80% of your content should be focused on helping your audience, while only 20% should be directly about your brand. If you’re a realtor for example, 80% of your content should be information that your audience will care about –how to price their home, how to find the right realtor, what mortgage they can afford, safety tips for holding an open house -give, give, give.
You may think that posting daily quotes or jokes is interesting, but it won’t hold your audience for long, and does you no good without a call to action for lead generation. Show your audience that you care about their needs. In return, your audience will read and share this helpful information, and you simultaneously establish yourself as an authority in your field.
4) Your content is boring
Valuable content does not have to be boring; and if you add more personality to your posts, you’ll see a huge difference in engagement. When planning out your content, ask yourself, ‘why would my audience want to read this?’ and position your message in such a way that it touches on your audience’s pain points, evokes curiosity, or inspires awe. Another helpful tip is to read your content out loud. How would you introduce this piece of information if you were having a casual conversation with a friend? Spice it up. Be creative. And also, use lots of graphics whenever you can to SHOW instead of tell. Most social networking sites have now gravitated towards a more visual approach that allows you to take more advantage of photos, graphics, gifs, and video –all of which are more likely to capture the eye of your audience.
5) Your content and audience do not match
“I’m posting helpful content that stands out, but still no one seems to care!” If this is the case, take a look at who likes and is following your social media page. If you are a lawyer with a following that consists of colleagues and other professionals in your field, then of course they are less likely to engage with content written to engage potential clients. If you find this to be the case, you can do one of two things: a) reframe your content to engage with the professionals in your audience who may serve as referral sources, or b) find the audience you are looking for. To find your audience, you can search keywords to see who may be in need of your services, or you can leverage your email lists to encourage your past and present clients to follow and like all of your social media profiles.
Where do you stand?
So now, take a step back and think about your own content. Do you find yourself falling victim to one of these don’ts, or maybe even a few? It takes time to develop and post content to a variety of social networking sites, and you shouldn’t be wasting yours by putting so much energy into social media without any return on investment. As you adapt your content to be more engaging, comment below to let us and our readers know what is and isn’t working for you. This is also an article you can share with not just your business owner and entrepreneur friends, but with anyone interested in growing their personal social media following. By implementing the ideas above, you’ll see a huge difference in the way users engage with you on social media, and in turn a better return on investment.