Why Is Social Media Not Working For You

frustation Are you feeling like you are the only one that doesn’t get any results from social media? Are you getting nothing but frustration while everybody else and their grandmas are talking about monetizing, getting prospects and all kinds of success stories?

Questioning your strategy is a good start. Here is a list of items that might be damaging your personal brand or preventing you from achieving those hard to get goals…

1. Your Content Is Self Centered

I said it before and it doesn’t sound very nice but nobody cares about you or your product. People care about how your product can provide a benefit or cover their needs. Turn it around and think about others. How you can be of help and provide value to your potential prospect. A good exercise to get started is to not allow yourself to write in first person.

2. You Don’t Come Out To Play

You are so focused on creating content and making your blog better that you forget about getting out and interacting with people in other platforms. If you don’t come out and play, when you finally decide to go to the park the other kids don’t even know who you are. A great way is to visit other blogs and comment, but don’t just say “Good Job”, have an opinion. Stay in your field, after all, you know what you’re talking about.

3. You Are All Strategy

If you are so attached to a strategy that you’re not even allowing yourself to experiment a little, you need to let go. I don’t care if you read it from a Social Media superstar. Test different things, allow yourself to make mistakes. When Gary Vaynerchuck was asked (on CNN) what was his strategy, he responded that there is no strategy but to follow your heart. I’m not against having one but leave enough room to be spontaneous. You don’t want to be a robot…

4. You Are Only Promoting Yourself

You’re suffering from the “me me me” syndrome. Nothing wrong with promoting yourself, the problem is when you become a broadcaster of your own message. This is different than any other media, in traditional media you wouldn’t run an ad promoting somebody else. Find content that you thing would be useful or interesting to your prospects and share it with them, I don’t care if it’s your own competitor. If you haven’t noticed, competition has a whole new meaning today, but that’s another post.

5. You Are In The Wrong Place

You might be hanging out in the wrong network. Most likely you know your target market, all you need to do is identify where the hangout is. I’ll use myself as an example (sorry…), I get no love from Linkedin members. Why? Because I’m talking to people, entrepreneurs and independents, not to companies. When I used to own a skateshop, my hangout was MySpace. Eliminate any networks that you feel are not right for your kind of product or service and focus on fewer ones.

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6. You Are Not Engaging

I’m sure you heard this a lot and I’m sorry to tell you that if you don’t start conversations with real human beings, nobody is going to notice you’re there. Engage everywhere, not just when people comment on your blog. You can also engage in existing conversations, provide help or answer questions every chance you get. Also, make sure you always interact with the intention to help others, not yourself.

7. Your Content Is Not Being Shared

Make sure your blog is providing visitors with the necessary tools to share your content. Use tools such as Tweetmeme or Digg buttons or sharing systems like ShareThis. Make it easy for them, some people will share your content anyways if it’s worth it but don’t expect anybody to go the extra mile for you.

8. Your Blog Is Not Converting

If you are driving traffic to your site but you are not converting, you should probably take a hard look at it. In my previous post “12 Things To Consider Before Launching Your Blog“, I talk about different aspects you need to consider to have your blog work for you and help you reach your objectives. Are your messages clear? Are you using calls to action? Do you have too much clutter? Take some time to question everything about it and pay attention to successful people in your niche.

9. You Are Focused On Closing Sales

There are no direct sales here, you better forget about it. “Cold-Calling” is dead. You need to focus on building relationships instead and have the patience to let your prospects come to you. If you are used to pushing sales, think of a new concept: PULL instead of PUSH. A hardcore salesman gets no love on social media.

Be generous with your knowledge, people are going to ask you questions and you need to see this as the perfect opportunity to knock their socks off. Now they’ll remember you!

10. You Are Not Familiar With The Etiquette

I’m not saying you need to become a pro but at least get the basics to make sure you’re using the different networks properly. Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter are not the same thing. There are different ways to communicate, to approach people or to share content. Making mistakes is only human and asking is also allowed, making the same mistakes over and over again will damage your personal brand.

A good example is when you’re sharing content, learn how to properly credit the source or how to use short URL’s.

Final Thought…

Question everything. Test new things. Do your homework. The Internet is like putting things on paper, so make sure you represent yourself honestly.

Feel free to add your thoughts to this post…

Photo Credit: len-k-a

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  • Interesting article. I think being to self-centered is the main problem. All the other points are building up on this.

