The One Reason Social Media Is a Waste of Time

Welcome to Episode 294 of Hit The Mic with The Stacey Harris.

Hello, hello, and today we’re going to talk about social media. I know, I know, it’s crazy, but I want to talk about something really, really important. It’s actually something I kind of touched on in Episode 293 when we talked about Instagram stories, but I feel like it’s not getting enough conversation right now. So guess what? We’re going to have the conversation. This really is the one thing that makes your social media efforts, your time on Facebook, your groups, your SnapChats, your stories on Instagram, your tweets. All of it, totally useless. A complete and utter waste of time, and yes, it is in fact possible for your social media to be a EPIC waste of your time. When it happens, and it happens a lot, it’s because of this thing. It’s because of this one thing. Are you ready?

You don’t know why.

And what I mean by that is not some sort of grandiose why in your business or some major movement you’re making in the world. Those things are critical too I think from a larger business planning perspective, and it definitely trickles down into your marketing and into your social media. If you don’t know those things it gets harder to make any steps I think in your business. But what I mean by this is really, really specific. Really, really tactical. Really, really brass tacks here. You don’t know why you’re posting it. It comes from posting for the sake of posting. Feeding the machine. I think we get so caught up in this urge to be doing something that makes us seem busy. To be doing something that someone told us we had to do to be successful. To be doing something period, maybe, because so, so often we get caught up in keeping the wheels on in our business. Keeping the wheels on in our marketing. Keeping the wheels on in our social media. That we forget that there’s a reason for each and every post.

These posts have lots of reasons and we’re going to go through some examples of what I mean by this and how to get there. Posting has lots of reasons, but if you don’t know why you’re posting each and every post, each and every tweet, each and every story, each and every video, each and every update that you’re posting? Then don’t post it. It’s just noise and there’s enough of that. That noise is probably going to do a lot more damage than it’s going to do good for your business.

So let’s talk about knowing some of these why’s. Let’s do some examples here. What I mean by “whys” are things like community growth, sales, driving traffic to a website, community engagement, driving traffic to some sort of third party thing, like maybe an interview or an affiliate or something like that. The most important ones are really about value. I think those come from content, driving traffic to content, driving content to information, value adds, actually engaging in value and information right there on the platform. And again, this isn’t platform specific. This is going to look different on different channels. So on SnapChat for example or Instagram Stories it’s going to be something a lot more digestible and consumable. It’s going to be something like a quick tip or a quick takeaway, or a quick what not to do. I know for a lot of the people who watch my Snaps, I get a lot of feedback around when I kind of going go all randy, and I talk about one thing that someone is doing on social that’s driving me a little crazy. But those are value adds. They’re value adds very much still in line with my brain and my personality and my voice, but they are value adds.

So that may look like a Facebook Live Video on Facebook, but the why of it is community building. So you’re looking to grow your audience because you’re giving your existing audience something very shareable, very engageable. You’re looking to solidify people who are on the fence. Meaning maybe they just found out about you. Maybe someone shared something from you and they liked your page, and now you’re building that trust. You’re building that no like trust factory. You’re building that relationship. You’re doing the work, right? On the flip side for those people who are already obsessed with you? You are reaffirming the reason they love you. Reaffirming the reason you are their go-to resource. So those kind of posts are completely relevant but you have to know again why you’re posting them.

If you’re posting a quick tip and a graphic on Facebook because somebody told you to post three times a day, that’s not going to have the same impact as if you know that you are giving this tip because you want to build your audience around this message, so that later when you post a piece of content that’s got an opt-in on it, that they’re going to go to that content and they’re going to take the next step to the opt-in. Then after the opt-in they’re going to hit a trip wire which is going to lead them to an offer which blah, blah, blah, blah, blah blah. They go into the funnel, right? It all starts with knowing that first value add. I’m cultivating an audience around this message. I’m cultivating a need around this question.

Another type of why, another thing that I’ll post around, or why I’ll post things, is because I want to know more about my audience. So I’ll post something that’s going to be a conversation starter. Or going to get them asking questions, or get them engaged, get them fired up about something that I need to know how they’re talking about it. I need to know the words they’re using. I need to know the expressions and the feeling and the frustration, and I need to get it right from them. So that’s been really, really key for me and those kind of posts again, you have to know why you’re posting them or you’re not going to get actionable information out of them. Again they can be polls, they can be questions, they can be photos, they can be videos. I love doing these for Facebook Lives or through SnapChat when people can snap me back with a private message. Or Instagram Stories where people can direct message me in there. Because sometimes I’m able to get even more of their language. Even more clarity around the words they’re using when they can use them privately with me. Versus when they have to publish them publicly like on a Facebook page or through a tweet.

