Neil Patel

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You’re Wasting Your Time Creating Social Media Content

Just look at how much content is published on each platform daily:

  • TikTok – 23 million
  • YouTube – 216 million
  • Facebook – 350 million
  • X – 500 million
  • LinkedIn – 2 million
  • Instagram – 95 million

Let that sink in for a second.

Just between those 6 social networks, over 1.1 billion new pieces of content are being published.

That’s why social media doesn’t get as much engagement as you may want.

Sure, their algorithms aren’t as friendly to organic as they used to be… but the real issue is there is a lot of content from people to choose from. So, they expect more if you want their attention.

In the last 30 days, we analyzed 5,204,391 social media posts and 59.41% of them had no engagement.

That means no likes, no shares, or even comments. That’s crazy to think about.

It means a lot of people are wasting their time.

When you post content, chances are it’s going to be drowning in a sea of noise.

So, should you stop creating content for social media?

No, you should create content because it’s a great channel to market a company, product, service, or personal brand.

What you really need to do is adjust your strategy. If you don’t you’ll just be wasting your time.

For example, here are some big wasters in social media:

Time waster #1: Seeing what others post that is popular and posting something similar doesn’t work as well as one may think.

And trust me, I’ve tried it a lot.

The main reason it doesn’t work is because you are posting something that isn’t really new. Plus other people have already seen it because it was popular on someone else’s profile.

Time waster #2: Posting tons of content each day and hoping something sticks.

Not only are you wasting time, but the algorithms will crush you for this.

If you post a lot of junk content and then good content, the good content won’t get the reach it deserves because your crappy content is sending bad social signals.

The only way you can post tons of content and not really get penalized for it is to do it on X.

That’s what I do, test a lot on X and then ONLY post the good stuff on other social networks.

Time waster #3: Creating highly produced content.

No matter how nice your content looks, it doesn’t guarantee success if the content itself sucks.

To prove this, we analyzed 102,394 reels on Instagram and we looked to see if people consumed more reels that added visual design elements.

Or if they consumed content that didn’t have visual design elements.

As you can see the majority of the short-form videos that performed well weren’t highly produced.

Just shows that in most cases spending an arm and a leg or production won’t just waste time, but it also wastes money.

Time waster #4: Posting tracking and analyzing data.

What works on one social network won’t always do well on another.

The type of content that you think will perform well, in many cases won’t.

And the type of content that gets the most engagement usually doesn’t generate the most sales or leads.

By having tracking in place and analyzing past social data, you’ll have a better understanding of what helps hit your marketing goals.

So, what do you have to do?

There 7 things that really move the needle when it comes to social media. They aren’t always easy, but they really do produce results.

Tip #1: Post something new and fresh that people haven’t seen.

I know it is hard to come up with new stuff. Typically what I like doing is reading industry websites for at least 10 to 20 minutes a day as it will give you ideas.

I also hold brainstorming sessions with friends and team members.

If you spend time thinking about what people want to hear but no one is talking about, you’ll start coming up with new ideas.

Tip #2: Don’t be afraid to have your own opinion… it makes your content stand out.

I’ll make bold statements like “You are wasting time creating social media content”.

I’m not trying to create clickbait… I’m just saying what many aren’t willing to tell you.

I don’t think it is a waste to use social media… but I’ll tell you that you are wasting time with what you are currently doing.

People want to hear opinions. It also helps brand you as an expert.

Tip #3: Provide value, from education to stats and data, and make sure people walk away with something.

With AI, it makes it even easier to come up with data.

For example, we have tons of data on Ubersuggest and Answer the Public. With AI, it helps us come up with insights faster from our data than it used to be.

If you don’t have access to your own data, you can use AI to help you do more research. Just check kout ScholarAI.

It has access to over 200 million research articles.

Tip #4: Only leverage trends when it is related to your industry

Trends are huge, and it is a great way to get a lot of social traction.

But the issue with how most people leverage trends is they talk about stuff that isn’t related to their product or service.

For example, you don’t see me talking about Politics or war even though a lot of those topics do well from a trend perspective.

Focus on content that can go viral, makes you look like an expert (hence it has to be on your space), and can drive revenue.

You can find trends in your industry through Answer the Public and Exploding Topics.

Tip #5: Collaborate with other people within your space (it will amplify your reach even if they don’t have tons of followers).

I have a podcast called Marketing School. We recently recorded a podcast with a few other marketers who have their own podcast.

The episodes will go out to our audience and their audience.

That’s the power of collaboration.

I’ve done the same thing with live content. I’ve gone live with other influencers.

Even if you don’t have a big audience, you’ll be shocked at how many people will go live with you. You just have to ask.

Just direct message people on the platform you want to collaborate on. If you message 50 people with more followers than you, 2 or 3 should say yes.

Just don’t hit up people with over 100,000 followers if you have less than 10,000.

And if you don’t have more than 100,000 followers avoid hitting up people who have more than 1,000,000 followers.

Tip #6: Share stuff from your personal experiences, it’s hard for other people to replicate that.

It’s the easiest way to talk about new stuff that no one else has seen before.

Here’s a good example of that… this person talked about how their lifestyle went backward because of their business mistakes.

It was good… I read it. Felt bad for him, but it was great content and it took a lot of guts for him to share that.

Tip #7: Post the type of content each network wants, which you can see in the chart below.

The above is what people want to see. Create it and you are most likely to get more engagement.

Bonus tip: Go live!

Just check out the numbers…

It’s a great way to get more social media play.


Whether you like social media or hate it… you have no choice but to leverage it.

But don’t waste your time on it by creating content that no one wants to consume.

And don’t waste your time trying to create “viral” content that will never create any revenue or sales.

Follow the above tips and avoid the time wasters and you’ll start getting more out of your social media.

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