Don’t Build Your Empire on Rented Land
I work with a lot of clients who have started out on several platforms and then through seeing initial success ended up putting all their efforts into one.
This is never a good idea, algorithms can change, the rules can change and the audience may go elsewhere.
It is very important to spread your content and energy across several platforms and most importantly keep your website at the centre of operations.
I am currently working with a client who has nearly 100% of their business on Instagram and has had their account blocked for a few days due to using a 3rd party App. Their engagement had dropped considerably due to changes within Instagram already and now they need to build their brand elsewhere and really focus on SEO and getting a more professional website in place.
Putting all your marketing eggs in one basket is not a good idea
The point to remember is if you lose your presence on a social media platform you lose all your content, connections and history. Remember Google Plus!
Your website should always be where your content is shared from or at least also available.
From experience, many social media posts could easily be tweaked to be Blog posts.
Instagram Adds New Category Listings Under ‘Following’
This lets you see who you have ‘Least Interacted With’ and which accounts get the most visibility in your feed. It does not tell you who has stopped following you but you can tidy up your account by disconnecting with accounts that are no longer active.
Phil Aston Genius Loci Media Digital Marketing Support
In the last few weeks, I have seen and heard of various Instagram, Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts being blocked or disabled for various reasons.
The support these platforms give is next to zero so it can be very hard to get an account back online. As the platforms start to block third party Apps and any form of automation the social media platforms can easily mistake your activity as gaming the system.
For example on Instagram if you like too many posts too quickly you can have your account disabled for being spammy or get asked to change your password as it will think you are using third party Apps. In fact, even logging in form from a different device or app can trigger a warning now.
Another client came to me after their Facebook Ad Account was disabled and their page was taken down. There is no explanation when this happens and no support. The only thing we could see is that the wording on an offer was slightly different on the landing page. It could have been Facebook or a someone just reporting the Ad, that is all it takes. Facebook’s response was to delete the page and start again.
Eventually, I was able to get the account back online but it took over 3 weeks.
I see more and more business putting all their efforts into one platform, this is very dangerous as you are building your business on borrowed land. All it needs is the algorithm to change and your traffic could reduce dramatically. A good example is again Instagram who have now stopped showing posts in order and given more emphasis on paid Ads. The removal of likes will also have an effect on how people interact with you.
What Should You Do?
My advice is to keep your website updated, do not forget to share from there. If you have written a post on social media then create a blog post. It takes time but nurture your audience on several platforms, include video and ensure you invest in SEO for your website.
Do not put your eggs (revenue streams) in one basket.
This in a way is a bit of a rant about Instagram in a positive way. I am currently working with a number of clients, helping them with Instagram, and as you know, those of you who seen my videos before, I am a great supporter of social and how it’s going to, how it is changing the way we do business and the fact that being online now is all about building trust and being authentic and being yourself.
Instagram is an interesting platform. Everybody now is flocking towards it and it’s all about the follower numbers again! Just like any other social media platform, as it gained lots of traction, all the businesses have moved in. When that happens, all the marketing people move in (people like me) but I have a very different approach to how I feel you should be using this platform.
If you go and Google how to get going on Instagram, it’s all about gaining followers. There is a strategy called follow and then unfollow, and this to me is just sheer madness, even Instagram absolutely hates this. If you’ve got your Android or Apple phone, there’s loads of apps which will let you follow and automate Instagram and unfollow people, but let’s take a step back here.
You are a business and you want to connect with your customers and you want to build trust with those people and you want them to get to know you. Then you want to them at some point to share or even buy the things that you’re offering. So what are you doing to actually show that you are a good, kind, ethical, and conscientious person? You are basically following as many people as possible (as you’re allowed to) and then you’re checking back every two to three days to see who hasn’t followed you back and then you are unfollowing them.
So you’re following people just for the sheer act of getting followers, and if they don’t follow you back, you’re dumping them. What does that say about you and your business?
Because if you are a business and you have a business Instagram account, you can actually see this happening. You look at an account and it’s following 3000 people and it has 600 followers. What does that tell you about that account? What is their newsfeed like where they’ve got 3000 potential posts going into their newsfeed, It tells you a lot and it’s not good.
Now, another fact that might help people here is that if you look at Pledge or Kickstarter, the actual number of people you need to get a project off the ground is between 80 and a 100. Now, let me just re-phrase that. Between 80 and a 100 super fans, supporters, customers who really love what you do. You do not need thousands of vanity followers.
I think it’s Lady Gaga’s Twitter account manager who says that out of all of those millions of people that follow her, there’s about 500 of them that really matter. This morning I saw a post on Instagram where someone said, “Wow, thanks, everyone. We’ve got a thousand followers.” But they’re following over 6,000 people, so they haven’t really a thousand followers because a thousand people really love what they do. They’ve just kept following and following until they reached that number. You can see it in their low engagement and you can see this with lots of accounts with 40,000 or 50,000 a hundred thousand followers that they get between 15 and 20 people actually like their posts. You can see other accounts where they’ve got 500 people following them and they get nearly 80 to a 100 people liking their posts. Which one is the best strategy for you?
