Why You’re Not a Social Media Success, Even If You’re Doing It “Right”

by David · 0 comments

How to Be a Social Media SuccessSocial media is a game everyone wants to win.

The only problem is, many of us feel like losers. We know we should enjoy the fun of competing. But even though we tell ourselves this, we want more Twitter followers, more Facebook fans, more blog comments, more repins on Pinterest.

Those with 10 Twitter followers see so many people around them with hundreds of followers. Those with 100s of Facebook fans feel belittled by those with thousands or tens of thousands of fans.

We’re no longer Keeping Up With the Joneses (est. 1913), we’re Tweeting Up With the Joneses (continues 2013).

Annoyingly, even science has proven that the Joneses will always have more friends than you. That probably means they’ll also have more followers and fans too.

What’s worse, the goalposts of social media success are always moving. Social media is constantly changing and evolving. Success is always just around the corner, no matter how much effort you put in. On top of that, the better you get at social media – the more tools, tricks, techniques and new networks you discover – the further success seems from your grasp. There’s so much to do, and so little time to do it.

What can we do about it?

The Standard Solutions

You can implement productivity techniques to better manage the time you’re on social media. This helps with your day-to-day social media use, particularly if you find hours or even days and weeks disappearing down the social media procrastination drainpipe.

You can also get your fans and followers invested in your success, and ask for their help in reaching your goals. Get them on board to help you reach a milestone, such as 1,000 followers, and when you hit that goal, celebrate with them. Say thank you. Celebrating like this is about ritualizing and recognizing success. Hitting your goals becomes an automatic, natural part of what you do.

Lastly, defining what success means for you is key. Rather than looking around you at what others are achieving on social media, reflect on your own goals. What do you want or expect from being on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest?

Make your goals as specific as you can. Rather than saying you want to “earn more money” or “get more clients” from your social networks, ask yourself exactly how much more money or how many more clients you want. Try to find the right balance between audacious and achievable.

You’ll often find when you do this – with deep reflection and honesty – that your goals are more modest and realistic than you first thought. It’s very possible that you’re already achieving your goals, so you’re already a social media success. It’s also possible that you’ll need to cut back on how much your use social media, or redirect your energies towards your goals.

Here are some examples of specific goals you can use to create your own social media goals:

  • Find a new client every month
  • Sell 100 copies of your first book
  • Drive 1,000 visitors to your website every week
  • Sell five of your flagship products a month to your social media followers
  • Grow your email list by 100 people every month

When you know what your goals are, you can begin to measure your success on your own terms. From becoming a game you’re guaranteed to lose, social media becomes a game you can – and probably will – win.

A New Way of Thinking About Success

Alternatively, you can give in and accept that you will never be a social media success, at least not in the traditional understanding of reaching your goals.

Rather, success is always just beyond your grasp. The grass is always greener on the other side, and that’s a good thing, because it encourages you to tend to your own lawn.

When success is always out of your reach, you’re constantly encouraged to grow and stretch yourself. Take up that challenge and reach for new heights.

Being part of the game is not enough. Being part of the game and striving to win – even though nobody can win – is what counts.

I’m curious: How do you define social media success?


To learn more about rocking social media, pick up your copy of the Social Caffeine ebook, 15 Things You Can Do to Make Your Social Media Successful. Download your copy from Amazon here. Amazon UK users: get your copy here.

David is Social Caffeine’s acting editor. He’s British, but we don’t hold that against him.

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