Don’t rely on social media alone
You started on social media in recent times and you soon have realized one thing: You’re late to the party.
Your quality content receives hardly any attention. Sometimes you’re lucky and a well-connected person interacts with your post which gives it a boost. Even your own followers hardly ever see a post of yours.
The notification you receive after logging in leads you to a message from a friend asking if you’re ok because he stopped seeing posts from you.
What to do, what to do?
An idea hits you and the anticipation of your future glory spreads through your body, from your head to your toes, and makes your stomach tickle.
You start to play the system.
Perhaps you buy followers or fake likes, adding irrelevant noise to the interspace that is so noisy and loud that we have become nearly deaf.
And who could blame you? Once a certain mass of people plays the system, it seems like the only alternative.
Is that not like you? Did you go the honest route? Maybe you decided for paid promotion. So you started paying to get your content in front of your own followers. What a frustrating, expensive experience, isn’t it?
Some try to game the system by posting popular “engagement starters”. Certain types of posts receive constant high levels of interaction (LinkedIn-centric):
- XY hit on me. That is soooooooooooooooooo unprofessional
- Complaining about the LinkedIn algorithm and lack of visibility
- Posting a picture of a random fallen soldier with the caption: “Share if you care about our country”
Made up job openings in Dubai are also a favorite.
The problem is: You might attract a lot of people – but not the right ones.
You don’t know how many people will unfollow you. Most sites offer an option where you can stay connected but mute the noise. I use this option whenever a post bores me.
In most cases (depending on your business), your buyers are 100% not interested in irrelevant posts. None of the post types mentioned above makes you interesting in the eyes of potential buyers.
Especially corporate buyers will not shed a tear when they see less salesy posts. And let’s face it: Everyone who is complaining about a lack of visibility is trying to sell something (whether they call it “social selling”, “influencing” or whatever.)
Two major problems with social media sites
They can change their rules anytime
It’s their playfield. Not yours. You might be doing well on a site until one day it’s all over. I know of many formerly successful writers on LinkedIn who hardly get any attention these days.
Good places become crowded
If you’re lucky enough to learn about a new social networking site before it becomes too popular: Good for you. Get as big as you can before the crowd comes.
It’s not solely a matter of algorithm. At a certain size, it’s hardly possible to feature everyone’s content prominently.
Your own online presence
It takes a bit of patience but it pays off. Supposed you play by the rules, you are the king of your castle. You don’t have to be afraid of Google algorithm changes. Their main purpose is to punish bad content and cheaters.
You don’t “own” social media contacts. Once someone signs up to your newsletter, you can directly communicate with them. Most people don’t buy the first time they hear of you or your offers. But maybe the 7th time.
Social media is a wonderful place for promotion, learning and making/nurturing connections. But it’s not your place of business.
Never build your castle on borrowed grounds.
Social media is a wonderful addition to your online presence and for networking.
Your focus should be building your own online presence. By all means, grab the extra attention you can get through re-purposing content on social media, establish connections by interacting with relevant posts.
Even if you are doing great on social media right now: Rules can change and you’re well advised to transfer as much into your own “possession” as you can.