Like most people, I once lived in a state of ignorance. I remember first coming online and seeing people with thousands of followers who had their posts shared hundreds of times, and tried to imagine what that was like. I assumed that once you attained that level of popularity, the 'game' changed and life somehow became easier.
I had my first viral post in June of 2014. The post was a blog about destiny and was modeled on my story of how I became a reader. I vividly remember walking up a hill with my sister and dog Tiny, watching the Wordpress stats. 50 shares, 100 shares, 500 shares, "stats bombing." I'm not going to lie; it was exciting.
However, after a day or two something happened which I didn't expect. Nothing. Nothing happened. The dust settled, and life went back to normal.
Virility happened to me many times. In fact, a lot of the posts I designed to go viral, not for any particular reason but just to see if they could. It's kind of a game bloggers play with themselves, and I was just having fun. I didn't think too much about how gathering casual visitors would affect my social media accounts.
Like most bloggers, I relied on my Facebook page to get my posts out there. Back even three years ago, the landscape was entirely different. Your posts were seen by most of your newsfeed and life was fun and dandy. However, everything changed.
When I first started my page and blog, I was 'targeting' clients who wanted psychic readings. My Facebook page served this purpose well and brought in many new clients. I read both face to face and online and assumed this would be my only focus for the foreseeable future.
However, as time went on what I felt like was my calling changed. I no longer just wanted to perform readings, I wanted to teach how to do them as well. To be honest, it was blogging which made me come to this realization in the first place. However, I now had a massive problem.
My Facebook page had grown to around 5000 likers. Many of those were so-called 'casual' likers who liked the page after the posts went viral. Many of the other likers were people wanting to buy readings, not DIY it.
Even back when I created the page, 'reach' (how many people see my posts) was a factor; it's always been a factor. However, now reach is so bad that if you're not posting the right things, none of your likers will see your posts.
Facebook works on an algorithm. Every time you make a post, that post will 'reach' only a small percentage of your likers. Think of these likers as a test pool. These likers have to react well to the post by liking, clicking, commenting and sharing it. If they react, then Facebook shows more of your post to more of your likers; it widens the test pool. If they don't respond well (or at all), the post dies. That's how the algorithm works.
But, Facebook's algorithm now goes further than that. It takes your last post/s into consideration next time. If likers have been reacting badly, then you get a smaller test pool. If they have been interacting, you get a bigger test pool.
The algorithm also takes historical posting into account. Have you went months without posting to your account and then you do, and no one cares? That's because the algorithm now thinks you're irreverent and you have to build your pool back up.
So, if you send out a post, it may only appear in 5% of your likers feeds. If the post has no relevance to these people and they are not interested in the posting matter, then they will not like, share, comment or click on the post. Facebook, therefore, will not show this post to a larger percentage of your likers. Because your last post didn't do well, the next time you post, your post will only go out to 4% of your likers. And if you neglect your page because you do not see results then reach will drop to 3%.
Because a large percentage of my likers are not interested in performing readings, this affects my 'test' pool every time I post about giving readings. Not only that but because of the reach problem I avoided my page for months on end, making the situation worst. Therefore, due to lack of page posting and posting the wrong things to the wrong people, my page is pretty much not worth the hassle.
I understand my page size gives my business more credibility, but that is not enough for me to sacrifice people seeing my posts. I believe that what I'm doing gives my likers something important. I love teaching how to give readings, and I know that people who are interested in learning are missing out because they can't see the information I am providing. Therefore, I am deleting the page and moving to a new one.
I'm pretty excited for the new page because it means that I can do things I couldn't do on the last one. On my last page, I was stressed out worrying about how to incorporate both audiences. I also didn't want to use the live feature because I knew if I did, myself and the readers watching would be bombarded with free reading requests! But on this page, I can just focus on any questions readers have without having to stop and explain that I'm not there to give readings.
So, What have I Learned from this Experience?
1. It Reinforces my Faith in Newsletters
I always say that my biggest business regret was typing "do I need a newsletter" into Google and listening to the first post which came up; a post from like 2003 in 2014.
Back years ago, you needed a newsletter, then social media came along, and you didn't need one. Most of the posts online which tell you, you do not need a newsletter were written back when you could post to Facebook, and your post appeared in all of your likers newsfeeds.
