Social media. The double-edged sword of the millennium. On the one hand, we’re now more connected than ever, and regular folk (like Justin Bieber when he was just a baby-faced kid on YouTube) can reach an audience of millions with just one click of an upload button. On the other hand, every Tom, Dick, and Harry who sets up an Instagram account and posts a few sporadic photos of their nacho platter, wonders why they’re not fielding calls from Conan O’Brien’s booking agent, wanting to make them a star.
Social media is exciting. And stimulating. And addictive. It’s super simple and insanely complex at the same time. It’s like the crazy girlfriend who drives you wild… and drives you nuts. And sometimes it’s like the girl who doesn’t even know you exist. Ah yes, the unrealistic expectations of posting in 2017. We watch celebs like Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian rack up retweets and likes numbering into the tens of thousands and 1 million plus, and we think, “if they can do it, why can’t I?” But contrary to what US Weekly says, celebs are not “just like us.” So while you may have set up a profile and started posting the occasional tweet, status update, or pic, you may not be getting any traction. Here’s why.
9 Reasons No One Can Find You on Social Media
You haven’t completed your profile.
If you want to maximize your chances of being found on social media, dot your i’s and cross your t’s on your profile. Take every opportunity to enter more details. Is there space for your website? Add it. A chance to use a photo. Smile and say cheese. A place to connect one social media platform with another? Yes indeed. The more information you put in (including *hint* key words in your bio), the more content that can be scoured and found by Google, cross-referencing, or a direct search.
You’ve used different names.
To piggyback on our profile talk, what is up with people using different names across different social media platforms? In general it’s best practice is to use your actual name (or the name of your business) as your social media handle (@kimkardashian knows what’s what). Sometimes that’s not an option (damn the squatters!) and in that case, at least make sure you use the same name across your different sites. If you’re @johnnytaco on Twitter, @john1983 on Instagram, and The Big J.O. on Facebook, you’re making it awfully difficult for people to find and follow all your accounts.
You’ve set your account to private.
This might seem like an obvious one but do a quick check and make sure your account settings aren’t private. This isn’t the CIA – if you’re building a brand (personal or professional) this isn’t the time to be covert.
You’ve just launched.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a social media following. Despite what many articles claim, even “overnight sensations” have usually put in countless hours, resources, and energy into building their brand. If you’ve just signed up on social, be patient. Nothing worth having comes without some hard work.
You’re part of the bot revolution.
One of the great things about social media is the ability to share your unique voice and engage with people around the world. Nothing kills that exchange faster than robotic tweets, likes, follows, and posts. We’re not saying don’t automate anything (for those of us posting on the reg, having something to help schedule content all at once can be a huge time saver) but make sure your unique perspective is still shining through.
Taken to the extreme, rampant bot usage may also violate the rules for many social media sites, getting you (and your accounts) frozen, or, worst case scenario, banned altogether, and if that happens, you can be 100% certain no one will be finding you then.
You’re not leveraging hashtags.
Love them or hate them, hashtags help people connect with the content they’re looking for, and if you’re not using them, you’re missing out. This doesn’t mean you need to overload your tweets and captions until all those marks make the post look like a slasher film (and definitely not with the inane strings of words that do nothing to help get you found – #hashtagverbaldiarrheaimlookingatyou). Keep it classy. Choose a few select hashtags (you can monitor relevant hashtags and key words using a service like Twitter Counter) and watch your numbers rise.
Your content is boring.
Just because the world of publishing has evolved doesn’t mean the golden rule of publishing has changed – content is still king. If you’re tweeting things people find useful, they’ll engage and retweet (making your original post visible to an entirely new audience). If you’re posting great pics, you may be rewarded with a #regram, or better yet, Instagram may move you into their suggested content in “Stuff You Might Like”. Almost every social media platform has an algorithm that will reward great content, so take pride in what you post.
You’re dishing out the hard sell.
Nobody likes being sold to (as evidenced by the number of us who pretend not to be home when a Jehovah’s Witness comes to the door) so if you’re only using your social platforms to promote yourself or your business, it won’t be long until all you hear is crickets. Stick to the 80/20 rule – make 80% of your posts useful links, photos, and info, and the remaining 20% you can use to promote your brand.
You’re not consistent with your posts.
There is a ton of psychology behind social media, but without delving too deep into the complexities, one key takeaway is that consistency is one of the foundations to building a following. You know your new year’s resolution to workout more, so you hit the gym Jan 1, Jan 2, Jan 3, and the next time you see a treadmill is when Thanksgiving turkeys roll into town? Yah, social media isn’t like that. Be consistent with your accounts. Determine an editorial calendar – what you’re going to post and when – and then stick with it. Just like fitness, consistency is the only way you’re going to see results.
Interested in growing your following and optimizing your social media accounts? Twitter Counter can help. Gain followers. Track engagement. Achieve your social media marketing goals. Sign up for a free trial at TwitterCounter.com