  • Thank you for all the great posts from last year! I look forward to reading your blog, because they are always full of information that I can put to use. Thank you again, and God bless you in 2010.

  • Kirk Ackerson

    Good point! I think these steps may also serve as a good reality check even if you are moderately successful. People can easily fall into complacency when something seems to work well – the problem is that over time, what produced great results the first few times is now producing diminishing returns. If you aren’t constantly evaluating your methods and results, your efforts (and ultimately your customers) will suffer.

  • I agree with you, I think the first point would change many of the others. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Appreciate your kind words. The point of the blog is that we can something out of it, with enough resources to actually take action.

    Thanks again and I hope to see you come back. Sorry I don't see your name anywhere…

  • laurademeo

    Hi Francisco, you bring up really solid points. I like # 9 when you refer to “pull” rather then “push”. I am a cyclist and some of the jargon we use are “pulling” and “drafting”. Whoever is who is riding at the front of the pack is Pulling– or doing most of the effort (compared to this behind or drafting). It is actually much better overall training to be pulling and more rewarding….

  • Hi Laura, great comment. I know exactly what you're saying, even though I'm a mountain biker, I have been in that position a couple of times.

    I myself come from a traditional marketing background and was used to going hard after the sale, things have changed dramatically and there is nothing healthier than an organic transaction.

  • Thanks for the important information. I agree with much of what you have here. I would add that if you are branding for a client or company and they are just getting started with Social Media Marketing (SMM), make them aware of the time that is involved with this form of marketing and to have clearly stated objectives. Tanks @adam_gilmer 🙂

  • Thanks so much for this article, I totally agree with the fact that people talk to much about them selves on their twitter, fb etc. I think the idea of limiting your social media to the areas where your target market hangs out is brilliant. I think people get wrapped up in having accounts with every social media tool and don't take the time to build a community of people that are like minded that they actually “get to know” on a more personal level. Looking forward to reading and sharing more of your work in the future.

    Jen

  • Great addition Adam. Another reason social media is not working would be not spending enough time.

  • I got a call today from a buddy who just got back from an event for this company he became associate with. He's psyched about Social Media as a result of this huge presentation… the organization shared with the audience the power of Social Media… and how(by using it) he's going to make a zillion dollars! As his resident and most familiar practitioner, he calls me… to share with me why he immediately thought I should get involved (earlier, rather than later) to be sure to get 'my piece' of some pie he thinks is 'out there'.

    Dare I express my frustration?

    No mention of establishing a rapport, no discussion of creating relationships, no plan for learning appropriate protocol.

    Sheesh. And to think this novel idea of reaching an audience through Social Media is being 'shared' with millions of starry-eyed future millionaires who are convinced this is easy!

    Thanks for sharing this timely reminder. Those of use who enjoy the media can help our friends who think it's a free for all to shout their sales pitches. Do they realize we just tune them out?

    I blame the management (in this instance, of the MLM) for attempting to create a numbers game that is to the detriment of the medium.

    For the record, if anyone wants to know which organization he's with, just shoot me a note…

    Self-centered is the least of the problem. It's the bots, machines, and serial sales promoters who are polluting the social media landscape.

  • It is not working for me. So I will try to listen very good for all you tips , Tx

  • I'm relatively new to Social Media in general, but what I get out of this article is the difference between someone saying “they get it” or “jeez, they just don't get it”. Thanks for breaking it down into simple terms.

  • I appreciated #5 – You are in the Wrong Place. Just because a social site exists doesn't mean it is the right one for your needs (maybe the qualifier is “at that moment”). Sometimes the list of “where I am” is just as misleading a number as “see how many follow me”. Good list.

  • Good notes…

  • Fantastic Article… I totally agree with you about “Cold-Calling” it does not work in today's world.

  • Great post! #4 is a great point. If you want to be all 'me, me, me' stick to traditional media where it's expected!
    -Milly Diaz, Social Media Strategist–http://blog.tamar.com

  • dave

    great post thank you for your info.

  • Hello Jody,

    Awesome comment. I don't think this is exclusive to social media, the problem is that for something like MLM that has been word of mouth for years, this is a juicy opportunity to automate a process.

    I think it's the ugly side of the media, but there is an ugly side on pretty much everything, like sales for example. The sad part is that a lot of good folks are burned like this.

    I guess you have added a new point in the list: “Using automated systems”. Thank you Jody and have a great week.

  • Thanks for stopping by Yaeli, I hope to see you here again and let me know if you have any questions.

