I’m a writer, blogger, and poet, and I have a growing number of writers, bloggers, and poets in my circles, including on social media. Though you may not think it, there are a lot of word-based artists on the visual Instagram platform. I love reading the posts that go along with the images they provide. Many believe that scrollers will not stop to read content longer than the first couple of lines on Instagram, but there are some who disagree. It seems people will read long posts on Instagram, more so than on any other of the major platforms.
However, there are five little words that will likely cause me to stop reading.
“Sorry for not posting, but…”
I understand why people do it, particularly women. We put self-imposed deadlines on ourselves and we feel we must apologize if we haven’t fulfilled our promise to you — even if we never articulated the promise. It’s even worse if we made a written commitment to post on certain days and then we don’t follow through. Hey, I’m guilty of it, too!
The harsh reality is probably nobody noticed you were gone.Their feeds are so cluttered and platform algorithms change all the time, and so your absence from their feed likely went unnoticed. My theory about why I apologized for not posting is because I wanted my audience to feel like part of my community. If I apologized and shared some quick, glossy reason for my lack of posting, I would be rewarded by building a stronger community of followers.
Another harsh reality:
All your apology is telling me is that you slacked off on marketing your business.
What to Do Instead
If you’ve done any kind of marketing research, you know that consistency is key. If you post once a week, you better keep that up. If you post five times a week, you better get busy! I’m not about to tell you to ignore that advice. It’s proven that if you create consistent, quality content, you’ll get more followers and engagements.
Did you see I threw in the word “quality?” Your content can’t just be consistent. It must also offer something to your readers. With this in mind, instead of apologizing for not posting, make the posts you create mean something. For example:
Perhaps you’ve been busy with your three kids. Don’t say, “Sorry for not posting, but my kids have had a million things this week!” Tell me about the million things. Share about how difficult it is to juggle the schedule of three kids. Or, tell me a story about one thing that happened. Don’t apologize for making your kids your priority and don’t draw attention to the fact that you didn’t post.
You don’t owe your audience an apology for not posting. You owe them something that will help them, entertain them, or inform them. By turning your apology into a great post, you’re sharing about your life, drawing your audience in, and making them part of your community.
Creating good, personal content that allows your audience a glimpse into your life while also providing helpful information is much stronger than, “Sorry for not posting, but…”
Originally published in Better Marketing, January 2020.