So again, that why is about getting the words they’re using. I use these kind of posts not just to create sales pages but to make headlines, to make show titles for the podcast. What other videos I’m going to do on Facebook Live. What kind of stories I need to be doing on SnapChat. This is the biggest resource I have right now to help build my editorial calendar, is getting out there and using the words you guys are using, by engaging with you on social. But again, I don’t get actionable information if I don’t know why I’m posting it. If I’m posting something that says, “What’s Your Biggest Social Media Frustration?” Because again I want to try to conjure up some engagement because I want more views, you know what I mean? That rabbit hole? I’m not going to get information that I can take action on. If I can’t take action on it it’s not going to be useful for either of us.

The third kind of post and these are okay too, are straight up sales. Driving you to traffic. It’s going to push you into an option, it’s going to put you into an offer for my program or membership. Driving content direct to a webinar opt-in, direct to a sales page, direct to the private Hit The Mic Backstage community. Again though, you have to know why, because you have to remember you’re talking to a whole group of people who are at different phases and different steps in their relationship with you. Some of them are still on – And I hate the sales cliché when everyone compares it to dating, but we’re going to do it. Some of them are on their first date with you. Some of them have just, they haven’t even been on a date with you yet. A friend told them about you and that’s all they’ve got. For some people, you guys have been together a while and maybe they need to feel special. Whatever it is. I’m really going to far with this dating thing but the point is, you don’t know where they are in the consumption of your content. The consumption of your brand and really in the relationship with your brand.

So you have to realize that when I hop in and I talk about Hit The Mic Backstage on my Facebook page for example. Or I Snap about it or tweet about it or whatever, again the medium doesn’t matter the message does. I have to make sure that I’m giving you guys – giving anybody who’s looking – enough relevant information to click, to engage. And for the people who are brand new to me, that’s saying, “Hey, this is a value that’s there. This is why you want to pay attention to me. This is how epic this is.” For people who have been around for a while and maybe haven’t jumped in it’s, “Hey remember how awesome this is? Why haven’t you joined us yet?” And then from another perspective I’ve got to be talking to people who maybe are already members, and then it’s about, “Hey, you remember how cool this is? Are you using it? Have you invited a friend?”

When I know why I am posting whatever it is I’m posting, that’s a straight promo. Again this is the relevant part of your social. You can build a community all day long but if you never try to do anything with them, if you never try to put them anywhere, if you never try to give them that next level of value with you, you’re doing them an incredible disservice. So the promo is a critical part of your strategy but you have to know why, because you have to know how to speak to them. You have to know where are they? Are you posting this promo to get those people who are sort of new to you really to that next step of getting to know you by giving them some epic value in a webinar? Or are you taking people who’ve been around a while and just haven’t taken action on your offer and saying, “Do you remember this? Have you heard about this? Why are you not a part of this yet?” Or are you trying to grow your audience through that promo by saying,”Hey, this is this epic thing that we have. Why are you keeping it to yourself? Are you using it? Why aren’t you using it?”

So again knowing that why, knowing the purpose of the post, the reason for the update. It goes a long way in knowing what your call to action is going to be, what your copy is going to be, what your graphics are going to be. And that’s relevant in very piece of posting. In everything that you put up. Now yes, there are some numbers that I like to see my clients hitting. There are some, and I’m not going to say what they are because it varies by industry. It varies by community size. It varies by brand. However, if you’re not consistently posting content with purpose, you need to take a step back and build a plan. You need to take a moment to really figure out why you’re putting this stuff out there, and why you’re using those tools. We talk about this a lot in Social Pro, which isn’t open right now and you can’t jump in on so this is not a promo but, it’s such an important part of the social media marketing world. But no one talks about it. We all talk about Facebook made changes. Or Instagram Stories just launched. Or why aren’t you using SnapChat?

Before you decide any of those things, before you pay attention to any of those things, you have to know why you’re using this. What purpose do these tools fill in your business. So that’s why I want to challenge you to take a step back from your social for just a little while this week. Take thirty minutes where you would have just been mindlessly posting whatever to help feed the machine, and look at why am I posting here? Why do I choose this network? Why do I engage my community in this place? And then curate and create the content that speaks to them and you’ll be amazed at how much easier it gets, how much faster it gets, and how much more effective it gets. All right?

If you have any questions about any of this kind of stuff, these are the exact kind of conversations we’re having in Hit The Mic Backstage. So join us over at hitthemicbackstage.com, get your membership access and let’s have these conversations together, because you’d be amazed at the amount of support and feedback you can get from other people who are doing this the right way too. Instead of the hacks and the tricks and the trying to work the system, the system works better when you know why you’re using it, okay? Those hacks work better when you’re in the right networks. The whole things gets easier and more effective when you know why you’re posting the content. Okay? So come on over to Hit The Mic Backstage, take that little bit of time to figure out why you’re posting where you’re posting, and I will see you on Friday.

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