I grew up as a skinny black kid in Virginia who loved hip-hop. Of course I'm a Pharrell fan. Recently I listened to N*E*R*D's In Search Of... album while reminiscing about the days when I didn't have to pay rent or buy my own food.
It was truly a glorious time in my life. Eventually, I got to track #10, "Rock Star." Featuring rugged guitar strums and ominous synthesizers, this record calls out people who try to fake the funk and pass themselves off as someone other than who they actually are. I was working on a social media plan for a client at the time, and found myself connecting the dots between conversations I have with my clients and Pharrell's lyrics.
I realized that N.E.R.D.'s "Rockstar," a 2001 N.E.R.D. single, is applicable to a lot of peoples' social media strategy struggles in 2017. Read on to learn about 7 potential reasons your social media plan is failing, in the words of Pharrell himself.
1. "You think the way you live’s ok.”
You are complacent. You have goals, but no sense of urgency to accomplish those goals.
Having goals is important. A timetable to accomplish those goals is just as important. Without a sense of urgency and a corresponding plan to facilitate your goals, your chances of success are slim. A “vision” is a starting point, but the less glamorous process of creating systems and instilling the discipline to bring a vision to life is what generates results. If you don’t find a compelling enough reason to work towards your goals consistently, you may as well not set any goals for yourself in the first place.
Where to start? Set time sensitive goals for yourself, and hold yourself accountable to accomplish them. Give yourself a deadline for everything you plan to accomplish. Whether you use Google Calendar, a physical calendar planner, or some other method of laying out your timetable, hold yourself accountable.
"A 'vision' is a starting point. Creating systems and being disciplined is what generates results." (Click To Tweet)
2. “You think posing will save the day. You think we don’t see that you’re running.”
You're trying to be the person you think your social media followers will like, instead of being the person you actually are.
You spend too much time trying to emulate others on social media, instead of building off of your own unique skills, story, and interests. It’s easy to lose your identity on social media, especially when you might even get a decent response while mimicking the personas of other people on social media. That being said, finding your own unique, authentic voice will allow you to better connect with your followers. We all have our own unique personalities. When we embrace them, we start to attract people who can appreciate our true selves, instead of a facade.
Where to start? Inside. Embrace your own individual quirks and idiosyncrasies, instead of attempting to emulate those of others.
3. “You think that you don’t have to ever quit.”
You continue to put energy into techniques that you "think" will work, but don't take the time to dig into the numbers and assess their effectiveness.
You hold on to techniques and methods that you believe will work for you. You don't look at statistics and analytics that will tell you if your methods are working the way that you think they are. “Feeling good” about something is a weak rationale when we have so many tools that allow us to analyze the reality behind our feelings. Chances are, your intuition might be wrong at some point. At some point in the game, you’re going to have to “quit” something. You'll have to refine your course of action. You'll need to adapt. The only way to know for sure what’s actually working for you is to dig into the numbers.
Where to start? Almost every single social media platform has a useful analytics tool built in that you can use to measure the effectiveness of your strategies. Familiarize yourself with the analytics systems on each platform that you use, and research which statistics matter the most for each platform. Start with Sprout Social's article about "social media metrics that matter."
4. “You think that you can get away with it.”
You think you’re the exception to the rules. You think that you can be successful on social media without devoting time to study social media. You can't.
You think that you can achieve your goals on social media without taking the time to build a strong foundation, hone your brand identity, or keep up with trends on each platform. There are exceptions to every rule, but to assume that you’re going to be the exception will likely set you up for failure. You need to spend enough time on each platform you plan to use to actually understand the way people interact, specifically within the communities that will be drawn to your message and your brand. You need to be up to date on trends, new features, and marketing techniques that can help you refine your strategy. You need to spend time understanding the environment you're entering into before you can be impactful.
Where to start? Set aside time for consistent self-education, and set aside time to observe people within and outside of your niche. Interact with people, and be a consistent user of the platforms you want to utilize. Whatever the frequency, stick to the schedule you set. Take note of the techniques they use that are impactful, and reflect on how you could use these techniques for your own platform.
5. “You think the light won’t be ever lit. It’s almost over now, almost over now.”
You assume that nobody will ever use your social media posts against you.
You don’t think about the potential consequences of what you say on social media. You need to. People have been fired, arrested, judged, blackballed, roasted, and embarrassed due to the things that they’ve said on the internet. Even posts from years ago can be brought to light. Social media can be fun, but don’t forget that it’s an open forum that anyone can search through. Think of your social media posts as a message for the entire world, even if the world isn't listening (yet).
Where to start? Develop the mindset of not posting anything on social media that you'd be uncomfortable with the whole world seeing. Don't post anything on social media that you wouldn't want your momma to see. Consider deleting all of your posts that are older than a given date, so that nothing you said in the past and forgot can be used against you.
"Don't post anything on social media that you wouldn't want your momma to see."(Click to Tweet)
6. “You can’t be me, I’m a rockstar.”
You spend too much time watching, discussing and critiquing people in the limelight and not enough time developing your own craft.
Celebrity news can be incredibly entertaining, and social media offers even more insight into the lives of the rich and famous than ever before. That being said, it can distract you from your own personal affairs if you’re not careful. Don’t let other people's’ business become such a point of interest for you that it distracts you from handling your own affairs.
Where to start? Redirect your focus. Consider removing news sources from your life that keep you fixated on celebrity news and gossip. Replace those news sources with information that will enable you to sharpen your skillset, retain your focus, and get better at your craft.
"Accept that you'll never be perfect. Embrace the opportunities that life gives you to improve." (Click To Tweet)
7. “You don’t succeed, cause you hesitate.”
You’re scared to actually put your plans into action. You can't actually succeed, because you won't actually put yourself out there and try.
You’re never going to achieve the goals you’re setting for your brand, because you’re too scared to actually put the plan that you’ve created into action. A thorough, well researched plan means nothing unless you believe in that plan enough to execute it to the best of your ability. Oftentimes, excessive planning without subsequent execution is due to fear. “Planning” becomes an excuse to not put yourself out there and actually make an attempt at what you say you want to accomplish. There's never going to be a "perfect" plan, but the best way to improve your plan is to put it into action and observe the results.
Where to start? Just start. Actually put your plans into motion. Accept the fact that you're never going to be perfect, and embrace the opportunities that life gives you to improve. Stop viewing failure as a negative thing, and view it as an educational opportunity.
Want to work with me personally to resolve the problems that are holding you back from achieving your social media goals? Let's get started.
Who am I? I'm Michell. I help brands and entrepreneurs to position themselves for longterm success through thorough, value-focused social media planning.
Why should you work with me? Because I've learned enough from my failures to help people achieve success more quickly than I have thus far. Because I'm only teaching the things that I know will get you results. Because I'm not here to just tell you things you could have googled yourself - I'm focused on making a plan that you believe in enough to execute to the best of your ability. I've been building my online presence for 8+ years, and making a full time living off of it for over a year. I'm ready to help you achieve your goals on your own terms. Click here to learn how I can help.