Do you smell the social media bull sh*t? Here is my guide on how to do it right Do you smell the social media bull sh*t? Here is my guide on how to do it right
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Do you have a Facebook page for your (art) business? I’ve recently seen a lot of people complain that their posts on Facebook are... Do you smell the social media bull sh*t? Here is my guide on how to do it right

Do you have a Facebook page for your (art) business? I’ve recently seen a lot of people complain that their posts on Facebook are only seen by about 7% (or less) of their “fans” on Facebook. I’m no different. My page on Facebook has almost a thousand fans, but the average post gets seen by only a 100 people, and that’s on the good day. If you are trying to get seen more on social media, this post is for you.

Do you smell the bull sh*t?

Pardon being blunt for a bit. But bear with me for the sake of argument. In a way social media is a bunch of proverbial “BS”. On Facebook we’re sharing about the life we wish we were living. Most people never post about what’s really happening. It gets worse when you look at business pages, nothing but endless advertisements and sales messages. Buy this, look at that, sign up for this. Did you know the average customer sees about 5,000 marketing messages every day? Five thousand! We’re inundated with marketing content thrown at us, so we ignore it.

If you’re not interesting in real life, you’re still not interesting on social media!

Who you are in real life reflects on social media. You can pretend to be many things you’re not online, but that will only last for a limited time if at all. If you’re not being authentic, not being your true self, how do you expect people to connect with you? That goes for on and offline life, by the way. If you’re boring in real life, you’re still boring online. So instead, be interesting. Just be you. Share your story. Share what you’re doing. People don’t want to connect with businesses trying to sell them more stuff. People want to connect with people.

It’s not about sharing, it’s about connecting

The biggest complaint business owners have is that their posts on Facebook aren’t seen by enough people. Of course you can pay Facebook money to “boost” your post. I’ve personally contributed several thousands of dollars to Mark Zuckerberg’s bank account, without noticeable results. Sure, I got a few more fans, but only 10% of them see my posts anyway. Facebook controls what shows up in someones newsfeed or timeline. So that didn’t work. What does work is forgetting about sharing, at least for a while. Social media is meant to be (it’s in the name)… right: social. It was never supposed to be a one way stream of stuff about you only. It is meant to engage with people, see what they’re up to, and respond to that. It’s a two-way stream. Click “like” on your friends posts you like, or maybe even express yourself a little more and actually write a brief comment. I’ve tried this approach for the last few weeks and have seen my notifications and interactions explode. And guess what? That activity trickled back not only to my page, but even contributed to my sales numbers. Now we’re talking! But you have to get in the right social mindset first.

But I still want to share (or even sell) my “stuff” too!

Of course, I still want to share too. As well as sell my books and artworks. I don’t write these articles and make photographs for the sake of nobody seeing or buying them. But I don’t share my content on social media anymore, at least not directly. Have you read the recent privacy agreement updates on Facebook, or did you just click “accept”? In case you’re in the latter category, here’s the executive summary: Facebook can use any image you post to advertise products and services to your friends. And they already make money from the stuff you post by putting advertisements around it. Wait a minute, if anyone is monetizing my content, that should be me, right? I created it, so why does someone else get to make money from it before I do? Not cool, Mark.

Don’t try to sell. Be of service.

Most businesses use Facebook and other social media networks to drive traffic to their site. Did you know the best social media network that has the most potential to bring traffic back to your site is Pinterest? Never expected that one. So I’m back on Pinterest now (find me here). Driving traffic is good. But what are you driving traffic to? A sales or landing page, or actually interesting, engaging content? For probably 80% of the posts (that’s just a guess) the interesting content (image or text) is posted only on the social media network. The link you include at the end just opens a sales page of some sorts. Remember the 5,000 marketing messages people already see? You just gave them another one, and you wonder why nobody “likes” it. The solution is to reverse the flow of content. Don’t give it all away to the social media networks. Post the interesting content on your site first. Consider starting a blog and posting an article every week or so to really engage your readers. Give them something. Try not to sell, but try to be of service instead. The only successful business model these days is sharing, and giving more than you get. In response to that you will get more. More fans, more visits, more leads, and ultimately more money and sales. And that’s cool.

Want to start a blog? Read my post about it here and take advantage of the links at the bottom that will help you get started today. You’ve waited long enough!

 

Reversing the social media flow

A step by step summary of how I streamlined my social media:

  1. My content is posted on this blog first. New photographs appear on my fine art photography site first.
  2. From the blog the posts trickle out to all my social media networks, mostly automagically. I encourage you to follow, like and subscribe – more links are at the top and bottom of this page!
  3. I use an email newsletter once a month featuring all new posts. The lovely monkeys at Mailchimp sent it out automatically every month without me having to do much. That way, I’m not relying on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or anybody else to be able to share my content and engage with my audience.
  4. From there (social media and email) people see my content, and come back to my website to read the entire article, or check out my new photographs. That’s where I’d like my audience to be: right with me (sorry, Mark).

See how reversing the flow can bring people back to your own website, instead of keeping them on the social media sites? All you now have to do is make sure you have an awesome website to keep them there! I wrote a post about how to do that, too. Read it here.

To post content I post on my blog and websites automatically to most social media networks I use a program called Hootsuite. I highly recommend it and encourage you to at least try out their free professional trial. I personally don’t need the “pro” options and get by with a free account, but see for yourself – give it a try and decide after your free trial if you want to keep the pro options.

Bonus Resources

Get your FREE Hootsuite Pro trial

  • Save time by scheduling 100’s of messages and launching multiple campaigns at once.
  • Monitor and manage up to 100 Social Profiles such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ pages from one web-based dashboard.
  • Measure your social media campaigns and track performance with custom social analytics reports.
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Join my Social Media Class

Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about my approach to social media, have a look here. I manage to leverage social media to increase the reach of my work. Some consider me an influencer today, and even though I never aspired to be on social media at that level, I’m excited for the opportunities it brought to me and the doors it opened.

Sign up for the class!

 

Free Social Media Guide

If you’re curious how I did it, have a look here and download my free social media guide.

Download The Guide

Wilko van de Kamp Author

WILKO VAN DE KAMP is the author of #1 international best seller The Freedom Project and several other books and e-books. He's also an award-winning photographic artist, and professional world traveler. His inspiration comes from traveling all over the world. He calls the Canadian Rocky Mountains his home, and the rest of the world his office. He has been capturing our wonderful planet, and it's beautiful inhabitants, for more than half his life. Wilko has spent his life traveling the world to capture awe-inspiring images for those who wouldn't see them otherwise, and to inspire others to embark on their journey of a lifetime. Through his art, writing and appearances as a keynote speaker he enjoys sharing his colorful experiences with the world.