6 reasons social media isn’t working for you

Sep 17, 2014

Other Insights Worth Reading

If your social media accounts aren’t producing the results you’re hoping for… you’re not alone. But there are ways to improve your ideas, approach and your writing to get through this lull. We’ve outlined 6 different areas to explore as you try to determine the reasons social media isn’t working for you now – and how you can fix it fast.

One of the most likely reasons social media isn’t working: Your not being consistent

6 reasons social media isn't working for youWe’ve probably all heard that we need to push for consistency in social media, blogging, emails, etc and it’s true. To truly entice a following on your social channels and keep that following nurtured and well fed – you need to provide regular, valuable information which enhances your position and credibility.
But, we also know that it’s not always that simple. Projects, meetings, and life in general can get in the way and most of us fall short of the daily “best practices” for social posting.

To improve your consistency try creating an editorial calendar. Being organized with content and posts can go along way to get you past the hectic and disorganized last minute posts (or skipped postings). Here’s a wonderful (and free) simple editorial calendar template to get you started.



Taking it a step further, many pros use tools like Hootsuite to schedule their postings. If you can produce a regular editorial calendar and develop the content, why not schedule the posts at set intervals? This eliminates that last minute misses and chaos which tend to lead to inconsistency.

 

The second of most likely reasons social media isn’t working: You’re not on the right channels for your specific audience

Maybe you’ve got your content down to a science, informative, packed with visuals, everything your users could possibly want and still, no growth. Your problem might just be the channels you’re using.

Many companies develop a social presence on websites they are comfortable with and know well, or on sites they think are the most popular. But they ignore the very important process of research, research that would allow them to understand the different social sites audiences. Each social channel has different users with differing interests and different methods of using information.

To avoid this do some basic initial research to determine which social sites might be the best fit for your content. This study at the Pew Research Center has some great information on the audience profiles of the top social channels.

If you’re looking for more, here’s an info graphic from Mediabistro visualizing the audience breakdowns across 3 of the top social channels. This article happens to think Pinterest is the place to be in 2014.

 

Here are some other very likely reasons social media isn’t working:

Offer unique content, not just more of the same

We all tend to understand our industry pretty well, and it makes sense to produce content that reflects that understanding. Unfortunately, as we write our content we can also fall into the trap of just relaying information without any character or interest and that can lead to some dull reading for your audience. The social sites are full of information on every industry from most angels and chances are, what you’re talking about is already out there somewhere. Your challenge is to make it interesting. Give it a personal spin or explore an angle on the same content that hasn’t been covered before. Whichever way you go, the goal is to breathe life and interest into what you’re writing. Your audience will sure appreciate it.

If you’re struggling with this process we’ve got a few helpful tools for you to use.

  • If you have an idea but aren’t sure how others are going to be looking for that idea – do some keyword research. Learn how people are searching for the content you’re producing. Once you understand what words your audience is using to find your content, you can tailor it to fit as you write it. Google’s keyword planner tool can show you what keywords audiences use to find specific information.
  • Google trends provides a fantastic tool to see what’s hot and what is peaking audiences interest currently. Delicious also fills this need, after signing in, use their “discover” tab to learn what people are interested in currently.

You’re not leveraging your success

If you’ve been at it on social media for a while chances are you’ve put out quite a number of posts and written on a number of topics. And while your results might be less then enviable, you’ve probably still had a few successes along the way. Those successes can teach you a lot about what your audience craves and what will theoretically catch their interest in the future also. Study those posts, what made them different, and why did they achieve success where others didn’t? Was it your writing style? Did you have a great, eye-catching title? Was it a trendy topic that people were interested in at the time? Whatever that insight is, capitalize on it and use it as you produce new content.

If you don’t have any notable successes – then try to achieve some. Read other posts, in your industry and others, see what’s at the top and try to find elements that which might have made that content successful. Keep track of your findings and hone your skills. Then start writing and posting. Try different methods and approaches and see what works. Over time, you’ll have your own little set of data that can drive you to more frequent success which you can continue to build on.

Most social sites have an analysis and data tracking dashboard of some type. Make sure you use this to determine your posting’s successes and failures.  You already know just how important Google Analytics is to your website, why wouldn’t it be just as important (or more important) on your social channels?

Don’t push the sale

You may be laser focused on sales but your social audience isn’t. Your primary goal should be to inform and delight your audience. Try not to push your sales, your coupons, or your deals too heavy on your social channels. Instead, provide useable and informative content that your audience finds valuable – it will produce faster and more meaningful results.

You should wanna get visual

Social websites are full of information shown visually and your audience expects it. If you’re trying to shove mini novels through every post your audience will first ignore you, and then stop following. Don’t make it hard to read, make it quick and concise, you can always provide “additional information” and reading if they want more. The best way to do this is through visuals. Easy graphics, charts, and quick videos are the best way to accomplish this. Infographics are an excellent way to quickly display content and data that users can scan fast and still find worthwhile.
Not creative? No problem, you can create an account on infogram and let others do the creative heavy lifting, you just need to have the data.

Chances are, if you’re like most, the reasons social media isn’t working are a combination of the above (and maybe a few more). The best approach to begin gaining that momentum is to identify your problems and then develop a plan to improve your process. It shouldn’t be long before you begin to see a positive direction in your engagement and interaction levels. If you don’t see that rise, perhaps you’ve misidentified the issue and you should try another approach. Track all your results and be persistent, the right answers will become clear as long as you try new routes and regularly track and analyze your numbers.

 
We are happy to help you further and offer free, no-obligation consultation calls on social media. We can give you a quick analysis of what channels might work best for your specific business and audience and how to begin producing content that draws in your audience.