Why is Social Media Not Working
Social Media | 12 min read time
Why is Social Media Not Working? (And How to Fix it!)
Written by Corinne Yank

Are you frustrated that your social media efforts are failing to produce results? If so, you’re certainly not alone in this frustration. A recent survey found that about a third of eCommerce businesses feel that social media is the most difficult marketing channel to manage. 

Social media marketing holds immense potential to increase brand recognition, authority, inbound traffic, and opportunities to convert while lowering your other marketing costs. But social media is a complex, ever-evolving landscape, with an ever-evolving set of rules to follow. There are plenty of things that can go wrong along the way.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common social media issues and mistakes so that you can boost your ROI and start generating results. 

Why is Social Media Not Working?

When your social media marketing isn’t working, it’s often glaringly obvious. That’s because no matter how hard you try, you can’t fake engagement on social media. But even when you know there’s an issue, actually pinning down that issue can be really difficult— even for experienced social media marketers.

What makes social media marketing so challenging

  • The social media landscape is increasingly complex, with new platforms rapidly gaining popularity 
  • The algorithms that determine content visibility across different platforms are constantly being updated behind the scenes 
  • Social media audiences have come to expect highly-visual, compelling content
  • Nowadays, users also expect to have conversations and interactions with the brands they follow— just putting out content doesn’t cut it anymore 
  • Going viral isn’t formulaic or predictable 
  • The best-performing content is now largely user-generated and highly-authentic 
  • Users are more annoyed by advertising on social media than ever before, especially compared to other marketing channels

With all these complexities, it’s no surprise that many businesses choose to hire professional social media marketing services to set them up for success. 

10 Common Social Media Marketing Problems

So, we can all agree on the fact that social media marketing is complex, but what can you do to improve your social media campaigns? First and foremost, you need to identify the underlying problem. 

Below are 10 common social media problems that could be hindering your success: 

  1. You haven’t clearly defined your target audience. It can be tempting to try to sell your product or service to everyone with a social media account, but keeping your audience too broad is probably causing more harm than good. When you have a clear picture of your ideal customer, you can customize your content and strategies to speak directly to them. Your target audience should inform each and every part of your social media strategy, including which social media platforms you use. 
  2. You aren’t choosing your social media platforms strategically. Perhaps you’re using too many social media platforms and spreading yourself too thin. Or maybe you’re focusing too much time and effort on the wrong platforms, so you aren’t reaching your intended audience. Unless you’re a big corporation with a ton of resources at your disposal, it’s a good idea to pick one or two social media platforms and learn to use them really well. Depending on your business, you may want to consider one platform that allows for long-form content and one that is more short-form. For example, maybe you could use YouTube for long videos and TikTok for short videos and leave it at that. 
  3. Your content is too “salesy.” Social media users are becoming more annoyed by overt advertising on social media; in fact, a recent survey found that 74% of users think there are too many ads on social media. If you’re only posting sales-centric content on your social media platforms, you’re probably going to lose followers. Instead, focus on sharing informative content that helps your ideal customers solve their problems and frustrations and keeps them coming back for more. Use storytelling to keep them entertained and engaged. Save your direct sales pitches for other marketing channels, such as email marketing, where consumers are more likely to respond positively. 
  4. You’re relying on outdated social media strategies. The algorithms used by different social media platforms are constantly changing and getting smarter– as are the users behind the platforms. Many strategies or “tricks” that were common practice a few years ago are now much less viable than they used to be. A few examples of outdated strategies include the follow/unfollow method to gain more followers or the use of engagement groups to improve engagement rates. Not only are these tactics not as effective as they used to be, but they can also tarnish your brand reputation. 
  5. You’re not posting regularly, posting too frequently, or posting too infrequently. Posting consistently is heavily favored by many social media algorithms, so set a posting schedule and try your best to stick to it. How often you should post will depend on the content you’re sharing and your target audience, but a few times a week is generally sufficient.
  6. You’re doing social, but not being social. If you can act like a person on social media would act, you will be much more successful– even if in reality you’re a big corporation with multiple people running the same account. Put a face to your brand, someone that your ideal customers can trust and relate to. Establish a consistent voice and personality. Don’t just churn out content, interact with other accounts. Respond to comments and DMs, follow other accounts, and have conversations. Not only is this simply a more authentic way of using social media but it’s also rewarded by most algorithms. 
  7. You are not setting and measuring social media goals. Start with at least one primary business goal and a specific, achievable social media goal that mirrors that goal. For example, if your main business goal is to generate more brand awareness, you would probably want to focus on expanding your reach through social media. Then set a few KPIs (key performance indicators) or targets related to that goal to help you track and measure your progress. Once you have your goals and metrics defined, pull a monthly report and monitor your progress. In time, this data will help you understand patterns and make more accurate projections.
  8. You’re not sharing enough visual content. Social media (and the web at large) has become more and more visual over the years– a trend that doesn’t show signs of stopping. One study found that Facebook posts with photos generate 53% more likes, 84% more link clicks, and 104% more comments than posts that only consist of text. With this in mind, you should be more focused on the quality of photos, graphics, and videos you share than the words that accompany them. That doesn’t mean that they need to be perfectly polished and professional (authenticity and “realness” are still key), but they do need to be high-quality.
  9. You aren’t leveraging social media advertising. Once your brand is established, paid social media ad campaigns can successfully generate spikes in sales when you need them– that is, if the campaigns are well-designed and strategic. Unlike other paid ads, most paid ads via social media platforms allow you to use internet-based targeting to reach users with relevant interests and specific demographics. Paid social media ads can be run on a variety of social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, and more. 
  10. You are expecting immediate results. Another common mistake is expecting to blow up on social media overnight, or not giving your strategies time to develop. Buying followers on social media does not work, so you have to focus on growing organically over time. Another thing to keep in mind is that the number of followers you have probably isn’t the most important metric to focus on. A smaller group of more engaged and loyal followers is so much more important than a huge group of followers that aren’t passionate about your brand. Most algorithms place heavy importance on engagement rates, not the number of followers you’ve acquired. 

