Why attention is not a measurement of social media success

Want social media success? Get in line.

Social media marketers are always seeking more audience, attention, and engagement.

But in today’s crowded landscape, it’s harder than ever to get it.

Growing an audience, generating attention and encouraging engagement is extremely difficult.

It takes consistency and patience.

When it comes to social media, the hardest thing to gain is attention.

Even murkier than generating attention is measuring success. Measuring success on social media isn’t straightforward.

Social media is not a science

Success, as it relates to the field of social media, is often a perception rather than a fact.

What one business might view as a successful campaign (because it engaged the right people and generated thousands of hashtag impressions,) another business might scoff at (because it didn’t result in immediate sales.) 

My coaching clients often ask: “Julia, what results can I expect to see? How much business can I plan to generate?” 

My answer is always the same: “It really depends.” 

The impacts of your efforts are dependent upon so many factors.

Defining success:

Social media isn’t a science.

Social media is more like psychology; it’s open to interpretation. It varies based on the individual.

The efforts and action that you take on social media – to build awareness for your brand and connections to industry influencers – could take years to pay off.

That’s why I like to judge social media success based on action rather than attention.

Getting seen:

If you want to stand out, shine and capture attention online, you first need to be SEEN.

It’s not easy to get attention given how crowded the social media landscape is.

Budget and content

In fact, it’s really hard.

You need two things in order to attract eyeballs:

  1. Budget: It’s a pay-to-play world. It’s important to invest money into paid advertising and/or tools in order to grow a following.
  2. Content: You need to create epic content. If you want to attract people to your profiles, you have to educate, entertain and/or inspire.

Budgets bring views; if you want to get more attention online, you need an advertising budget.

All the same, content attracts. You need resources to fuel consistent content creation efforts if you want to keep generating eyeballs.

Changing your mindset:

When it comes to measuring success on social media, I think a major mindset shift is needed.

The truth of the matter is: you are going to struggle to be seen online. 

Social media is noisy and crowded, and there are hundreds and thousands of brands and businesses that are fighting for your spot in the algorithm.

Some of these brands and businesses have enormous teams that enable them to utilize tools and carry out tactics that you could never dream of doing.

That’s why when it comes to social media, I urge you to view your success based on your action – NOT your attention.

If you’re taking smart, strategic action on social media every single day to move the needle on your business goals, you ARE successful.

If you are using social media to do the following, you are WINNING:

  • Providing value: You’re brainstorming ways to give your audience more of what they enjoy. You share strong, free content that helps educate, inspire or entertain your fans.
  • Connecting: You’re contributing to discussions and sharing your opinions in order to build relationships online. You post personal photos, respond to shares and answer questions in order to build trust.
  • Branding: You’re creating customized graphics to share on social media that utilize your font, logo, and color scheme. You make marketing graphics that help convey the look and persona of your brand.

Rather than viewing attention as the barometer for success, you should focus on your action.

Providing Value, connecting, branding

You don’t control how much attention you get online. You do control how much action you take.

For instance, campaigns go viral that nobody would have expected. On the same note, I’ll craft content that I think will get a ton of likes, only to hear crickets.

Sometimes success on social media comes down to luck.

That’s why you can’t make attention the be-all, end-all for whether or not you think of yourself as successful.

When your definition of success is driven by something you control, you set yourself up for success. 

Don’t get down on yourself because of a lack of attention; we’re ALL in that boat!

Instead, get creative! Think outside of the box and look for inspiration.

Attention is not a measurement of your social media success.

Your action is what defines how successful you are on social media.

Watch my YouTube video below and challenge yourself to continue taking action to attract your audience, build your brand and connect with your customers on a daily basis!

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