Social media can be magic for your business, and I’m here to tell you-you are doing it wrong. You likely started participating in social media as an individual – connecting with your high school friends, co-workers, and even Aunt Betty. They might want to hear about you, what you’re doing and see if you finally got a better haircut. It’s a space where you have a voice.

However, when it comes to your business, it’s a bit different. Similar to your personal account you may have hopped on board without giving it a lot of thought. If you did think about it, it was probably something along these lines: “I need to get on social media because my competitors are there” or “I can sell my widget to even more people on social!” Did you think about a strategy? Maybe, but the majority of small and medium business owners I talk to did not.

I talk to so many small business owners who joined the social media bandwagon without any clear strategy or goals. Like everything you do in your business, you should set goals for social media, especially if you are putting time and money into it.

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • How are you going to measure successes?
  • What is working and what isn’t?

Increasingly, I have conversations like this one: “The latest update is killing my reach. No one seems to be liking or sharing my posts anymore! What can I do to improve my stats?” Does this sound familiar? In most cases, after looking at a business’s Facebook page, it becomes evident that the problem with social media is you. It’s all you are talking about.

If your engagement is down, it’s time to take a good hard look at your page. You can use the following tips to make improvements.

Review your feed.

What are you posting? The biggest problems I see start in the feed. Businesses can’t seem to help but sell themselves. Be honest; you fast-forward through commercials. If your page feed looks like an endless scroll of ads for your service, book or widget, is it a surprise people leave?

Use the 10-4-1 rule.

For every 15 posts, 10 of your shares should come from content other than you. Share content that is relevant to your audience, this is an opportunity to educate and influence. Look to thought leaders in your industry, newsworthy stories, customers success stories; then share on your feed and include an observation, this gives you clout as a thought leader. Share 4 of your own blog posts. Not posts that only sound like you’re trying to make a sale, but blog posts with relevant, informative content. This is part of the “give.” Give your followers real information they can use and which gives you position as an authority. Finally, it’s time for self-promotion. Now it’s your turn to post 1 ask. Use it to promote a landing page, sale, webinar, book or your services.

It’s a simple formula that yields results. 10 Shares, 4 Blogs (Your educational content) and 1 self-promo.

Engage your audience.

You might think if you post, they will come. Not so fast. There are over 1 billion active Facebook users, which amounts to a lot of cat photos to wade through to find your awesome page. Today’s consumers are savvy and pressed for time. They don’t want to hear only about you, and they definitely don’t want to be sold 24/7. If this sounds familiar, it’s because I said it two paragraphs ago – it’s that important.

Think about what drew your fans to you.

What is it that sets your business apart, and how can you extend that reach through your social media posts? Do you have tips you can share about your product or service that someone may not know about? Imagine you run a venue. Would it be beneficial to your audience to share posts about event planners, photographers or caterers who regularly book your venue? Of course, it would! In the example you are providing resources to potential clients, sharing the reputable vendors you use, and, if you tagged them, you have the ability to reach beyond your network.

Be responsive to messages and comments.

Be present when your fans engage with you. People expect a reply within 60 minutes or less. It’s especially critical if it is a negative remark. Use this golden opportunity to prove your responsiveness, engage in conversations, and to be helpful. If you don’t have notifications turned on, change that in your settings now. How important is this? Facebook now lets visitors know how responsive you are! See how it appears on your page in the images below.

Facebook response times

Finally, update your page information.

You don’t want to confuse your visitors, and this is important for SEO as well. You should have a clear, consistent message of what your business does across all the online properties you manage. Make sure your descriptions are up-to-date. Can visitors and fans find your website or your phone number? Do you have products or services that are not listed, or that you no longer offer? Clean it up.

The great news is all of this is fixable. It takes a little time and thoughtfulness. Make some of these changes, and you might see a positive difference in your social media campaign.