  • Thanks for your comment John.

  • Good point Milly, nothing wrong with the “me me me” approach, just the wrong format…

    Thanks for stopping by.

  • Thank you Jennifer. I think sometimes is part of the learning curve that we end up testing too many platforms. The important thing is that, like you said, we limit ourselves to a reduced number of networks in order to be personal.

  • mzayfert

    You have to change your prospective when using social media to market brand, product, event etc.. Also it is important to remember the keys to selling. Doin't forget Listening, responding and building relationships.

  • I agree. I can't tell you how hard it is to get certain clients to promote someone other than themselves.

  • faragodg

    Great post. Thank you. I have a lot to learn.

    There is something else that occurred to me. Every community, country, profession has its own ways of using social media. So to hit the bulls eye I have to learn my targets protocols and ways of self expression. Which is hard on one hand but great fun on the other.

  • What field are you in? AND thanks for your comment.

  • faragodg

    In management consulting: sustainable strategy crafting, integral business, leadership excellence.

  • So many great points here. I particulary like the “me, me, me” point — it gets tiring when you only hear about someone's 'must-read' content. Will share this one with others:)

  • Brilliant post! Most people are so focused on themselves or their business they forget the consumers of the information.

  • Thanks for your comment Jay.

  • Thank you for this. I'm new to social media and I found your comments very interesting and informative.

  • No Marcia, thank YOU for stopping by and for your comment. I hope to see you here again…

  • Brad Nemcik

    These are all great tips. I try to explain to my clients all the time that the key to selling with social media is to sell without being salesy.

  • Good one. Really useful.

    Will implement the learnings!

  • MicaGlasgow

    Thanks for some really useful guidance. I'm fairly new to Social Media. I'm really enjoying learning but struggling a bit to find my 'voice.' On Twitter, the people I find most interesting are the ones who are informative but at the same time reveal a little of the personality behind the voice. I feel more able to engage with them. Incidentally I found your article via @theintelligiser RT@socialmouths, a fine example of the above.

  • abiclowes

    Awesome post, now we just have to persuade the more commercially focussed gods that reign us to sit back and have some patience. Seriously i have been asked by one if it's ok to just use Twitter to collect followers as prospects and produce a list for the sales team to contact – not really getting into the spirit of social media there, i think the point may have been missed by a mile or few!

    Look forward to following your tweets,

    @Absterc

  • Glad to be of help.

  • DonegalGirl

    Most definitely food for thought. Great article.

  • martinrayvaughan

    Great post! My own website and personal brand is going to benefit from your wisdom. It seems almost a paradox with personal branding: one the one hand you want to promote yourself (let's be honest), but if that's all you do, it seems you'll fail. So in some sort of Zen/Yoda sort of way, you will succeed when you stop trying so hard!

  • Great point Martin, stop trying so hard. I think that applies to almost everything you do in life, don't you think?

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Shyam

    I agree with 'Cold calling is dead.' Yes, it's all about building relationships! Very nice article, thank you 🙂

  • Thanks for stopping by Shyam, I appreciate your comment.

  • gabsbags

    Simple, straightforward advice. I find myself doing most of the no-nos but now that I know I can turn my thinking outward and redirect my focus.

  • Awesome! I would suggest to write a little strategy just to get aligned with your objectives. Feel free to shoot any questions this way… always happy to help.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  • Yes! I have been looking for this information! Twitter seem to be the most popular site right now. The question is how to reach my target audience? I agree that “self-centered” advertising is the most popular form of advertising and seem to be the main problem in reaching the people you want to reach. But again, how do you know that the people you are talking to is your market?

    I enjoyed reading this article! I am subscribing and following. Looking forward to learning a lot more! Thank you!

  • Wow! What an eye opener. I like how social media is working for me, however, after reading the above I've still got a lot to learn. At least I'm good at promoting others — get them to promote me, well maybe I just need to work on my engaging skills a bit.

  • Wow! What an eye opener. I like how social media is working for me, however, after reading the above I've still got a lot to learn. At least I'm good at promoting others — get them to promote me, well maybe I just need to work on my engaging skills a bit.

  • Nice article. Try out the above mentioned strategies, hope that this will increase my blogs traffic.

  • No, thank YOU for the kind words. Finding your audience is probably one of the most important things in social media, imagine showing your work to a bunch of people that couldn't care less about it… I'm actually writing a post about this and will go live this week.

