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The Big Problem with Social Media in 2019 that No One Seems To Talk About

Tue 23rd Apr 2019
By Todd
Blog, Marketing. Audience, Social Media

There’s no shortage of tips and advice on social media about social media. I know I add to it a lot.

Scroll through any channel and there are a load of gurus and experts trying to get you to click on their clever system, hack, or download.

“Do this now and be a millionaire on a beach.” *sent from my iPhone 7 in a café in Birmingham*

You know the type.

Don’t get me wrong; lots of this advice is strong and will help your social media look good and give you a warm fuzzy feeling when someone finally sees it.

But there’s a really big problem, and one that I don’t see anyone talking about with social media, so I wanted to share that with you.

The Big Problem with Social Media in 2019 that No One Seems To Talk About

“Without an audience, you’re just a tree falling in the wood!”

The fact is: if no one sees your content, it doesn’t matter which meme you use, how long your video is, what filter you choose, or whose quote you shoe-horned into a business post on LinkedIn.

If no one sees it, you’ll get nowhere fast. It’s tough out there.

I’ve seen this countless times. People start a new business and think they need to be on social media. Generally, it goes like this:

  1. Sign up to channel
  2. Get excited and add some channel art and graphics.
  3. Follow or connect with a few types.
  4. Post a lot for a few weeks.
  5. Start to question whether social media is for them or not.
  6. Give up, never to be seen online again. Or post every so often and wonder why nothing’s happening.

I see this A LOT.


I remember when we took on a social media page with 5,000 fans

We took on a new client for social media management. The Facebook Page had a good audience. It was a highly engaged audience, and when we posted for the first time, people replied and commented. Lots of them.

Having moved to this Page from the usual pages we were managing and setting-up from scratch at the time, this was a real treat. We’d never seen this happen so easily and so fast on a page before.

They had an audience!

When we handed the account back to them there were 12,000 fans and then content was still flying and getting loads of interaction.

But now when you post on a Facebook Page, unless you have 1000s of fans, you’re more likely to experience what we were used to when starting pages back in the day.

2 likes. 1 comment.

You see, without an audience, the content – even when created by good content creators – flops!

I know there are people who will say, “Well, that’s because you didn’t use the right hashtag or filter or check-in with a feeling, or do it stood on your head whilst singing “When Will I be famous?” By Bros…

… but this is what we saw then… and we’re seeing it now.


I saw a post on Facebook recently by a coach

They’ve just started out. They shared a great point, on Facebook Live, and they remembered to add a great title.

They ticked the many of the boxes.

They got 7 views.


But they followed the Couch to Millionaire Super Sonic System. How can this be?

No audience.

Do you know what you need to work on before you start posting all the most amazing content and trying to go viral with your expertise and content?

An audience.

I posted on Facebook recently. It was on my personal timeline and it was about my daughter. She’s 21 months old. Here’s a picture of her.

My younger brother commented. (He was one of around 50 of the 100s who reacted to the post.) He asked me, “How do your posts always get so many comments?”

The answer? Audience.

Recently, my local vets ran a competition for Valentine Day on their Facebook Page. The dog with the most likes got to be the cover star on the vet’s Facebook page for the weekend.

Totally daft really and not something with any monetary value. But we love our vets (who have saved Harvey’s life) and we like a bit of sport, so we entered our dog Harvey.

Here’s a picture of him.

The aim was to get more likes than the other dogs.

We shared it on our timelines (more than once) and shared it to a few Facebook groups with 1000s of Beagle lovers. The post basically said, “If you love Beagles, like this post”. We were already members of these groups but not particularly active.

Harvey Beagle got over 400 likes.

Most dogs, handsome as they were, got around 50.

We won.

Why? Audience.

You see, without the audience, even a cute cockapoo can’t beat someone with a (rather handsome) Beagle.

Stop posting ‘viral’ style content and messing with stories – get an audience instead!

I’ve created this tip as a portrait meme so you can save it as a screensaver on your phone. I imagine you won’t do that, but Gary Vee does it, so there you go.

“Don’t spend time creating an audience, go find an audience.”

“Don’t spend time creating an audience, go find an audience.”

On social media right now it’s hard to grow your audience. It’s tough to grow a Facebook Page, get more Twitter followers, or build a base on Instagram.

…unless you’re an influencer!

I’ve seen famous people, rock stars, movie stars, politicians and celebrities start social media accounts and grow them fast. I know that it can happen, but unless you’re a Prince or Princess, don’t expect to get 1 million followers on your Instagram in less than six hours!

Growing an audience is really tough, and I feel it’s tougher right now than ever before.

Back in 2011 it was fairly simple to grow an audience and build up your ‘fan base’, but now it seems we’re all done with social media.

We’re beaten and bruised by it all. We’re turning off Facebook and heading to LinkedIn. We’re looking at TikToc and Snapchat like a drug addict who needs another high.

Even YouTube influencers are feeling the pinch and having to make their money on ‘merch’ instead of ad revenue… cos we’re all tapping that “Skip Ad>>” button like it’s an online version of Whack-a-Mole!

It’s hard out there, and if you’re struggling to grow your audience… or if your content is lacking likes because of your lack of audience and you’d not thought about that, then you’re not alone.


Go find an audience…

Head to Facebook Groups, LinkedIn threads, blog comments, podcasters, newspapers, radio and anywhere with a ready-made audience. Get back to the basics of this online and offline conversation and go find someone to have it with.

There are far too many people who think they can set up a stall in any old field and expect the car boot crowd to come to them. It doesn’t work like that.

Why do you think huge brands are paying young kids on Instagram to wear their gear? Because they have the audience.

Tags associated with this article

Blog Marketing. Audience Social Media

1 comment on this article

  • Stephanie at Ontraport at 16:53pm on May 6th 2019

    Trying to please a big, diverse audience is a lot harder than connecting with a small group who has already shown an interest in your industry. I’ve seen the most success with being active in Facebook groups. It allows those who are hyper-focused to reach out to you directly.

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