Is Your Social Media Strategy Tanking? Here are 8 Potential Reasons Why

Rarely does a brand or business, big or small, have a social media strategy planned and perfected right out of the gate. Everyone stumbles, and some occasionally fall. The trick to keeping momentum is spotting the problems early and pivoting before they do any real damage.

The warning signs that your social media strategy isn’t firing on all cylinders? Your audience is growing at a snail’s pace. The followers you do have aren’t hitting those like icons enough. It could also be waning engagement—or worse—negative engagement.

Don’t sweat it. Your plan may not be perfect. But here’s how to spot where your strategy may not be up to snuff—and what you can do about it.

1. You’re not posting often enough

If you’re not posting often enough, you’re losing share of voice and you’re not staying top of mind. Even if you’ve scheduled a bunch of posts in advance, you still need to continue posting to your channels to fill in the gaps with content that’s fresh and relevant. A strong strategy ensures that you’re present and active on all your social channels. And to a savvy social audience, anything short of that looks stale.

What you can do about it

Take five to 10 minutes a day to peruse your feeds, the news, and your favourite blogs to find content. Dedicating these few minutes can mean the difference between a loved, socially active brand and a long list of missed opportunities.

2. You’re posting too often

The other side of the coin presents an equal and opposite bad behavior: posting too often can very quickly drive your audience away. There’s nothing worse than having your feed clogged with multiple posts from the same person or brand. Being enthusiastic about social media is important to being successful in it, but knowing when to post is just as important as knowing when to hold back.

What you can do about it

Reduce your posting frequency immediately. How much is too much? Look at which posts get traction and which ones don’t to start.

3. You’re not monitoring

Monitoring may be the single best competitive edge you have. People are having conversations on social media about topics that are important to your audience, your industry, and your brand. If you’re not using streams to monitor your social networks for relevant conversations and competitor activity, you’re missing out on important opportunities to connect and build relationships with potential customers, as well as keep a close eye on what your competitors are doing.

What you can do about it

Set up listening streams that look for important keywords and hashtags are important to your business. You can even search within a certain distance for ultra-relevant results. It won’t take more than five minutes to do. And you’ll be in-the-know in no time at all.

4. You’re too promotional

Being on social media is about marketing your business. But that doesn’t mean it’s a free advertising platform. In fact, there’s no quicker way to drop followers and obliterate engagement than sharing content that is entirely and completely transparent about who it serves: your brand and your brand only. Social media is about building relationships with, and creating experiences for, your customers. Sure, use it as a means of promoting your brand from time to time. But be mindful of your audience sparsely and tastefully.

What you can do about it

We know that finding great content to share can be difficult and time-consuming. Visit industry news sites and blogs, follow relevant influencers, and join online communities to find sharable content that your audience will find relevant and interesting. Again, Hootsuite’s RSS feature and Suggestions not only make that content easy to find, but easy to share, too.

5. You’re ignoring customers

Your customers matter as much on Facebook and Twitter as they do on the phone or in person. So when they ask you a question on social media, you need to reply—like, immediately. If you’re only checking your social channels to perform basic maintenance, you’re losing opportunities to not just nurture and grow your social media presence, but create real relationships and drive actual business. Sure, answering the same questions over and over can get tiresome. But they’re important.

What you can do about it

Take time to check into your social networks a few times a day to review and reply to any and all comments, replies, and Retweets across all your social channels. It’s worth it, not just because they now know what time you close or if you carry a particular product, but because you’ve created goodwill—you’ve left a good impression. If they have other options of where to go to fulfill that need, the small gestures go a long way in your favor.

6. You’re not trying new things

Let’s say your followers are waning, likes are slowing down, and fewer people are commenting on your posts or sharing your content. Your social presence is lacking traction, but you’re not doing anything wrong, per se. Would you continue managing your social presence in the way you have been? Hopefully not. Believe it or not, some people do. Maybe there are external factors affecting those social metrics, but that doesn’t mean that you’re out of options.

What you can do about it

Don’t panic: your social media strategy doesn’t need a complete overhaul. Just a consideration of what’s happening, and what might fix it. Be honest—think about where that flat spot in the wheel is. Then, look at what other socially successful businesses are doing. Study and implement social media best practices. Create a contest. Switch up the kind of content you’re sharing. Just try something different.

7. You don’t get help

Maybe your social presence has outgrown the amount of time you can spend on it. Perhaps you’re not as socially savvy at managing your business or brand’s social media presence demands. The honest truth of the matter is that there are many scenarios where passing the reins to someone else can prevent you from making one or more of the above mistakes and even do a better job of it than you can.

What you can do about it

Hand over to—or share the responsibility with—an employee or coworker that’s got some serious social chops. If you’re working with a larger budget? Hiring a consultant or agency with proven results to manage your social presence for you can be an incredible investment in your brand.

8. You don’t have a plan at all

The number one downfall of any social media strategy is—that’s right—having no plan at all. Winging it. Going with the flow. Seeing what happens. But here’s what typically happens: you don’t see immediate results, so your social presence becomes neglected over time. The followers, likes, comments, and Retweets, unsurprisingly, still aren’t rolling in. Social media is then further ignored. You conclude social has no ROI, is a waste of time, and abandon it entirely. Your competitors, having created and nurtured a strategy, take advantage of the opportunities you’re missing.

What you can do about it

Make a plan. Be as detailed or loose with it as you’d like for now—just make sure you have one and stick with it. If you need some guidance, we have countless free resources on how to build a social media strategy, social media best practices, and how to leverage your social presence to drive business results. A bit of time invested into planning now can pay off big time down the road. After all, there are no shortage of examples of brands who’ve been successful on social media, and even some who owe their success to social media.

Your social media plan functions very much in the same way any business plan does. It exists as a guide or map of what you need to do to achieve specific results. Sure, you’ll need to reassess and change directions every now and again, but those are typically conscious and concerted decisions rather than afterthoughts. If you’re not seeing the results you want from social media, don’t give up on it. Assess what’s happening, use the above list to identify potential weaknesses in your strategy, conduct a social media audit, and be honest with yourself about what is or isn’t working. You’ll make some hard decisions, but learn a few things in the process. And your new strategy will be all that more effective for it.

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