How To Effectively Use Social Media

I used to love bragging about how I got business from social media, and like most people I used to post content two or three times per day.

I’d normally start out with a motivational quote at about 6:00 AM while I was at the gym. Then I’d post something around lunchtime related to work or I’d post an article I thought was interesting. Then, by the end of the day, I’d post something personal about me or my family. I would do this every day, on multiple platforms, and let me tell you—I was busy.

Very busy.

I felt like I was posting, sharing, taking pictures, being “social.” And then the fatigue kicked in and…

I got burned out.

I got tired of posting motivating quotes. I didn’t feel like sharing what I was eating for lunch. I didn’t think anyone really cared that much about the accolades my kids were receiving in school. In fact, I almost felt like I spent more time posting about their successes and sharing how proud I was of them than I was spending actually (gasp) speaking to them and telling them how much their accomplishments meant to me.

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

I AM a fan of the Facebook advertising platform, and the way that they can brilliantly narrow down their audiences, but, more importantly, I love how the advertising gives you the opportunity to re-direct the traffic TO YOUR WEBSITE and/or APP.

My content (and yours) is making them money.

By me sharing all my personal content on the social media channels, I, like many many people, made their platforms more valuable. The longer that people remained on their sites, the more valuable their platforms became.This is what attracted advertisers to their platforms: the eyeballs.

But Paul, if I am sharing content about my business, aren’t my friends, fans, or followers seeing my content? Sort of.

Remember that many of these social platforms give users the option to opt out or block posts from certain people without necessarily “de-friending” and potentially offending them. In addition, you are hoping that they happen to scroll down through enough content to view the amazing picture of your cat drinking milk from a straw.

But Paul, I have a fan page with over 5,000 followers. Aren’t all my followers seeing my content?

Not anymore. Facebook now only shows a small percentage of your posts to your followers in the form of posts unless you “boost” it or pay for advertising. It has become a pay-to-play world, my friend. Now, as a capitalist myself, I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing if you use it right. To boost a post of a photo just for the sake of getting likes does nothing for you and does everything for them.

The more you keep eyes on their platform, the better it is for them, and the more valued a commodity they hold. The trick is to use their platform to send them to your site and keep them there.

The longer a user stays on your site, the more valuable a resource it becomes. This also means that your user experience has to be on point. You can’t just have a site stuffed with keywords and fluff. There has to be substance in order for them to stay or your bounce rate (the rate at which they click out of your site, aka “bounce” from your page) will be high. I’ve suffered from this as well. Higher bounce rates mean that you aren’t a valuable resource in the eyes of the internet god, Google.

So stop sharing everything. Keep some of it for your site/blog.

I used to have all my albums on Facebook, Picasa, & Flickr. Not anymore. Now my albums are hosted on my site in the form of slideshows or galleries. I’ll share a link on these social media platforms encouraging my sphere to click on the link to see more if they’re interested.

I used to write blog entries on Facebook. Not anymore. Now I keep my content on my site and share the link on the various platforms I use.

I used to upload videos onto Facebook. Now I upload the videos to my site or YouTube, create a blog post, embed the video in the post, add content and share.

There’s nothing wrong with sharing content directly on their platform, but if you are an entrepreneur, you became one to chase your dream, and by relying on their platforms to host all your content, all you are really doing is helping build their dream.

Look, I still share stuff. I have to be the first one to admit that I don’t always have the time to take a video and create an entire post around it and then share the link to my site—I just make sure I am not a slave to their system. As the demise of the popular Twitter-owned app, Vine, has just taught everyone, don’t ever rely solely on someone else’s platform because they may be here today gone tomorrow. SNEEZE. MySpace. SNEEZE. Blockbuster. SNEEZE. Yahoo.

I recently spoke about this subject at a Mastermind conference. If you’d like to see my presentation, check out the video above.
If you have any other questions about using social media to build your business, give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing about your success!

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