Terry Cane
Terry Cane 26 October 2020

5 Signs Your Social Media Strategy Simply Isn't Working

Social media can do great things for your brand, but it's not effortless. You need to measure, monitor, and evaluate your approach continually. You also need to pay attention to the warning signs that it's ineffective.

I see it more often than I'd like. 

A business hears about social media’s incredible potential and dives in without a clear strategy or plan in mind. Maybe they get lucky and meet with some degree of limited success. It's far likelier, however, that they end up like many brands on social.

Their feed is a ghost town, their content lacks focus and personality, and they have no idea if they're achieving their goals because they've no plans to speak of.

Here's how your business can avoid falling into that same trap.

You Haven't Done Your Research

Before you start trying to establish your brand on social media, there are a few things you must first understand. First, you need to know your audience. Who are they, and what are their primary interests and values?

Which social networks do they use the most? What sort of content do they generally share and enjoy? Why are they interested in your brand, specifically?  

There are a few places you can look to fill out these personas and establish a foundation for your content.

  • Check your competitors. What social networks are they established on, and how do their most engaged followers look? 
  • Check your website metrics, mainly your sales information. They may contain some information on who your most qualified leads tend to be. 
  • Send out occasional surveys to people who've purchased from you. Ensure they've consented to receive them and be clear about how you intend to use the collected data. 
  • Look at industry-focused content. This may include market research, industry blogs, or even job descriptions within your field. 

Your Brand Doesn't Have an Established Personality

Being boring is one of the worst things you can do on social media. Unfortunately, many brands are precisely that. They don't bother to figure out a unique personality that fits their brand.

As a result, they come across as disconnected and dispassionate. The good news is that if you've done the necessary research into your audience, it should be simple to build a personality that resonates with them.  First and foremost, consider your tone of voice.

Do you want to be energetic and passionate, wry and sarcastic, witty and cavalier, or something in between? 

Next, make sure your brand's imagery meshes with whatever personality you've established for it. Consistency across your channels is arguably the most important thing here. If you tell frequent jokes on Facebook but stay by-the-numbers on Twitter, people will notice. 

You Aren't Sure About Your Goals

What are you looking to achieve? Do you have a clear goal in mind with your social marketing? Or are you merely hopping on the bandwagon because you heard your competitors are doing the same? 

You need specific goals by which you can measure your social strategy. Otherwise, you'll have no idea what's useful and what isn't. You'll have no means of readjusting if things aren't quite working as they should be. 

Hootsuite, the developer of the same name’s social management platform, has some valuable advice in that regard, something known as the SMART framework.

  • Specific. Don't just set some vague milestones. Be as straightforward as possible about what you want to achieve.
  • Measurable. Again, keep things specific. You can use metrics for every goal to determine its success (or failure). 
  • Attainable.  Don't immediately shoot for the stars. Start small. You can always ramp up your goals later. 
  • Relevant. Every goal should benefit your business in some clear, measurable fashion.
  • Timely. Set deadlines. 

There's No Engagement on Your Content

It's easy to see how a successful social marketing campaign looks. There are plenty of positive comments, and people regularly like and share posts. If none of these things are happening, it's likely there's a disconnect somewhere in your strategy.

In short, you're likely doing one of several things wrong.

  • Publishing too often.
  • Not publishing often enough.
  • Publishing content that's irrelevant to your audience.
  • Publishing at the wrong times. 
  • Focusing too much on sales and not enough on the audience. 

As recommended earlier, do a bit of research into what your competitors are doing, and compare it to your approach.

You Don’t See the Conversions You'd Hoped For.

Just because you're receiving high engagement on your social posts, doesn't mean your marketing is necessarily successful. If your purpose is to drive traffic to your website, you must also pay attention to your website's metrics. A lack of conversions means there's still some disconnect between your strategy and your goals.

Figure out what you're doing wrong, and re-evaluate your approach. 

Social Marketing Doesn't Happen in a Vacuum.

Social media is a powerful tool, but it's not some holy grail where marketing is concerned. You need to do your research, establish clear goals, and continuously measure and monitor your success. Otherwise, it may well prove to be a wasted effort.

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