Let’s talk about a myth that’s been disguising itself as social media advice: The more you post, the faster you’ll grow on social media.
I’m here to tell you it’s not true. The numbers don’t support posting 10 times a day as a fast track to social media success.
Can you imagine if that was true? Just think how much content overload we would be in if that were true. Thankfully, after working in social media for decades now, I can confirm that there is a simpler, less time-intensive way to grow on social.
Let’s talk about the three main ways I use to help my clients and my biz grow without falling for the content overload myth.
In this episode of the podcast, I talk about:
- Time-focused vs Output-focused content strategy
- Creating an experience with your content
- The true nature of social media
- Favorite Starbucks order type of relationships
- Finding non-competitor collaborators
- What to do before you start running ads
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Watch the Episode Below:
Andréa Jones (00:00):
One of the most common pieces of advice I hear from other marketers is how frequently you should be posting. And usually the number of posts is absolutely outrageous. It feels like they say post 10 times a day and you'll see amazing success. And yet and yet, and yet most of the business owners that I work with actually don't see that level of success, and they find it very challenging to keep up with that massive amount of posting. So today I am diving into how to grow on social media without posting a hundred million times a day. Let's get into it.
Welcome to The Savvy Social Podcast, the show that blends stories and strategies to help businesses create engaged and profitable online communities using the unique power of social media. And now, your host, Andréa Jones.
Andréa Jones (01:02):
Before we get into today's episode, I got to tell you about Riverside, which is the virtual recording studio I used to record the podcast that you're listening to right now. They have so many cool features from editing, using transcripts to clipping out vertical, ready to post videos for social media. Try it out today, click the link in the show notes and use my code Drea, DREA to get 15% off any of their plans. Check it out and let me know what you think. So I want to talk about posting on social media and how to grow without posting 10 million times. However, we're going to start the conversation with content, and before I go into that, I just want to say I've been posting content online for decades. I can say that now, decades with the Nest, I was chatting on threads with some people and realized that I had been creating content online since 2004.
Y'all. I started my first blog in 2004. I started my YouTube channel in 2007. I started my business in 2014, so I've been around the block, okay. I've seen the evolution of creating content online. I've seen content creators rise and fall and the ones that stay and the ones that don't. I've got so many insights from all the businesses I'm working with and I want to share all of those with you today from people starting with zero followers all the way up to people who have hundreds of thousands of followers, and it does start with the content itself. The quality of your content matters way more than the quantity. So the quality of your content matters way more than the quantity. When we think about what we're posting online, sometimes we go, oh, I have to post five times a week, five times this week.
When in reality if we took that time to post two times, those two posts may be better than trying to whip together five. Okay? This is why I teach in the Savvy Social School, a time-based approach to building a social media strategy that works for you versus an output-based approach. Okay? I'd rather you sit down and go, I have an hour to work on this. I'm going to put all that hour into creating something great. Instead of going, I got to somehow make five posts in this hour. For some of us who are more seasoned, putting together five posts in an hour may be easy breezy. I know for me it still takes me a little longer than an hour to do five posts, especially now when we think about all of the placements that we have to create content for. When we think about reels, when I think about writing captions, when I think about editing the videos, when I think about figuring out what hashtags to go with that, when I think about all of those little pieces, it is going to take some time.
So give yourself a time base parameter and think about the quality of content that you want to create. I also want you to think about the intention behind the content that you create. A lot of businesses go into social media with the intent of being a billboard, and that's just not how social media works. So if you're looking to grow on social media and you just keep shouting into the void, like buy my stuff, here it is. Here's why it's awesome. It's going to be hard to grow. Number one, that's just not how social media works. Most of us don't log on and go, no wonder what billboards I'm going to see and check out today.
We don't go into YouTube hoping to get 10 ads, right? We're literally trying to skip the ad as quickly as possible, and lately they've been giving me two unskippable ads and I'm like, what is this world? I don't want to see the ads. We don't want to see the ads. So we think about the content that we post on social media. It's got to be quality content, and it's got to be something that someone wants to experience. So even the ads that we like, I think about Super Bowl ads for instance. We like them because they're an experience, right? We're going on a journey. We're being entertained, we're being informed, we're pulled into a conversation. This is the future of marketing. It's not about posting a billboard, posting your little flyer and hoping people will buy. It's about creating experience for the end user. How are they connecting with this?
How are they experiencing this? Okay? So yes, growing outside of content is the key, but having that content be strategic is super important as well. All right, so let's talk about this. How do we grow in social media? And I promise you, 99% of the time is not all about content. It's what you do outside of the content. Okay? So I talked about the nature of social media and it's not a billboard. The nature of social media is actually connection. So think about OG original social media platforms, MySpace. We connected with the people we knew. We had our top fives, Facebook, we connected with people in our college and universities, Instagram, we would connect with our friends and share a little Valencia filtered photos. This was the origin of social media, and then businesses noticed how people were using it, and we came in and went, okay, our people are here.
