Each year, social media becomes more and more popular. While the platforms may change, the power that social has to grow your business remains steadfast. Let’s face it, if you’re not on social media, your business is most likely not even close to reaching its maximum potential.
Social media has a catch though. You can’t just create an account and expect positive things to come your way. Getting social media right is hard work and there’s no scientific formula. Perhaps a lot more work that many think it will be. You have to use the platforms correctly and ensure that your content is performing at its best in order to yield any results.
If your business’s social media accounts haven’t been performing the way you thought they would, it’s time to step back and consider what’s not working.
8 reasons your social content may be failing
You’re posting at the wrong time.
With social media, there’s always a method to the madness. Data drives everything! On most social media platforms, views and engagements are the key drivers of success. This means that you need to maximize your views and the engagements on each of your posts. But it’s important to keep in mind that simply increasing the number of posts you share won’t solve your problem. You’re looking to increase action on each post, not just more engagement overall. To do this, you need to find the best time to post content.
To determine the best time of day to post you need to spend time in the back end of your accounts, looking specifically at the analytics of your posts. To get started, create a tracker that shows the date and time of the post that you are sharing. Over the course of 30 to 60 days, try posting content during different time windows across different days of the week. At the end of the test period, simply organize the data by the day of the week and then again by time, looking only at which posts had the most engagement. This should help you narrow down the window in which your audience has been most engaging. Note: If you are putting money behind any content to boost or promote it, exclude these posts from the test. Comparing paid content against organic content will never be a fair comparison.
You’re not using the right creative.
Most social media platforms are visual mediums, meaning the audiences on these networks are attracted to content that appeals to their sight first. One of the biggest reasons that many social media posts fail is simply due to the lack of interesting content or creativity. Simply put, perhaps your posts just aren’t interesting.
The content you post needs to be relevant and back your brand. And always include a visual component – video or photo. Avoid getting into topics that can be controversial like politics and religion, unless that’s part of your brand. While posting about controversial topics can certainly elicit responses and engagement, it can also cause a firestorm and alienate potential customers and partners from using your business.
In thinking about videos and images to post, aim for clean, professional-looking content that is authentic to what your business does, what you sell, or who you are as a business owner.
Similar to finding out the right time to post, dig into the analytics of your posts to see which ones got the most engagement, regardless of time. Your community is the best sounding board for trying out different types of content. They will tell you — either with comments, engagement or lack thereof — what works and doesn’t work on your account. Trust them.
Your community isn’t there.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all social platform, and everyone has a favorite that they frequent the most often. This means that may be your social posts aren’t doing well because the audience you’re targeting simply isn’t on the platform that you’ve chosen to promote your business. To better understand the demographics of each social media channel, many organizations, including the platforms themselves, publish reports. For example, Pew Research publishes an annual fact sheet that charts the demographics of social media users annually, since 2005.
Resources like these are great for gaining insights into which platforms your audience is on. However, keep in mind that user behavior changes. Just because your audience wasn’t big on a platform at one time, doesn’t mean that they won’t get there eventually.
One of the things that folks newer to social media tend to forget, or don’t even realize from the get-go, is that you actually have to be social on social media. It may sound like a no-brainer, but the reality is that many people use social media as a soapbox or stage to megaphone their information out to their audiences. This isn’t how social media is meant to work. Social media was built to be an informational, conversational mechanism in which an exchange takes place – you give, you get, you give, you get and so on. If you’ve noticed that your social posts aren’t getting as much engagement as you’d like, go back to the basics of simply engaging with the comments that you do get, or engage with the comments on other posts. Remember, not all the engagement needs to take place on your page. Try searching hashtags to find users and other pages in which you can engage with from your business’s social account.
You’re not dedicating enough time to social.
You can’t just set and forget social media. Gone are the days when you could preschedule posts to go out and watch the engagement happen. In today’s environment, you have to be part of the action — commenting and engaging. As a busy business owner, it’s often hard to find enough time in the day to do all of the things that you need to get done already. However, if social media is a large component of your business strategy, you need to set aside ample time to dedicate to its success. For business owners who aren’t putting a lot of their eggs into the social media basket, there still needs to be time dedicated to ensuring that content is working, engagement is happening, and community needs and wants are being met. At the very minimum, all business owners should be spending at least 20 minutes a day on their business’ social media channels, reviewing, engaging, and planning.
You’re not capitalizing on trends.
As you scroll through social media, you’ll quickly notice what’s gaining attention and what’s popular. Remember the ALS Bucket Challenge? You couldn’t scroll in a newsfeed for more than a minute without seeing someone dump ice-cold water over themselves or someone else. This is a trend. And, if you’re able to capitalize on a trend without compromising your business’s mission, vision, or goals, go for it! Showing your audience that you’re engaged and aware of what’s going on around you is a great way to ensure that your posts won’t fall flat.
And, don’t forget about being timely with your content. Timing is always important. As is taking advantage of key moments in time, like Small Business Saturday.
You’re sharing stale content.
Social media content needs to be fresh and exciting, evoking action and engagement. You can’t simply post the same content over and over again. If you find that certain types of posts do well, use that information to inspire new posts that are along the lines of the previous one, but aren’t exactly the same.
One of the best things about social media is that you have the opportunity to try out a variety of different things over a short period of time. Get creative and try different things – maybe even a Facebook Live or an Instagram Story. Whatever you choose to do, stay true to you and your business – that will always be the best content.
You’re doing what you’ve always done.
As a business owner, you know firsthand that what worked last time may not work the next time. You have to adapt, change, and try something new. On social media, it’s important to keep evolving. For years, Facebook and Instagram prioritized images. Today, the creative type that seems to dominate the most is video. If you want your business to succeed on and/or from social media, you need to be willing to adapt and change. You can’t let the “I’ve always done this…” creep into your mindset.
The bottom line
Social media has helped many businesses grow; some have even exploded overnight. Most businesses that are successful on social media either have a dedicated team member working to ensure success or the business owner is an avid social user. You, too, can turn social media into a powerful business component of your overall marketing strategy. And remember, if you don’t get the results you want the first (or second, or third!) time, keep trying. Sometimes you just have to try different things until you find out what works best and delivers the results you want.