How Being Real About My Struggles Got Me More Followers on Social Media

July 30, 2017

3:50 pm

Most people hate clickbait or content that makes false promises about itself. Social media followers are undoubtedly tired of seeing “one simple trick,” “singles in their area,” and are especially sick of chatbots on apps like Tinder or Kik. Just check out how ridiculous some of titles have gotten. You can almost see the widespread eyerolls every time clickbait-y article titles are published on Facebook’s newsfeed.

So if people generally hate fake content, do they then have a favorable opinion towards content that’s genuine and offers meaningful takeaways? From my personal experience, the answer is yes. When I realized this, I figured that I might be able to attract more people by investing effort into creating content that really seemed to offer genuine and realistic opinions, rather than recycled or canned content. I’ll share some of the strategies I put to work in order to get more customers, more followers, and an increased engagement on social media.

No Gaudy Headlines

People have a keen sense of what registers as outrageous or implausible. In order to begin giving yourself an image of a content creator focused on depicting real and genuine insights, it’s important to avoid headlines that are too attention grabbing or nonsensical. Believe it or not, there’s a sort of tact that’s associated with the vocabulary you use when writing and depicting people or events through written words.

On the Internet, your choice of words and use of syntax fully represent you. Because you’re connecting with people through screens, you don’t have the opportunity to communicate in-person and incorporate things like body language into your messaging. In the same way that a phrase spoken with two different inflections can have vastly different meanings, the vocabulary and way you decide to present your ideas will have a big impact on how an online audience constructs your identity.

I’ve learned that the best headlines usually sound neutral, matter-of-fact, and get to the point by letting the content to the speaking itself rather than trying to play up content before presenting it. You can get a sense of the tact and subtlety that’s incorporated into attractive headlines by checking the homepages of reputable news sites like the Wall Street Journal or The Economist. These headlines are succinct, pithy, clever, and usually pack a bit of a punch.

Let Your Content Speak for Itself

If you have something real to say, then your real voice should be readily apparent throughout all of your content. Often, the difference between canned content and unique, distinctive content is given away by how the content is presented. For example, if you see a ridiculous set of keywords or buzzwords strung together in a title, you’re more likely to disqualify the content as a reader.

Therefore, it’s important that you make a point to select topics that are representative of your own unique and authentic experiences rather than only attempting to buff and optimize your site’s search metrics. You want to choose a topic and an analysis or interpretation that only you can write about — that’s at the core of what makes an article interesting and valuable to read. For instance, if I were writing about my personal experiences I might talk about my struggles with addiction or with life in general.

The fact that I’m writing about my life and giving an opinion on it is something that I’m an expert in and where my opinion is undeniably insightful and distinct. This doesn’t have to only be related to your life, any viewpoint or perspective that you have which you find to be particularly different or special would be worth exploring.

Empathize and Engage With Followers

There are a variety of ways to achieve this. When I think about engaging my readers or followers on social media, I approach it as an entirely separate issue from the written content I present. The question here is: “how can I improve and guide the user’s experience as they land on my site and read my content?”

A common and effective strategy you should take advantage of involves the use of well-placed visuals that support your content’s overarching tone and message. Having the appropriate visuals is doubly important for attracting and leading a social media following. This is because most social media users aren’t planning on reading a novel and instead combine bits and pieces of visual and textual information to form a general opinion.

The way you choose to frame an image and the placement of the image on your social media provides users with a significant amount of contextual information. You’ll really want to think about how other followers understand your image on social media and adjust it in a way that allows you to best appeal and explain your message to an audience.

Read more about customer engagement at TechCo

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I’m a lifetime blogger, entrepreneur and marketing enthusiast.

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