How do we get in front of them? And we started posting billboards, but people will literally scroll past the billboards. So now it's all about engaging, not broadcasting, and really that's how it should have been in the first place. The brands that win engage, they don't broadcast. I think I share this example on the podcast a lot, but I just have a core memory of Taco Bell on Twitter now called X, but I'm still going to call it Twitter in this story because it was Twitter. Then Taco Bell on Twitter made an impact for me because prior to that, I hadn't really seen brands approach social media how social media users were approaching it, right? So Taco Bell, yes, they would tweet out some stuff, but most of their stuff was it fit in with the feed. It was a little tongue in cheek, it was a little sassy.
It kind of reminded you of the little writings that they put on each hot sauce packet. They would clap back to people. They would comment on popular tweets with their little thoughts, and I'm sure they had a team of comedians behind the scenes doing this, but it was funny. It was engaging, it was entertaining. It was the kind of stuff that people wanted to share, and it wasn't saying, come in today for Taco Bell, for two tacos, for a dollar. I'm making that up. I actually wish that were a thing, but I don't think that's a thing. They weren't saying that. They weren't saying buy our special Gordita Crunch combo. They weren't saying that they were being funny. They were being interesting, they were being entertaining, and they were doing it by participating in the app. So I firmly believe that one of the best ways to grow on social media is to use social media as a brand.
One of my favorite brands doing this today, there's a few of them and a lot of them are on TikTok, Duolingo, the language app where you can learn different languages. I use it to brush up on my Spanish skills or very poorly learn how to say Puja var in French. I use Duolingo for that. And yes, they create content and they've got their little bird mascot and their content there create fits with the feed. But you can tell they spend a concerted effort on comments, and their comments are witty, they're interesting, they're insightful, they're funny, and they're going sprinkling these little comments all over TikTok. So they're not relying on the algorithm to put the post in front of you. They're going where you are already looking at the video and being in the comment section, and I think that is how we grow on social media.
Another brand that's doing this really well right now is Miriam-Webster, the dictionary. Yeah, did you know they're kind of funny on social media? I'm with them on threads. Okay, so I'm following them on threads. They're on TikTok as well, and they're doing funny, interesting things to stay relevant. The dictionary, Miriam-Webster, it's so fascinating to me because they'll join conversations and they'll always have something about the definition of a word. I saw a post the other day about the difference between dictionary and thesaurus. It's funny, it's interesting. It's a brand that frankly I would not think about on a daily basis, and now when I see them pop up in the comment section, I'm like, that's fricking hilarious. So how do we do this as brands? Well, a lot of it comes down to your brand values. When we think about where we're going in the direction of the brand, joining conversations as your company or a representative of your company is a very powerful move.
To me. It's very similar to sending someone to a live event. When we think about going to a conference, oftentimes companies will send representatives from their company to attend the conference. You're not attending the conference and just there to learn. Even though, yes, that's great. Oftentimes you're there to network, especially if you're on the sales team or the marketing team, right? You're there to make connections. You're there to look for opportunities. You're there to meet new people. You're there to have the conversation at the late night conversation at the bar because that's where deals are made. I keep hearing this phrase too, like old school boys club deals are made on the golf course. That's because our shoulders are relaxed. We're not stuffy, we're not in a billboard. We're having a conversation. And so how do we mimic that in the virtual world by having conversations with people.
So every time I teach this, we have a whole section in the school for every platform on how to do this. I inevitably get the question, Andrea, how do I keep track of this? And in fact, I just taught a LinkedIn workshop the other day where someone asked me this, Andrea, how do I keep track of all these conversations that I'm having? And I don't have the solution for you because I firmly believe it's relationships. If I'm going out with the intent of making new friends, I don't create a spreadsheet of how many times I talked to that friend when the last time I talked to that friend is at the most. I may write down their favorite Starbucks order so that I know what to grab them next time I go see them at the most. Okay? Even then, for my closest friends, I just remember.
So I take that approach with social media. Oftentimes, if I am engaging on social media, I do not have a spreadsheet listing off the people that I want to engage with. Now, what I do though is I go in with the intention with an open mind and see what I see. Now, I will say the algorithm sometimes plays games with me and the people that I want to engage with their posts are a little bit hidden, so I have to scroll intentionally and search for them. Then also, sometimes I do have a little database of collaboration partners, and I'll talk about this in a second, how to source them through social media. But these are people who I've had conversations with usually like a virtual coffee chat or I've met them in person. And so sometimes I'll go to my collaboration partners and I haven't seen their posts in a while.
