You’re Doing Social Media Wrong


Sorry to be blunt, but the good news is that there’s a solution to your problem.

Like many trends of internet past, times change and so do the strategies we use to market online. Social media is a perfect example of a tool (platform? world?) that is constantly, and now rapidly, evolving. What once may have worked to produce results may now even have the opposite effect. It’s important to be open to change in this digital landscape.

Content For the Sake of Content

Stop posting. Pull the intern off that Instagram account (and also ask if you even need to be on Instagram in the first place) and regroup. If you own a restaurant, do you really think your “followers” want to see your rotation photos of the same three different plates every single day?

They don’t. And if they haven’t already, they’re going to hide your posts from their feed entirely – or even worse, unfollow.


A concept I try to drill in to people is “intent”. In marketing, our team applies intent to every. single. thing that we do. Every single color, every single caption. The time of day we post, the tags. Nothing we do here is an accident, and none of it is done “just because” — and you should share a similar mindset.

It can be difficult for someone running a business to step outside of their project(s) and look at what they’re doing through the lens of a stranger/potential visitor, but that’s the simple key to safely navigating social media waters.

Start with the basics: “Why would someone follow my page?”, and build from there. “What are they hoping to see?”.

The key is first to get someone engaged with content that is compelling enough to warrant a follow/like to begin with. Never let this slip from your mind. Before every single post, ask yourself “would a follower actually want to see this? Is there value in this post?”.

Now for the trickier part. We don’t post on social media just for fun, it’s meant to serve a purpose. Well, what is that purpose? At its core, the goal is to use it to generate some sort of emotion (and as a result, a reaction) – but that’s only part of the goal. A simple way to keep your social media plans productive is to ensure that every post does something. That’s the intent.

Your posts should do one of three things:

  • Remind your followers that you exist (without annoying them)
  • Provide your followers a benefit (coupons, sales)
  • Generate engagement (questions, polls)

One good rule of thumb is to ensure that there is variety. I’ll reiterate, your restaurant’s weekly #TacoTuesday photo/caption combo isn’t helping you, it’s hurting you. On this note, one thing to remember is that your feed isn’t the only tool in your arsenal. Most platforms now provide a more throw-away Stories environment that can be easily viewed – and also skipped) by followers without annoying them. That may be a better home for frequent/repeat postings.

In closing, spend a little extra time thinking and planning. There’s no social media race, you don’t have to out-post your competitors. You just have to provide a greater value.

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