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Stop Blaming the ‘algorithm’ for Lack of Engagement

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Stop Blaming the ‘algorithm’ for Lack of Engagement

Social media. Love it or hate it, if you’re in business it’s likely you’re using it.

And why wouldn’t you? If Social Media News is accurate, Facebook alone has over fifteen million monthly active users. Instagram, over nine million. That’s a lot of potential eyes on your business. Not only that, accounts are free to set up. So, with a free account and millions of potential customers, on paper, you could grow an online business from startup to profit with zero physical dollars spent.

Even if it’s a part of a greater plan, from a marketing perspective, utilising social media of some kind is a no-brainer. There’s just one small problem. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube … They’re all businesses too.

And businesses are in business to make money.

So now we’re seeing a push towards paid advertising on these platforms. And along with that, the almost daily whinge from businesses about the ‘algorithm’. How it’s destroying Small Business by ripping money from the pockets of those who need it most.

Some of that is actually true. Changes to algorithms have meant less organic growth, blacklisting of some hashtags, and if it’s to be believed, the infamous Instagram shadowban. But no matter which of these affects you, it all has the same common outcome, fewer eyes on your products.

I see it happening all the time. A Small Business launches using social media exclusively as a means to advertise, sell and grow. It’s going gangbusters until they hit a wall and its crickets. No reach. No engagement. And ultimately no sales.

But it’s not the algorithm that’s the problem here. The problem is building a business solely on a platform that you can’t control. A platform that could change at any moment; it could cease being free to have an account. Or you could wake up one morning to find that it has ceased to exist altogether.

So, what can you do about it?

The first step is to secure a space online that you can actually control. Set up your own website or blog. Start collecting email addresses and create an email marketing campaign. Work hard to create quality content that is entertaining and helpful, and uniquely you.

Then get offline and back into some more ‘traditional’ marketing. Utilise print media. Start networking and make yourself visible at events. Get known.

And finally, stop wasting time and energy blaming the ‘algorithm’ for lack of engagement. Make social media a part of a bigger plan, not the whole deal.

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