At some stage of our lives, most of us have stuck to a consistent schedule in order to achieve an end goal. Like committing to a diet and following a workout programme to drop a few kilos and feel more healthy.
We do this because we’re told consistency is key. We know it works – that when we commit to something in a consistent manner, we get results.
The same rules apply when it comes to the way we communicate across social media platforms. Being consistent in messaging and brand is the key to growing your audience and your message.
When you’ve got a community of 50,000, 100,000, 500,000 followers or more on social media, they’re there because they believe in what you offer. By default, they also want to hear from you, learn from you and engage with you. So stop and ask yourself:
Are you showing up for your audience?
When it comes to consistency on social media, showing up is arguably the most important part of the process. When you are regularly posting and responding to people on your page, they get to see that you are an active presence there. And they will be more likely to like, comment and reach out when they can see that you’re prepared to be part of their lives too.
What do they want? Consistent value. When do they want it? NOW.
Well, probably daily anyway. Every time you post on your platforms is another chance to boost organic reach – which is the number of people you can reach without paying for or boosting an ad or post.
Consistent stories/posts/reels/lives are also a way for your audience to get to know you better. By building a relationship, you also build trust – a great foundation for people to believe in you, to build credibility and have them purchase your products.
Our first MacroActive client Jo maintains a schedule of posting across multiple platforms 365 days a year. When it became obvious that Tik Tok was also a good place for him to be delivering his message he applied the same consistency there, going from zero to about 500,000 followers in a matter of months. The same was true for Snapchat and YouTube when he got started on each of those platforms. Part of his success was feeding and nurturing his followers on one platform and encouraging them to follow him to another, not abandoning them all together, and not falling victim to ‘shiny object syndrome’ which we discuss a bit further on!
You have to own it
Audiences respond well to those who demonstrate authority in their niche, and really know their stuff. Just like being authentic, being on brand is really important too. Sticking to a consistent theme or message gives your audience surety and builds your credibility. If you’re promoting health and fitness this month, but last month you were all about crypto, and last year it was real estate, you’re eroding that trust base and just creating confusion. If you’ve always said you don’t believe in detoxes then all of a sudden you’re selling detox tea, why should they believe what you’re peddling next?
Having said that, don’t be too safe – that’s boring! You’re likely to piss off some of the people some of the time. But having a balance in the consistency of your messaging is key. People respond to knowing who you are and what you stand for.
Let’s look at a couple of examples.
We have a client, a trainer in Canada, who has a bible quote in his bio. It’s a big part of who he is. So he might not be the guy you want to follow or hear from, but he has a tribe that really appreciates it and can double down on that ethos.
There’s another trainer in the States – she’s out there, and has a huge tattoo of a pistol on her forearm. That’s a clear pro-gun message. It says, ‘if you’re not pro-gun, get out of my community’. That might be polarizing for some, but you know exactly what she stands for and there’s a commonality many people respond to.
You have to engage
You’ve got a ready-made audience of thousands who are hanging on your every word or action. So make sure you’re following up every post, story or live with engagement. Wherever you can, you need to respond to questions, comments and DMs. If you’ve got hundreds of thousands of followers, you might employ someone to do that. But the most important thing is to maintain and build your community.
Your audience has stuff to teach you. Listen and learn. Through regular posts, you’ll see what things people respond to. If you’re tuned in to your audience, this can be a fertile ground to harvest new ideas for content to boost engagement and reach.
Then there’s the impact of engagement on those pesky social media algorithms. When your engagement drops away, you’ll notice a corresponding drop in the number of people commenting and liking in response. And this is the sort of pattern that gets flagged by the social media gods to stop your posts being so visible. If you’re consistent with posting, you’ll find yourself getting pushed towards the front of the queue.
Maybe you used to see a lot of one person and now you don’t. How often do you think about them? It begins to wane, right to a point where they’re less relevant in your life. They’re out of sight, out of mind – and algorithms treat you the same way on SM.
Mimicking human behaviour, they respond to your presence, your ‘being there’. If you consistently show up, they see you’re there building trust, building connection. So posting meaningful content regularly, you’re likely to get more likes and engagement and keep the algorithms happy.
Plan to fail or fail to plan?
Creating content daily or even 4-5 times a week can feel intimidating. Making it all up on the fly and posting from the back seat of your car in a panic, or at 2am is a sure-fire way to hinder your ability to show up consistently. What can help is planning ahead with topics using defined content pillars in a content calendar. A content calendar acts as a hub for your online marketing, right at your fingertips. It takes the pain out of deciding what to post and when; and you stay on top of everything relevant like holidays, birthdays, events.
I know this sounds intimidating but getting clear on your content goals and content pillars will streamline the planning process. Better yet, put aside a regular day for content creation – reels, photos, videos etc. It’s a great way to get into the flow, stay on brand and really have fun with what you’re creating.
Beware of extreme shiny object syndrome!
There’s always another platform being dreamed up – just when you thought you’d mastered Facebook or Instagram, along came SnapChat, Tik Tok, or Clubhouse. I’ve seen plenty of influencers fly into a flap, up sticks and abandon their audience on one particular platform (where they’re doing well) because they’re attracted to the extreme shiny object that is new. In the rush to be relevant, they can forget about the people (often in their rear view mirror) who got them to where they already are.
Sometimes, extreme shiny object syndrome can seduce you out of the industry altogether.
I met a trainer in Las Vegas, a good example of someone distracted by crypto, distracted by CBD, distracted by whatever shiny object was dangled in front of him. After 3-4 months of declining sales, he gave me a call. “My business is drying up” , he told me. I asked him how much PROFIT he’d made from the CBD oil he’d been hawking on social. He began telling me all sorts of stories about units and conversion rates and sales… After refocusing the conversation ON PROFIT, it turned out ‘not much’.
After huge upfront costs, he’d also had to factor in storage, shipping, returns, spoilage, breakage and shrinkage. The list goes on. His attention in the CBD space was all to the detriment of a good, clean digital product. Then when I asked him about one of his main tactics for sales, he couldn’t remember the last time he did a live broadcast.
Once I set him straight, he went back to basics, to what we both knew worked. I talked to him about doing posts, grass-roots stuff, like asking for the sale. By sticking to his knitting and being consistent, his sales started going back up. He was back in front of his customer base, driving his business.
Let go of perfection
When it comes to showing up on social media, many people are held back by their fear; they’re afraid of looking like an idiot, of screwing up a live (when there’s no place to hide), or are just worried about putting themselves out there (see our article on this here). Fear can paralyse people into not doing anything. But letting go of perfectionist ideals will only propel you forward. Sure, quality is important, but quantity – and consistent posting – is what’s going to help you improve and get better with every piece of content you release.
The role of social media in your business is crucial, but it’s nothing without a regular commitment to create an environment where people are connected.
Get this right and watch your brand and income take off.
Start impacting more lives
Building your own platform will help you to positively impact more lives around the world and reinforce your passion for health and fitness.