“Keep fighting the good fight” is a the title of a song by a band called Unspoken, and it also happens to be great advice for toiling in social media.
More than a platitude, this axiom can be a great inspiration and motivation to newcomers to social media platforms. There are often hurdles to overcome and glitches or failures from which you need to bounce back.
Stuff Happens, or SNAFUs Cannot Be Helped
In social media, things can go wrong. (See last Thursday’s post on Twitter fails.) Those were examples of big gaffes, which had the potential to ruin reputations or put employment at risk (Yikes!).
Yet, I am thinking of the smaller, more mundane and often daily misses that require the resilient — “I get knocked down, but I get up again” — attitude.
Two Areas to Address
A “stick with it” attitude is needed in two important places:
Content – You study your audience, craft your writing, pick the correct photo and post what you think is a fine piece of content – concise, engaging and relevant. Cue the crickets. It may go nowhere. No clicks, likes, or comments. Nada.
What do you do? You regroup. Be aware that this happens to everyone, especially at first. Maybe the idea can be revised or re-published at a different time. Timing can be everything! Or maybe your content was meant for a different channel. Consider a different platform.
Do not be afraid to re-use content. With digital posts or photos, there is so much out there — unless you blatantly re-post and re-post the same material (Spammers, you know who you are!) — you can judiciously use your content again. Consider the headline. A better headline has been known to make a great difference!
Another option is to scrap your idea and try again. Maybe it just didn’t work for your audience and it needs to be retired, not re-tried.
Audience building – This is another area that can get discouraging. You may have a great organization or a fine company, but you just are not gaining followers or fans as you would like. Again, cue the crickets.
Do not get down or desperate. Audience building takes time and patience. And often, a whole lot of content. For many newcomers who are naive about social media, they expect users to flock to their page or channel.
The best thing you can do is bring value to the audience. What problem are you solving for them? In what ways are you “giving back” by making the audience’s life easier? In the non-profit world, you might ask how you are inspiring the community to act for the “greater good”? The answers to these questions are different for every situation, but they need to be asked.
The other item to evaluate is the content sharing schedule. Are you sharing on days and times when your audience is attending to social media?
For example, LinkedIn has the most activity when business people are at their desks while Facebook has more weekend traffic. Twitter is demanding – a high volume of tweets builds followers. Think about changing up the kind of content you share. Facebook gives priority to certain posts, such as photos and video.
The other thing to consider in audience building is the use of advertising to increase the audience. Advertising on social media deserves its own post, so I will return to that in the future.
Finally, in addition to a good mental attitude, a successful user of social media seeks out resources. Find good blogs, sites and other social posts to help you fine tune your approach to social and with patience, you will succeed.
When all else fails, watch this.