If you’re using social media for your business you likely have something you want to accomplish. If you don’t…well, that’s the first thing you need to do. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

For brevity’s sake, let’s assume you have something you want to get out of social media for your business. Maybe it’s more customers. Maybe you want to streamline your customer support and make it more accessible. Or maybe you just want to get your business name out there. Whatever you were hoping your social media presence would do, it’s obviously not working for you if you’ve read this far.

And that’s exactly what this article is for…getting more from your social media.

Reasons You’re Not Getting What You Want Out of Social Media

Reason #1: You’re Not Where Your Ideal Audience Is
Who is your ideal customer? How old are they? Where do they spend their time on the internet? Knowing where they are is important. You can be sharing some amazing content but if they’re not there to see it, it’s wasted. You aren’t going to sell estate planning on Snapchat, so don’t waste your time there.

Reason #2: You’re Not Human Enough
When I worked for a technology company I ran an informal test. I followed people as myself (from my personal social media account) and I followed them from the company account. More often than not, my personal account would garner a follow back. But when I followed from the company account, I only got a follow back about a quarter of the time. People assume a company follow will just end in a pitch to them. Humans, on the other hand, are more apt to offer conversation.  People like a human connection.  Give them that.  Real clients, real employees, real videos of real services your provide.  Be more human in your company profile by either letting people know who’s manning the social media or using a profile picture that is of a person or animal and not just a logo.

Reason #3: You’re Only Talking About Yourself
Don’t be a bore. People want more from an interaction than to hear all of the latest news about you and your company. Educate, inspire, and entertain with your content. For every piece about you that you share, share three or more about other things and from other people.  Plain and simple, listen to Dale Carnegie, the GENIUS at these things: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”  No one likes to be sold. think about how YOU like to engage with social media and follow suit.

Reason #4: Your Profile Looks Abandoned
Don’t put your social media profile on your website if you’re not active on that site. If you’re going to actively market yourself on a site, you need to be present and having conversations with people. You cannot do that by merely automating posts. You need to be there live, engaging with others. But be mindful of spamming people as well.  It’s reasonable to consider posting to most platforms 3-4 times a week.  If you’re a breaking news organization, obviously that advice can be thrown out the window.  But make a plan, curate valuable, interesting, fun content – and schedule it out. Try static posts to links to graphics to video. See what works and do it.

Reason #5: You Are Too Volatile
Have you hidden or unfriended any personal acquaintances this year because of their rants? Or maybe there’s just that friend that when you see a post from them, you look the other way. Either way, you’re ignoring what they have to say because you’ve come to assume that whatever they have to say it will be of a topic you’re not interested in. And they’re a friend! Imagine how people react to someone they don’t have a personal connection with. If you touch on topics that make people uncomfortable and that have nothing to do with your business, you’ll be handing them a reason to ignore you and no business needs that. Short of it being your business, stay away from politics, religion and…ahem…colorful language.

Social media can be a very effective “place” to build connections. However, if you want to ensure you build the type of connection that benefit your business you need to follow a few basic rules. Don’t just talk about yourself. Start conversations – be SOCIAL. Be where the people you want to talk to hang out and be human. Sounds pretty easy, right?