If you’re after a more specific answer to why your social media isn’t working, you may want to consider investing in a professional social media audit. A thorough audit will provide you with expert advice on what to modify, incorporate, and remove from your social media strategy in order to improve your online performance. As with any marketing channel, its very important to audit your strategies and performance on a regular basis so that you can continue to grow and improve. 

Facebook marketing problems

Facebook Marketing Problems

If you’re specifically worried about your Facebook marketing campaigns, there are some more platform-specific mistakes to be aware of: 

  • You aren’t responding to your messages. Your response rate and response times are measured by Facebook and prominently displayed on your Page. If you want people who visit your Page to see a “very responsive to messages” badge, you need to commit to a high response rate and fast response time. 
  • You aren’t following Facebook’s community guidelines. Be sure to keep up with the current community standards and adhere to these guidelines with all of your posts. If your posts are flagged repeatedly, your account could lose verification or be blocked from posting. 
  • You aren’t boosting your posts. Boosting Facebook posts places them higher on potential customers’ newsfeeds– it’s a great way for small businesses to gain more visibility and improve their reach on Facebook. 
  • You have an incomplete profile. For credibility, it’s important to have a complete Facebook profile and keep your business information up-to-date. This is also essential if you are trying to get verified on Facebook. 

Instagram marketing issues

Instagram Marketing Issues

Instagram is known to frequently update its algorithm, which means it constantly changes the rules and signals that automatically rank your content and make it more or less visible. If your reach on Instagram is limited, you might want to focus on understanding and playing by the rules. 

Here are a few common Instagram-specific social media mistakes to avoid: 

  • You are sharing low-quality content. Instagram is a highly visual platform, more so than Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. So you need to ensure the images, graphics, and videos you share are high-quality. This does not mean your visuals need to be highly polished or edited, but they need to be visible and appealing. 
  • You’re not leveraging Reels. The 2022 Instagram algorithm highly favors video content put out via Instagram Reels. Sharing more Reels will help improve your reach on Instagram and make your content more visible. 
  • You’re only posting content to your grid, not your Instagram Story. Posting regularly to your Story can help improve your visibility and retain your followers. Instagram Story Highlights is another great feature that allows businesses to highlight specific products or services on their feed and make them more visible to profile visitors. 
  • You’re sharing links incorrectly. On Instagram, clickable links can only be shared in your profile bio or in your stories. Adding long URLs to your post captions doesn’t look good and isn’t user-friendly. Instead, say “link in bio” and add a Linktree to your bio so your followers can easily navigate to different pages. 
  • You aren’t using hashtags. Hashtags are more important on Instagram compared to Facebook. They are an effective way to expand your reach and can help potential customers find you. Hashtags can also be used strategically to help you track customer feedback and input more easily. 

social media marketing problems

TikTok Marketing Mistakes 

TikTok is currently the fastest-growing social media network, with a booming 105% user growth rate in the United States over the last couple of years. Everything about TikTok moves rapidly, with the average video lasting only 21 to 34 seconds and most trends lasting 90 days or less, making it challenging to keep up with best practices. But the platform holds enormous potential, especially if you are looking to target a younger demographic. Depending on your ideal customer profile, not being active on TikTok could be a big missed opportunity. 

However, if you do choose to engage in TikTok marketing, you’ll need to get creative. Authenticity matters even more on TikTok compared to other networks. The best-performing videos are typically user-generated, trend-driven, and unfiltered or “raw.” For businesses, the key to success with TikTok marketing is striking the right balance between authenticity and brand promotion. 

More Social Media Marketing Mistakes

Even if you’re doing everything on social media right, it’s important to remember that social media is just one piece of the overall marketing puzzle. Focusing too much of your time and attention on social media marketing could be a problem in and of itself. All of your marketing efforts and campaigns must work in harmony with one another to accomplish your business goals. 

As an example, say your primary business goal is to boost sales for a specific product, then your main social media goal would probably be to direct traffic to that product page on your website. If you’re effectively getting people onto the page but they aren’t actually buying the product, your social media campaign is doing its job. You’ll have to think more holistically to identify the problem. Perhaps your website needs technical improvements or your need to refresh your brand messaging to boost conversions. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that there’s always a chance that you’re doing everything right on social media but the product or service you’re trying to market is the problem. It’s important to document the feedback and suggestions you gain from your social media followers– if you’re engaging your ideal customers, they’ll come up with some great ideas for you! If your sales fail to improve after making changes to your social media strategies, you eventually may want to consider making changes to your offerings. 

How to Avoid Professional Mistakes on Social Media

Because there are so many things that can go awry with social media marketing, it is advisable to invest in a more thorough social media audit to determine exactly what you’re doing wrong and how you can improve. Another option is to leave it all to the experts and completely hand off your social media marketing to a professional social media marketing service. 

Our professional yet affordable digital marketing packages here at Flyrise are designed to help small and midsize businesses achieve their specific business goals. Our services include social media audits, consulting services, content creation, social media management, and so much more. Reach out to us for a free consultation and we’ll create a custom social media package to meet all of your needs!