Want More Followers? News Flash: Don’t Make it All about You!

The number one thing I first tell people about to embark on a social media journey is to consider their audience. Your audience, like you, is a multi-faceted bunch. They don’t have merely one interest. They have multiple interests, hobbies, and they’re complex creatures. So wouldn’t it make sense that you should listen to all the things they have to say and post about some of their other interests?

You’re not the center of the universe

If you’re a man posting on social media, listen to what your women friends have to say. If you’re a woman, listen to what your men friends are saying. If you’re older, listen to the whippersnappers. And so on! (Joking about the whippersnappers, by the way.) You get the general idea. You’ve got to be somewhat flexible. And listen. A lot. If you don’t know how to find who your audience is, you might like this article: Who Are You Writing For? Target Audience and Social Media.

Why it’s easier when you’re not the center of the universe

Have you ever tried to have a conversation when the other person doesn’t say a word? It’s exhausting, isn’t it? Since you’re not talking, I’ll answer that question for you. YES, IT’S EXHAUSTING. It’s so much easier when there’s a back-and-forth volley in the conversation. Teachers who don’t have conversations must have a difficult time since it’s like a one-way valve when they’re lecturing. A conversation is so much more satisfying. And if you don’t know how to have a conversation, Indeed has this nifty guide: 13 Ways to Start a Conversation. (I like the one about showing genuine interest.)

Speak in your audience’s voice

Now, this might be a little trickier, but if you can incorporate some of your audience’s language, that could really engage your audience more. See what they say, how they say it, and what specific words they use to describe things. Maybe they also use a lot of emojis. Don’t completely mirror their voice, but incorporate some elements into your voice. Here’s an article you might like about your audience and their voice: Audience: Use Its Language. Yes, it was written back in the day, but still relevant (if I do say so myself!).

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason

Someone said that once, and I’ve always remembered it. More listening and less talking is a good idea. After all, as my friend Amy Donohue is fond of saying it’s called SOCIAL media, so keep it social. By the way, Amy just wrote a terrific book–Social Media Stole My Kidney, which you can find on Amazon (highly recommended).

Share, be generous, and collaborate

When you share what others are saying and doing first, they’re much more likely to want to share what you have to say, too. So be generous, collaborate, tag others, and again–it’s not all about you! People are much, much, MUCH more likely to follow you if you make it about them first.



  1. Well… in general I agree with you, because it all makes sense. In reality though, I’ve always said two things, and I’m going to back them up.

    The first is to write for yourself, because if you don’t like what you write then no one else will. That doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be about the writer, but I’ve found that people who write about stuff they don’t care about just to make money or connections write horribly… boring… and their content falls flat.

    The second is that there’s nothing wrong with injecting a bit of yourself into things you write if they’re pertinent to the topic. For instance, lately I’ve mentioned my mother in a few of my posts and videos because it’s prominent in my mind at the moment. Today’s blog post is a repurposed post, and I’m sharing my thoughts and beliefs on things I’ve seen over the years as it pertains to blogging and writing. It was one of my most popular articles when I originally wrote it, and I believe it’s because people could see some of what I wrote about in themselves and their content. I could be wrong, but I wasn’t upset that a lot of people commented on it at the time.

    So… maybe not “all” about the writer, but introducing the writer within the content with a purpose might help make a personal connection with the reader… right? :-)

    • Hi Mitch,
      I’m so sorry! I thought I’d replied to this comment, but went back to look and I didn’t. Yes, writing for yourself is still #1. You need to have some passion to write well, and sometimes no one will read your writing. Also, I love reading about your mom (and yes, I’m sure she’ll be in your mind for ever). When people see themselves reflected in your writing, they tend to respond, although maybe not always with a thoughtful comment like yours.

      Yes–not all about the writer, but there has to be some of the writer in the writing. There will be personal bias whether we mean to have it there or not! That’s just how it works.

      Thank you for commenting, and apologies again! Yikes!


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