Let me look up what they're doing. But I'm not so rigid about who I connect with. I try to let it happen organically because it does feel forced. If people feel like you're checking in with them once a month on the same day every single month, we don't want to be that guy. But I do want to be the person who stays top of mind and stays memorable. So I check in if there's a reason to, if there's no, if they haven't posted in a while, maybe I'll just leave them alone. Or maybe I'll just reach out via email and say, Hey, I saw you haven't posted in a while. Just checking in and seeing if you're doing okay. So that can work too.
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Now, my other favorite way to grow in social media is through collaboration. So I talked about quality content that is an experience. I talked about engaging, not broadcasting. Now I want to talk about collaboration. This is the third biggest way to grow on social media. When I think about collaborating with people in this space, this is actually how I prefer to grow on social media because my industry and those of you who are marketers will get this, the people who need us the most, they're not on social media. The people who need my support, they're struggling with the platform or they may not even see my post because they don't understand how to engage or how to kickstart the algorithm and all of that. So I do this with collaboration partners. So specifically I look for people in verticals that are similar to mine, serve similar audiences, but are non-competitive.
So I don't typically collaborate with other social media people. Sometimes I do, but mostly I don't. I look for people like branding experts, web designers, podcast editors, accountants, law firms, people who also serve my clients, which happen to be y'all listening care. So your online business owners, your educators, your service providers. So typically you have some sort of business that you want to reach people at scale. That's who I serve. So you are listening to a podcast, probably about accounting for your business. You may go listen to a podcast about branding and being an expert, or you may go listen to a podcast from a business strategist, like how to build out a business plan. So I'm going to those podcasts and trying to be on the podcast. Now, how I do this through social media is I build relationships with these people as well.
In fact, some of my best business friends we met on Instagram through DMs. We were hanging out on Instagram and one friend, I'm not going to say their names, but y'all probably know who they are, reached out to me and was like, Hey, we're doing this mastermind thing. Do you want to join? And I said, I don't want to do a mastermind. How much is it? She was like, no, no, no. It's nothing like that. It's just very casual. And here we are five years later, still meeting up once a quarter to talk about our, and that all happened from Instagram, and they're some of my favorite people to talk to. And so going in with the intention of saying, I want to collaborate starting off there can be very aggressive. So I would not suggest going up to someone and saying, Hey, you have a podcast.
I want to be on it. They don't know you, right? So the point of this is to build a network of people who potentially could know you and does it take a long time? Yeah, just like any relationship, some people are fine with you just straight up cold pitching them, and that's great. I spend my time building relationships that last, and these are the people who refer me clients. I'm on their podcast. I'm speaking in front of their communities because of relationships. I started on social media years ago, so the relationships that I'm starting today may take years to come to fruition, but that to me is the power of social media. It's all about building relationships, and you can't fast track that. The second you try to speed walk through a relationship, it feels awkward unless you're both going that fast. Most of the time we're like, whoa, it's not that serious.
And then especially the higher up you go in, I'm going to say popularity, but there's an influence piece to it as well. The people who have more influence are harder to connect with, so it's going to take longer. You can't just send them a DM and say, can I be on your podcast? Because their social media managers actually looking at that. I know because I manage a lot of their accounts, and then they're sending you an automatic reply either, no, you can't be, or fill out this form where we get hundreds of these every day. So it's going to be buried, right? If you actually want to build a genuine relationship with someone, it takes time and intention and social media just tends to be a part of that puzzle. Going to in-person events is a great way to connect with people and then make sure you connect with them on social media so you can follow up later.
Speaking in front of people is a great way to show up and then make sure that you follow up with them later, and then being in that comment section, showing up where they already are, spending time, and then your familiar face, and they can appreciate that about you. And when you do reach out and say, Hey, can I buy on your podcast? You have a relationship established already. Now, before I go, I will mention there are things like paid advertising that you can do to grow your social media accounts. And every time I mention paid advertising, I want to emphasize that you must absolutely must have a plan organically first or have a lot of money to spend figuring it out because it is very easy to give the Facebook machine all of your money and not see results because you haven't figured out what actually gets you results first.
Okay? So figure it out organically first in your business, how do you grow? How do you engage people? How do you convert those, engage people into paying customers? Figure that out first. Then add paid advertising as fuel to your fire to grow your business. And yes, that can work as well. It doesn't require a lot of posting. I've been doing quite a bit more and paid advertising lately because like I said, I've been creating content online since 2004, so now I have more of a sense of what works, and I really only figured that out in the past 10 years and really, really in the past five years, I've really figured out, okay, this is the kind of content that works for my audience. This is the kind of content that converts them. So now I'm spending money on paid ads. I know how to get them into my world and then convert them into clients and customers. I hope you found this episode helpful. I love talking about topics like these, and I have more coming up for you soon, but that's all for today. Make sure you leave us a five star review on Apple Podcasts and Spotify helps keep us in the top 100 podcast. Next week I have Autumn Witt Boyd on the podcast talking about law and legal, and it's such an interesting conversation. Should you use memes, should you use trends? We're going to get into it next week, so I'll see you then. Bye for now.