I commented to one of my clients that their social media needed revamping as the posts they were scheduling weren’t really effective.  They pointed out that I had originally written these posts – five years ago!  They hadn’t considered how much social media has changed in that five years.

Even a couple of years ago the holy grail for social media was engagement.  Today that’s much harder to generate as people’s attention span is shorter and there is a tendency to read, observe and not engage.  It doesn’t mean that content isn’t interesting, it just has to rock the world to get enough emotion to get someone to actually respond.

The question my clients ask is “Is it worth bothering with social media if few people actually engage?’. 

My answer “Give up posting for a couple of months and see what happens.”

OK, that might be a bit cynical – but if you lose visibility, it will have a long-term impact on your business.  Even if people aren’t engaging, it doesn’t mean they’re ignoring you.

Build a community

If you really want to get dedicated engagement you need a community of raving fans.  People who value what you share and will rave about you to others.

Give away your valuable information and people will start to rate your expertise and authority. 

If you’re rolling your eyes and saying “But if I give it all away, how do I get people to pay me?”  That’s where you’re missing a piece of the jigsaw puzzle.  As online content guru Peter Thomson says “Give away lots of good value and the pay wall will be breached.”  In other words, when people start following you and valuing what you share, they begin to see you as an expert and there is a level of reciprocity i.e. they owe you (at least in most people’s minds).  When they need an expert, guess who they’re going to call?

Roger Hamilton, futurist and creator of the Entrepreneur Dynamics profiling, believes that in Society 5.0, a high tech and high touch approach with the mobile workforce who want to work whenever and wherever they choose is the way forward.  He also advocates giving away information to establish your reputation as an informed leader and expert.

A new approach

If you want social media to ‘work’, you’re going to need to know your target market inside out.  What is important to them and what are you prepared to share in a community that will keep them coming back for more?

This is where a group will work better than a page as people are more likely to visit a group and get involved.

By all means post on your Facebook Page and company page on LinkedIn, but you’ll need a different kind of content for your group.

Invest time in developing the kind of content that your audience will love.  This can be a combination of tips, video information, processes, opinions, entertainment and more.  Be creative and you’ll find social media still works – if you work at it.