    I'll let you know. How do I connect with you? Twitter?

  • Hey Mary-Jo, Thanks for your comment. Looks like you got the ball rolling there, good to connect with you.

    Nice work on Etsy BTW!

  • #5 brings up a good point. As an artist, I find that I'm hanging out at various artist posting sites. These are the places where I can speak intelligently about a subject and get information, so I'm finding that my community is made up of other artists and graphics people. But I'm not so sure that these people are necessarily going to buy my work. Thanks for opening this inquiry.

  • rozelyn

    thanks so much for this. You've definitely answered all the questions that were bugging me for the past few months. 🙂 Love to read more from you.

  • Thanks for the great comment. I think in a niche like that is very easy to end up networking with our colleagues and competitors, which is not bad but you need to be careful not to forget your target market. I would suggest that since you know your peers, pay attention to what the more successful ones do. Also, try posting your work on more mainstream platforms like Fb or Twitter.

    Everybody: If you have any suggestions please feel free to contribute on this one…

  • Thanks for stopping by Rozelyn, hope to see you here again.

  • Suziedart

    People like to know who is out there and not always what is out there, I think it is important the buyer knows the seller as well as can be possible, if you had your own stall at a craft fair you converse and share and smile .

  • Thank you Suzie. I agree, an entrepreneur should share a little personal stuff, after all, people like doing business with people.

  • Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
    Selling in an online store is a whole new world for me and I have a LOT to learn.
    Your article gave me some great insight on rethinking my approach to online selling.
    Suzy,
    three penny collective

  • Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
    Online selling is a whole new world for me.
    Your article gave me some great tips on reworking my thinking and whole approach to making my collective prosper.
    Thanks Again!

  • No, thank YOU Suzy, I'm just glad to be of help.

  • zachphilip

    you can also try reading this book instaed, its simple and to the point for those interested in tips on social media for professional services http://bit.ly/aQxde8

  • shanekelley

    Excellent content on this site – there is so much great advice here, it's hard for someone new to online marketing to know where to start. I've been a professional photojournalist all my life and am currently working on a couple of photographic Art Print projects. Apart from setting up “shop” in an online artisan site, which I did, I've had no idea whether or not I should add a print section and some kind of purchase function to my regular photographic website…not to mention having no idea how to market and promote it if I do. I guess we all take baby steps in learning the processes. It's encouraging to see so many people sharing their expertise and experience.

  • Excellent content on this site – there is so much great advice here it's hard for someone new to online marketing to know where to start. I've been a professional photojournalist all my life, and am also working on a couple of photographic Art Print projects. Apart from setting up “shop” in an online artisan site, which I did, I've had no idea whether or not I should add a print section and some kind of purchase function to my regular photographic website…not to mention I have no idea how to market and promote it if I do. I guess we all take baby steps in learning the processes and it's encouraging to see so many are willing to share their expertise and experience.

  • Excellent content on this site – there is so much great advice here it's hard for someone new to online marketing to know where to start. I've been a professional photojournalist all my life, and am also working on a couple of photographic Art Print projects. Apart from setting up “shop” in an online artisan site, which I did, I've had no idea whether or not I should add a print section and some kind of purchase function to my regular photographic website…not to mention I have no idea how to market and promote it if I do. I guess we all take baby steps in learning the processes and it's encouraging to see so many are willing to share their expertise and experience.

  • oops sorry for the double comment – the browser said “a browser setting is preventing you from commenting”

  • icanewfriend

    Very frank advice forcing us all to take a good look in the mirror and realize that perceptions rule in Web 2.0. Everyone we know on terra firma may love us, but without the ability to use of body language and voice tones, we live and die by how others read us through how we present ourselves in writing. We have to write a smile and jot down a warm expression that we would otherwise share in a personal meeting. If we don't write the smile clearly enough, it may be seem like a smirk. If we can't properly express the warmth in our eyes that shows our concern for others, our words may misinterpret that emotion as prying and not caring. We must practice converting our souls to paper. It's not easy, but it essential.

  • Well, that's what it's all about Shane, adding your 2 cents. I'm glad you like the site and hope to see you around again.

    Didn't find your Twitter…

  • No problem, are you commenting from an iPhone?

  • Great point Marc, for most of us is already very hard to express ourselves on a face-to-face scenario, we then go online to a clueless behavior. Today we worry about accordingly representing ourselves through personal branding, but expressing ourselves and our messages as clear as possible is just as important.

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