Regardless of your personal feelings about social media, you can’t deny the massive role it plays in modern life. It dominates popular discourse, disseminates (and distorts) news. And essentially controls brand reputations. This is why every company, however big or small, maintains a social media presence. It’s risky, but the alternative is being overlooked entirely.
Frustratingly, though, the risk doesn’t always pay off. It’s entirely possible to put your brand out there, making it a viable target for widespread criticism, yet see no return on your investment. This is the worst-case scenario. If your social media activity isn’t enhancing your reputation or getting you noticed by your target audience, what purpose does it serve?
If you’re in that difficult situation of making social media a priority but not getting anywhere, you need to fix your strategy before you put more time into it. In this post, we’re going to look at some of the most likely reasons why you’re struggling, and how you can do better.
You’re not using visuals effectively
Think about idly scrolling through your social media feed, looking for something interesting. The amount of content is seemingly infinite. However much you scroll, there’s always more to be found. This allows you to be incredibly selective. In fact, it forces you to be selective. Because you don’t have time to view absolutely everything. So what makes you stop scrolling and choose something to look at? Compelling visuals. Images stand out far more than text.
Think about it. When the content is speeding by, you don’t have time (or adequate clarity) to read the text, but you can still pick up on a high-contrast image. Just one glimpse at it can be enough to stop you in your tracks.
Every social media post intended to grab attention needs a strong accompanying visual. And while you can create your own images, using stock images really speeds things along — though you need to choose great stock images from curated sets.
Your website lacks social features
Your social media activity shouldn’t be fundamentally divorced from your website activity. One of the core goals of the former will be to boost awareness of the latter. Yet it’s far from uncommon for brands to fail to link the two. At a minimum, you should ensure that your social media profiles link to your website (so interested users can learn more). Also, that your website links back to your social media profiles (so happy customers can easily praise you).
Even site platforms with limited social features at least allow you to display various profile links. For example, you’ll see mention of a lack of native social functionality in every Big Cartel review. But you can add social links to the navigation. And in the highly unlikely case that you truly have nothing to work with, you’ll surely have the option to embed some custom code — which means you can insert some social links manually.
You’re not showing any personality
Any novelty involved in businesses being active on social media disappeared a long time ago. It’s simply expected that every brand will have a handful of profiles. And this means that no one will be impressed when you offer some basic updates on your Q3 results. If you want people to actually care about your social media activity, you need to make it interesting. There are two viable routes for achieving this: have a fascinating operation, or show some personality.
The former isn’t strongly viable, of course, since most companies are far from fascinating. NASA doesn’t need clever writing to stand out since it can just show incredible footage. But if you want to stand out, you need to show that your business isn’t a bland bureaucracy.
Are you funny? Irreverent? Sarcastic? Joyful? Every brand needs some character traits to drive its creative output, so think carefully about what the unique presentation of yours could be. Seeming like a blank slate is a terrible idea.
Remember to be bold, as it’s so often tempting to stick to generic posts for fear of attracting criticism. You need to take the risk of standing out, even though that also makes you a decent target for backlash. No one has the luxury of ensuring a social media impact, without knowing that sentiment could turn against them at any time.
You’re just not sufficiently active
Lastly, another common reason why a given brand can be a social media dud is that it just isn’t doing enough. This isn’t even about strategy: it’s about sheer output. How often do top brands post on social media? Well, you can generally expect to see a leading company produce hundreds of new messages each week, and that’s on each platform (though with overlap).
If you’ve been adding one or two posts per day, then it’s easy to see why you’re at a disadvantage. Every time you post, you roll a dice to see whether each prospective customer notices that post — and the chance is very low. The more times you post, the more rolls you get, making it more likely that you’ll be spotted. To get noticed, you must put in the effort.
You shouldn’t spam weak content, of course, because that can work against you. But you can repost content provided you leave enough time between posts and find ways to change things up slightly (instead of just reusing exactly the same post). If you really want to make a social media impact, you’ll need to be posting very frequently, and engaging with any replies.
The social media world has become incredibly important for businesses. You can’t afford to overlook it if you want to excel in your niche. Consider these possible reasons for why you’re currently failing to make an impact, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
About the author
Rodney Laws is an ecommerce expert with over a decade of experience in building online businesses. Check out his reviews on EcommercePlatforms.io and you’ll find practical tips that you can use to build the best online store for your business.