Social media is exciting and thrilling for people chasing fame, but it comes with unrealistic expectations. We watch celebs like Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian rack up retweets and likes numbering into millions, and we think, “If they can do it, why can’t I?” The reality is that you very well could, but not without effort from your end.
On one hand, we see the “lucky” few regular folks (like Justin Bieber when he was just a baby-faced kid on YouTube) who end up reaching an audience of millions with just one click of an upload button from home.
And then there are the people who set up Instagram accounts, post few sporadic photos of their nacho platters, and wonder why they’re not fielding calls from Conan O’Brien’s booking agent, wanting to make them a star.
Celebrities have an advantage that you need to work for, and that includes the basics.
You may have set up a profile and started posting the occasional tweet, status update, or pic, but that isn’t enough to warrant you any traction, because you could be missing one of the following critical pieces.
Here are nine reasons why no one can find you on social media.
You don’t have a complete 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 don’t have a consistent and memorable identity
Piggybacking on our profile talk, what is up with people using different names across different social media platforms? In general it is 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, you should 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 from 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 regularly, 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. Also avoid inane strings of words that do nothing to help get you found, for instance #hashtagverbaldiarrheaimlookingatyou. Keep it classy. Choose a few select hashtags (you can monitor relevant hashtags and keywords using a service like Twitter Counter) and watch your numbers rise.
You can also use close copies of hashtags because they show up as suggestions when people are searching for specific hashtags. Or, you could go with a branded hashtag, in which case you would need a bunch of people tweeting it to make it popular.
You could use an advocacy platform to activate advocates who can help you build your brand.
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 pictures, 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 post only what you take pride in.
You can also use a content curation app to source great industry content that can convince people that you are “the real deal”.
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 salesperson 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 use the remaining 20% to promote your brand.
Steer clear of other social media marketing mistakes as well, like guessing audience interests and operating your account blind.
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.
Say your new year’s resolution is to workout more. You can’t hit the gym on Jan 1st, Jan 2nd, Jan 3rd, and see a treadmill next only when Thanksgiving turkeys roll into town.
Social media success requires a certain consistency and frequency. You could use a social media management app to help manage your presence. Be consistent with your accounts. Determine an editorial calendar – what you’re going to post and when – and then stick to it. Just like fitness, consistency is the only way you’re going to see results on social media.
Daniela is content expert at Twitter Counter.
Interested in growing your following and optimizing your social media accounts? Twitter Counter can help you gain followers and track engagement. Achieve your social media marketing goals. Sign up for a free trial at TwitterCounter.com
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