Having a successful social media means you’ve found the delicate balance between providing value, and promoting your content. Too much of either and you will end up with social media that no one pays attention to. In my talks with newsletter creators, I’ve found that very few people truly understand how to grow on social media and end up in one of the following pitfalls.

If this is you, it’s time to hear the harsh reality.

The Common Mistakes of Social Media

Shouting into the Void

Did you post a new issue for your newsletter? Great! Except no one cares and drive-by dropping a link does nothing but make you seem desperate for readers.

Has anyone been on the subreddit r/Substack recently? I think this post sums it up nicely:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Substack/comments/waz333/i_wish_this_subreddit_was_about_substack/

The Substack subreddit is littered with hundreds of delusional writers thinking that simply dropping a link to their newsletter will bring them success.

I’m almost tempted to start commenting just with a link to this newsletter issue. Actually, I think I will do that. If you came from one of these posts, comment below 😬 I hope I could help!

Those who take this approach are lacking two things, a target audience, and a value proposition.

Target Audience

Take some time right now, and imagine the exact kind of person that reads your newsletter. If you have current readers, ask them questions and learn about who they are. You should end up with a few narrowly defined groups.

🤬 People interested in going out to eat.
Too Vague, unclear why, & doesn’t help much with locating these people!

🤓 Foodies who love to interact with and hear the stories of restaurant owners.
You could take this target audience, and find where they hang out online.

For 99% percent of newsletters, the Substack subreddit is not the place their target audience hangs out on the internet. That’s the reason that posts like these have 0 likes and no comments:

People Don’t Just Click Things. Add Some Value

Are you reaching your target audience properly, but are still not getting engagement? You are likely not providing enough value to potential readers. Clicking a link that will leave Facebook or Reddit actually takes a lot of convincing. A link in your post can even come across as spammy. I advise writers that you should only include a link in 1 out of every 10 posts you make on social media.

No Likes, and probably no subscribes :(
No Likes, and probably no subscribes :(

If you are providing value to your potential readers, they will click your profile and find your publication, or interact with you and give you a chance to share your publication. Make your social media strategy not “get my newsletter in front of the most people” but instead “provide the same value my newsletter does, but on social media”.

It is so ironic that newsletter creators are unable to tackle social media. There is plenty of useful and valuable content within each of our newsletters, yet giving that content a new form on social media seems to be a struggle.

We built Newsletter to Socials to do just that. Newsletter to Socials will grab potentially engaging quotes from your newsletter to fuel social media growth.

Organic Growth Takes Time and is NOT Linear

You will have posts that do well and you will have posts that get no engagement. This is part of the journey! Remember, it only takes one really successful post to get thousands of eyes on your newsletter. Keep at it for as long as it takes, and success will follow!

Spike - All this

We are here to help! Respond directly to this email or email me at matthew@newslettertosocials.com if you need help. We often do case studies on this newsletter too!

Handling Failed Posts

Most people, when they are faced with radio silence, are discouraged from posting again. It’s not like that! The average shelf life of a tweet is 3 hours and after that, your tweet will be completely forgotten. And unless it is a successful post, you should also forget about it and focus on what is next!

But I want Immediate Results!

As humans, we often want to see immediate results. It can be hard to accept that this isn’t the reality with social media growth! If you are looking for some instant payoff, start being active on others’ posts. People love to interact online and forming those connections can have huge payoffs for growth. It’s an instant way to get a smaller amount of followers, subscribers, and likes, and sometimes that is exactly what we need!

I hope this post could give someone the rude awakening they needed! As always, thank you for reading! Each week we take a deep dive into how writers can take advantage of social media, without it becoming a time sink. If you’d like us to review your newsletter’s growth strategies or have any topics you’d like us to cover, don’t hesitate to reach out!


Need some tools to help manage your social media? Check out Top 5 Social Media Tools for Newsletter Creators