I would say let go the numbers. We’re not in the school playground anymore collecting Star Wars cards and it’s whoever’s got the most is the most important and the most special person in the playground. We are businesses and you are trying to build trust with your customers. So my advice is whenever you go on the internet and look for how do I build my Instagram account if it says follow 200 people a day and check back in two days’ time to see who hasn’t followed you and dump them, don’t do that.
Also, most of these follower apps can get your account suspended. Instagram is really doubling down and literally stopping people using their API for Instagram to do this. They do not want you to automate Instagram.
So if you want to enjoy it, and that’s really, you should enjoy what you’re doing, just grow your account organically. Interact with people, and that means comment. It doesn’t just mean leave a few hearts and a few emojis. It means actually if you see something inspires you, tell that person that you’ve been really enjoyed their post. Reach out. See if you can help. And the other thing, Instagram or any social platform isn’t just an opportunity to say, “Buy my stuff. Buy my stuff.” It’s about adding value. It’s about giving information and knowledge that you have that may help somebody else out there. These posts that say … there’s a nice pretty picture and then it says, “Please ring. Please book. Please buy.” People aren’t going to do that.
If you build a story and you share authentically what you love and what your passions are, if people want to find out more, they can go to your profile, they can click and go to your website, and they can drop you an email. They can drop you a message in Instagram and say, “Please, I’m interested in what you do.” You don’t have to keep telling people, “Oh, you’re looking at me, so buy my stuff.” That is not how social media works. You’re just using it as an opportunity for cold calling, which is dead in the water for a while now.
On Instagram, be yourself, chat, be friendly, but don’t see people just as numbers, because that will say a lot about you because people will know you’re doing it. They can tell from the way your account looks. If you’re following 6,000 people and only 800 people following you back, you are obviously following that strategy and people just will think, “Do I really want to get connected with these people?” Whereas an account that maybe has only 400 followers but you’re only following back 200? That says you’re gaining all authority and people obviously want to be in your world because what you talk about, you have an authority in it.
It’s not just follower numbers, nor is any other social platform. Be yourself. Just take a step back and just deliver content. It’s all about content and being consistent and turning up and thinking about how can I help people, how can I connect with people out there using hashtags, and what do I do and how do those people discover me, and then chat to them and build relationships.
I took this photo on Sunday evening before we went to The Cutty Sark in Marazion for a lovely roast.
As many of you know, I advise and help businesses with their marketing, especially on Social Media.
If you look at the photo you can see all the gulls getting ready to take flight as the wave heads towards them.
The eagle-eyed amongst you will also notice that one gull seems to have left it a bit late to take action.
This reminded me of the number of businesses that still think that ‘cold calling’ is the way forward while their competitors are taking flight and riding the wave of change with Social Media.
Used correctly, Social Media can help create inbound enquires from people who already know and trust your brand.
Some tips on how to keep your newsfeed positive and inspiring.
How should you use social media to get the most out of it.
I think there’s a lot of people who look at social media and say it’s negative, it’s bad for your mental health, and that is absolutely true, it can be.
But it can also be a force for good for you and the people around you.
I mean, my suggestion is that for social media, is that you follow people that inspire you, you read posts that inspire you, you follow perhaps people you might be able to learn from, you join groups that are positive and share positive information.
If there’s anything in your news feed that upsets you or you don’t like, just unfollow it, or disconnect yourself from it.
And the other thing is, that you probably find yourself just scrolling endlessly through other people’s lives and posts.
Try not to do that, try and say to yourself that as you go through your news feed, try and find five posts, that you do more than just click a random like and then you can’t remember that you did that.
Just try and find five posts where you actually say something. If it’s a photograph that you really like, why don’t you say that you really like the photograph and congratulate the person who took it?
Or if someone shares a story and it kind of means something to you, Why don’t you comment and say how you feel?
Why don’t you just say something nice? Remember, someone has taken the time to put together that information; taking the photograph, writing a few words; and just say something, connect.
Social media is about being social and it doesn’t matter how big your network is, just look for the posts that inspire you, that make you smile, that help you, that you learn from, and then think about everything that you post in the same way, and think about before you press send;
a) is this going to make someone smile?
b) Is this going to help somebody somewhere?
c) Is it going to inspire somebody?
And if it doesn’t, or you don’t think it will, pause, don’t post, just do something else for a while.
But just think about that; everything that’s in your news feed technically is under your control and if you don’t like it, unfollow it, or block it, or just disconnect from it.
Try and fill your news feed with people that inspire you, help you, and make you feel good and that way, social media becomes social and it becomes a force for good.