One of the biggest challenges businesses face on social media is getting people to engage. They know they need to create content that will inspire people to like, comment and share their posts, they spend hours crafting content that they believe will do this, but then.....nothing. The tumble weed of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, rolls on by. It's frustrating, I know, but here's where you could be going wrong. Let's look at 3 reasons people won't share your social media content:
Reason#1 It's all about you
Yawn. It's tempting to use social media platforms as a broadcast tool and shout about your services or achievements. After all, you can get your message out to a huge audience free of charge, so why not? Well, put simply, no one cares.
So you've won a new contract, been awarded a prestigious industry accolade or hired a new Sales Director. That's brilliant, and should be shouted about in a press release to the relevant publications (and on your LinkedIn Company page), but would your customers get excited about this and share with their friends? Maybe they would, but if you find these types of posts get little to no engagement, it's probably because this type of self promotion is often a turn-off for your social media followers.
**Top Tip** This doesn't mean you can't use social media to talk about your company, but keep to the 80:20 rule - 80% NOT about you and just 20% about you. The 80% should be posts that inspire, entertain and inform. Posts that make people laugh, take note and feel compelled to tell their friends. Take the opportunity to show people the human side of your business; putting a face to an otherwise faceless corporation; and don't forget to engage with comments too.
Reason #2 It's too difficult
I've lost track of the number of blogs I've seen where there are no social sharing buttons or the buttons are hard to find. People are impatient and very quick to move on to the next thing if the action you want them to take requires them to jump through hoops. Let's make things easy for people and provide a simple one-click button to let them share your content on their favourite social media platform.
If you have social sharing buttons at the top of your blog posts or floating down the side, why not repeat the buttons at the bottom of the article as that's where the reader is going to be looking when they finish reading. Don't make them hunt round for the share buttons after they've finished as they can just as easily find the back button and move on to something else.
**Top Tip** Don't forget to ask for the share (without sounding needy!). You'll be amazed at how much more engagement you can generate just by asking people to engage. It's simple but effective!
Reason #3 You don't know your audience
Targeting is something we place a lot of importance on and invest a lot of research in when it comes to marketing, but it's often the case that all this work in defining our target audience is throw clean out of the window when it comes to our posts on social platforms.
When we create content, we should always have in the forefront (not back!) of our minds, who we are trying to reach. Who are they? What do they look like in terms of their demographics? What problems do they face? What language do they speak? What makes them engage? How do we, as a company, solve their issues and how can we communicate this in a non-salesy way?
I'm hoping everyone reading this has a good understanding of whom they are trying to reach, but if not, now's the time to sit down and write down some basic facts about your target audience.
Another aspect of knowing your audience is knowing how, why and when they use social media. For example, if you're selling outdoor adventure holidays to young families and are targeting the parents of these families, they may use social media as a way to stay in touch with friends and family and for sharing pictures of their children's antics. They will no doubt be very busy during the afternoon and early evening when the children come home from school, need feeding, supervising with homework, bathing and putting to bed. This would mean little time to be browsing Facebook or posting to Twitter, but after 8pm, they could grab themselves a few minutes to themselves and pick up that tablet in front of the TV to catch up on what's been happening in their network. They may also do the school run and have a few minutes to kill while waiting at the school gates, so a good time to send your updates may well be 3pm in the afternoon.
Just as it's critical we turn up to networking events at the right time (otherwise we could be pitching to an empty room!), it's also critical that we post our updates at the optimum times for each network,
Whatever your target audience, make sure you are thinking of them each time you create content and post something to your social media channels. Also be aware that your target audience on Twitter isn't necessarily the same as your audience on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Snapchat, so make sure you are posting content that is tailored to the platform too.
I hope you found this article useful. If so, please share with your followers or leave a comment below!