July 21, 2020


Pat Flynn


Although states are reopening across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic is still a reality, leading to more screen time and more time for social media.

My business, Smart Passive Income, has certainly seen an increase in followers and engagement across the board since the pandemic started. I think that's because people are longing for connection and community. If you cannot find it personally, you will find it online.

If you think now, "No, I haven't seen any increase in my followers or engagement," there is probably a reason. There are three main social media mistakes that business owners, companies, and brands make every day. Not only will I outline the three mistakes, but I'll also show a real-life example of how to reverse the course and fix the bug.

You try to be interesting if you should be interested

Let's remember why social media started in the first place – connection. If you want to take one away from this article, you have to remove the "me" from your social media if you ever want to achieve long-term growth and success.

One of my favorite quotes is from James Schramko, the founder of SuperFastBusiness: "You have to try to stop being so interesting and interested in what other people are doing."

Instead of just posting your own company announcements, promotions, and events, your social media focus should be on figuring out what other people are up to on your network. If you are not interested in the activities of your community, why should you take care of your next product launch, book publication or sales promotion?

A good example of how “interest” pays off in your social media game is Nicole Walters, CEO of NapNic LLC. When Nicole and I were first introduced by a mutual friend, she immediately started asking me questions. Nicole wanted to know what I was going to do instead of sharing what she was doing. She even shared my book with her social media audience without being asked. It's no secret why Nicole has such a loyal following on social media and why her own TV show has just landed on the USA Network.

You have not earned the right to share your content

Have you earned the right to share your stuff with your community? This is the first thing I ask when someone comes up to me and says that their announcement or launch on social media is not working well. More specifically, get in touch with your followers by replying to their comments or sending them direct messages? Do you offer your audience added value without asking for anything in return?

If you go into a Facebook group that you have never dealt with and try to promote something you are working on, it will not work well. They are banished to spam, ignored or even thrown out of the group. You must first gain group trust by creating value.

My friend Bryan Harris founded his business, Videofruit, by actively engaging in a Facebook group about the business. To begin with, Bryan tried to showcase his skills in creating information videos for selling products. Bryan regularly went into the group to teach people what he learned and to share the data he collected without asking for anything. The community was so grateful for the continued value that Bryan offered that it was a great success when it was time to promote something of their own. He was able to start and validate a product idea in advance and thereby win 30 to 40 new customers from this one Facebook group.

You try to be everywhere

When it comes to social media, you can't be everywhere. If you try this, I can assure you that you are not delivering 100% on every platform. Most of us are not Gary Vaynerchuk and cannot employ a 20-member social media team. Especially if you are a smaller company, you are lucky enough to have 1-2 team members working on your social media platforms.

It is much better to choose a platform that best highlights your personality and skills and prioritize that platform. For example, if you can take really good photos and tell stories, Instagram may be the best platform for you.

Especially when you are just starting out or trying to attract an audience, you need to sign up for your employees. That means choosing a track and staying in it. Instead of JOMO (joy of missing out), I ask my community to subscribe to the JOOO model (joy of unsubscribing) when it comes to social media. For example, disable TikTok to focus on the audience you are building on Instagram. It is not necessary to create ten social media accounts on ten different platforms to be more visible. You can get more meaningful results by investing time and effort with just one.

Take the time to be there for your community

The most important thing is to appear for your followers, even if you can't do it for everyone. As the number of your followers continues to grow, there is no way to respond to every single comment. However, this does not mean that you should not respond to any of them. Your followers need to know that a real person controls the account.

Before you say "I don't have time" let me stop you. It's always time to engage with your community on social media, no matter how big your business grows. You just need to work out proactive time in your week. Here's what I do: Every Friday I have a 30-minute block of time to deal with my community. I use this 30 minutes every week to a) go outside and walk my dog ​​and b) send a direct message to some of my Instagram followers. I like to make a short video saying hello and thank you for being part of my community. These simple videos get a 99% response rate. People are absolutely blown away that I take the time to report. And it's only 30 minutes of my whole week.

Show yourself, get involved and listen. Don't talk about yourself. Take the "I" out of social media and put the "social" part back in while you're at it.

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