It’s SO frustrating – you craft the perfect tweet (or Facebook post, Instagram picture…), post it out at the perfect time of day (based on your careful review of social media activity) and you get a single solitary like, and that was from the sales guy you met at a networking event recently who wants to sell you a photocopier.

You try this a few times and then draw the conclusion that Social Media doesn’t work for your business.

Does that sound familiar? It’s a common complaint that I hear from business owners who have become disillusioned with social media marketing. It’s usually accompanied with “our clients just aren’t on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram”. Heck, i’ve even wondered that myself from time to time. It can be so very frustrating when you

It can be so very frustrating when you go to the lengths of writing a blog post, scheduling a social media post and then waiting for it to light up the internet like a New Years eve firework exploding over the London Eye. We all want to go viral after all.

So what’s going wrong? How come your posts aren’t having the impact you want? The answer could be that you’re just not reaching enough people.

In the Social Media business, we talk a lot about “reach”. Print advertisers will talk about readership, radio stations will talk “listeners”, Social Media pros talk about “reach” and for the most part, this is the same thing. Your “reach” is the potential for your post to be read and is based on your total number of followers across all platforms.

Many people will just include their Social Media platforms in their reach but at Lobster we also include your email list and blog subscribers in your reach total.

How can you improve your reach?

You initial reach is the total number from all platforms – it’s like Potential Energy. However, the total reach that your post receives can be increased.

If your post gets a like, retweet/share and comments then suddenly your post will be seen by a lot more people than that on your potential reach list. The more likes, shares and retweets you get the larger your reach will become.

But relying on shares and likes to increase your reach is a lot like fishing – you hope to catch something but you’re not really sure if you will and you need the best bait to improve your chances.

The question then is, how can you increase your potential reach and not rely on your post getting shares and likes?

There are lots of ways to achieve this and below I’ve listed the various ways we do it at Lobster:

  • Follow more people yourself – one of the oldest tricks in the Twitter book. If you follow someone on Twitter, the chances are they’ll follow you back. So the more you follow (and include liking Tweets in this), the more followers you’ll get in return. Just make sure that you’re following relevant people (i.e. your ideal customers) and you’ll increase your reach with your target audience.
  • Post more often – I wish I had a £1 for everyone who I heard say “we don’t want to post too often, people will get fed up of our content”. The thing is, Twitter especially is a very hungry beast and needs constant feeding. You can post multiple times per day and still not reach all of your followers so don’t be afraid to repeat your posts often.
  • Connect with more people on LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to request connections, even with people you don’t know. Yes, I know a lot of people don’t agree with connections with people you’ve never met but the thing is, there’s a lot of people you’ve never met so why limit yourself and your potential reach by restricting yourself – after all, we all want to meet new people and you never know where that connection could go.
  • Join more groups on LinkedIn. Groups are fantastic ways to promote yourself and your brand and often overlooked as ways to reach more people. I get a lot of success by sharing our blog posts across all the groups that I’m a member of but make sure your blog posts aren’t self-indulgent veiled adverts otherwise they’ll be rejected by the group moderators. Our social media management software allows us to do that automatically!
  • Email sign up forms. If your blog is full of useful content then give your readers a chance to subscribe to your feed.
  • Pay for it – in the end, all these social media channels need to make money and they do that by restricting the organic reach for your posts and providing ways for you to overcome that restriction by paying for the privilege. It’s not expensive and gives you the chance to promote yourself to new audiences and markets.

At the end of the day, creating good quality blogs and posts is great but on it’s own that won’t be enough to guarantee success on social media. You need to have a pro-active strategy for increasing your reach and that means taking action.

These are just a few ideas. You may have your own trips so why not leave a comment below and let us know what you’re doing to increase your social media reach?