Social media does not work how it did back when all of the anti-newsletter articles were written. Social media marketers say that you're lucky if 10% of your audience sees your posts. And no social media platforms are immune; Twitter and Instagram recently rolled out Facebook style algorithms.
Yes, you need a newsletter. Why? Because the landscape changes so much. You can never trust if a social media website will modify their platform and make what you have built on there worthless. If you have an email list, nobody can take it away from you.
And yes people do read them if you provide value. My open rate is anywhere between 40-70%. Would you rather post a blog post to your social media where only 10% of your audience can see it or to your newsletter where up to 70% of your audience can see it?
2. Virility is not Important
Goin viral will not change your life. If anything, it will just damage your brand. Once the dust settles and everything goes back to normal, you may have more likers, but you have to entertain those likers and the types of things they are looking for now may not be what you intend on posting about in 6 months time.
It is important that you build your audience based on what it is you want to be known for in the long run. Your likers have to know you for one particular thing. If half of your audience has only liked because of that fiery post you made ages ago, this can create problems later on down the line.
Casual likers are actually such a problem that I do not recommend that professional readers ever do those 'like and share to win' competitions. All that happens is you end up with a bunch of people who do not have any interest in what you're posting once the competition is over and most will never visit your page again.
If you provide value to your likers then they will come back to your blogs and social media accounts because they get to know you as a person. They truly appreciate what you have to say. You build this trust over time with informative blogs, live videos, helpful posts and sharing your own experiences, not with click bait.
3. Don't Advertise your Page
Adverts for likes are different from 'boosting posts.' Boosting posts is when you pay to get a post into all of your liker's newsfeeds; advertising your page is when you get your page in front of new audiences.
I have run both types of adverts on my page, and the least effective is when you advertise the page itself to complete strangers. Advertising the page can encourage lots of casual likes because many people just like what appears in their feeds. I can honestly say that not one person who found my page through these adverts interacts with my posts now.
Boosting posts, however, can work for your business if you are boosting the right ones; say, a newsletter sign up, free training or freebie which provides value. However, do not boost posts for the sake of it, you have to be giving your audience something to get something else in exchange in the form of a sign up (and make sure that sign up is actually valuable! Do not be tricking your way into people's inboxes!)
4. Switching Audiences is Just that
If you're switching audiences, then do just that; speak to your new audience, not your old one!
I knew for some time that my page had a serious reach problem. I would say that I first began to switch my audience around 18 months ago and that is when I noticed my reach drop. However, instead of scrapping my page and starting again I ignored the situation, avoided my page, and the problem got worst and worst. To make matters more depressing because my reach was bad the new likers who were actually interesting in learning from me now couldn't see my posts! The page became like a bottomless pit.
To be honest, I didn't want to swallow my pride and delete my page because I had invested so much into building it. However, I now know that I should have just started again when I first became aware of the problem 18 months ago rather than beating a dead horse.
It is not actually that difficult to build an audience. In the last few years, I have run around 10 Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts which have gotten 1000+ followers in only a couple of months. I know a woman in the spiritual community who has only had her page for a year, but she has 10,000 engaged likers.
However, for your page to grow continuously, your audience has to see your posts to share your posts, and this doesn't happen if your audience is not interested in the subject matter. Therefore, it is easier to start again sooner rather than later.
5. Things Happen for a Reason
About four years ago, I had another page which I had grew to around 3000 likers. One day, I had deleted my Facebook profile, and I didn't know that this would automatically remove my page. When I realized, I was devastated. It was the only social media platform I was on, and I didn't have a blog, website or newsletter. I honestly thought it was the end of the world because along with the profile went my client's information and the only contact they had with me. I had bookings in the region of £850, and it was just after Christmas.
I learned then not to rely on one thing to sustain my business. If that would not have happened, this page would have been the life and soul of my business, and now I would be in trouble. However, I learned the lessons I needed to learn long ago and, therefore, my business will be fine.
If you are finding yourself in a similar situation, then you need to be completely honest with yourself. Has your page's reach been affected so badly that you are better cutting your losses and starting again? It is your call.
Thank you for reading this post and be sure to check out my new page if you're interested in learning how to perform, improve and promote your readings!
If you have enjoyed this post and you would like to develop your spiritual business, you can sign up below for the free Psychic and Making Money guide! Get over 40 ways you can make money in the psychic business, delivered directly to your email on phone, tablet or computer!