The fact that you’re here likely means that you are either unsure whether you’re undertaking the task from the right angle or that your current social media marketing efforts aren’t bringing you the results you want to see. But that’s okay!
No matter what industry you're involved in, you should always adapt your approach to the platform you’re operating on. Sometimes, the road to success isn’t clear, and further testing or refinement may be required to pinpoint the best strategies for your particular niche.
At any rate, if you’ve noticed any of these 10 signs, your social media marketing strategy could indeed be in need of some tweaks:
1. #Your #hashtags #are #all #over #the #place
If for whatever reason you feel compelled to attach a hashtag to every word you write, erroneously thinking it will help get your posts seen, this is a surefire sign you need to learn more about the proper way to use hashtags on social media. While hashtags are indeed a powerful way to attract more eyeballs to your social media posts, going overboard with them is unlikely to help you. Plus, it might even get your accounts flagged for spam, so do it in moderation.
You can read the full guide above that will show you the best practices as well as give you some practical examples of how to use them on each social media platform. To recap, you should keep them relevant, vary the numbers from post to post, and always have a clear goal in mind, whether it be announcing an event, supporting a cause, disclosing your location, or any other use you can think of.
How to use hashtags on LinkedIn
LinkedIn helps you discover fitting and contextually-relevant hashtags straight from its platform. You can also see what you competitors have chosen to include when writing about certain topics. Stick to the limit of not including more than 3 hashtags per post.
How to use hashtags on Pinterest
Pinterest is a search engine for images. Using hashtags is generally welcome in moderation, because this helps its algorithms classify the content better. Keep in mind using them does count towards the maximum word count, so use them sparingly (no more than 7).
How to use hashtags on Instagram
Anything between 3-10 usually works best, but don’t be afraid to experiment (technically, the hard-coded limit is 30). Aim for the ones that will give you the best results – tools like Ocoya will help you discover them. The best place for using hashtags on Instagram is at the bottom of the post.
How to use hashtags on TikTok
You can use TikTok’s Discover page to find relevant hashtags without leaving the platform. Include a maximum number of 5 hashtags and keep them contextually relevant.
How to use hashtags on Twitter
Twitter’s official recommendations state you should use no more than 2 hashtags per post. You can find some great ones by using Twitter’s built-in search.
How to use hashtags on Facebook
Use Facebook’s built-in suggestions, keep them between 0 to 3 per post, and make good use of Facebook and its search engine to find inspiration. In general, most experts agree the best place to include hashtags is at the bottom of a post, but you can occasionally use them mid-sentence as well if the context calls for it.
2. Your follower count isn’t increasing
To state the obvious, if your follower numbers aren’t growing despite your best efforts, something is wrong. In case you’ve committed some serious offenses in the past, there’s your answer – it could be that the social media platform has shadow-banned you, which is why you are still able to use your account. In many ways, a shadow ban works just like a regular ban, except that your profile and posts are still visible. However, they are visible only to you and no one else on the platform, so you might not even suspect that anything is up.
Another common reason is that you don’t post often enough or think that a single post will make you a millionaire overnight. If that is the case, you’re in for a rude awakening! On the flipside, posting too often could yield similar results. Since your followers’ feed is constantly getting cluttered up by your posts, they are likely to get annoyed with it and start ignoring you as a result. As an example: 2-3 posts a day are completely fine. However, if you’re posting every hour, it can be a tad bit too much!
3. You never use any visuals in your posts
While true that some social media networks are more visually oriented than others (Pinterest and Instagram are two that come to mind), the fact of the matter is that human beings tend to be visual creatures. Although no one doubts your content is amazing, at the end of the day, what good is that if it never gets noticed?
The solution is simple: add more images and videos! By the virtue of the design, social media feeds are a mish-mash of posts coming from every direction, each fighting for the reader’s attention. What do you think would get a higher click-through rate – a wall of text or a thought-provoking image? The answer is clear. Now it’s up to you to either swim against the current or use its force to propel your social media marketing campaigns to a new level.
Don’t think you need to be a professional graphics designer to create attention-grabbing images. Nowadays, there are tools like Canva that allow you to create something useful with just a few clicks. Most of them are powered by an extensive creative commons library full of images you can legally use even for commercial purposes. Alternatively, you can download one of these from Pixabay or Unsplash to use as is or modify it to suit your needs (just be sure to check what the corresponding license permits you to do).
4. You’re not experimenting enough
If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, it might be a sign that you’re not experimenting enough, which can lead you to make the same mistakes over and over again without even realizing. Don’t be afraid to mix things up from time to time and see if you can attack an old topic from a fresh angle. In case you’re reposting old posts that haven’t performed well in the future, what makes you think they’ll do any better this time around? As Einstein himself has put it, repeating the same thing and expecting to see a different outcome is insanity!
Instead, get into the habit of running A/B tests. In essence, this is a data-driven approach that will help you find the winners based on concrete data rather than speculation. This is especially important if you’re doing any kind of paid ads on social media or elsewhere – you don’t want to find yourself pumping money into a campaign that simply isn’t going anywhere.
So how to do A/B testing? Although the technical steps on how to integrate it can vary across different platforms, the core principle stays the same.
Let’s say that you have a title “10 signs you’re approaching social media marketing from the wrong angle” (see what we did there?)
Instead of reposting it one more time, change up the content slightly, including the title, which can be the only part of the post a reader will skim through when deciding whether to click through to read the whole thing or not. You might find that changing “10 signs” to “10 ways to improve X” will yield better results in this particular example.
The bottom line is, no one knows – not even the almighty social media gurus! The only way to know for sure is to try both variations and look at what the numbers are telling you.
5. You are talking, but not listening
When people come to social media, they aren’t looking for a monologue – they’re looking for a discussion. Yes, making regular posts is important, but you should also take some time out of your busy schedule to inject yourself into the conversations people are having. Keep in mind the objective is to add something of value and help someone out if you can. Don’t try to sell your products or services! This won’t accomplish anything other than getting you reported for spam.
Besides, “pull” marketing has shown itself much more effective than “push” marketing. To give you a practical example, when you find someone looking for answers and you happen to be knowledgeable on the topic (since it’s in the scope of your niche, this shouldn’t be an issue), cut out a minute of your time and point them in the right direction. By doing so, not only will you be seen as a voice of authority, but you’re also likely to gain a loyal follower who will go on to check out the products and services you’re selling without you even mentioning them.
Socializing is the new way to do marketing, which is especially true in a social media environment. Learn how to build relationships on social media and sales will follow naturally as a result. So go out there and get social!
6. You’re not drawing a clear line between business and personal life
Ask yourself this:
Are you spending your time on social media productively and growing your business or are you browsing through cute cat videos and arguing with your political opponents?
While it’s fine to give yourself a breather every once in a while, always remember that the primary objective of your social media presence is to market yourself, your products, or your services. If you don’t know how to respond to social media comments or easily get lured into a heated exchange of insults, remember that none of it will make your post history look good as others check out what you posted in the past. At the very least, you should have a separate profile you’ll be using strictly for business purposes to avoid the problem of coming off as unprofessional.
Remember that every time you post on social media, you’re shaping your public persona, which influences how people are going to perceive your future posts. At the end of the day, the vast majority of users will flock to the ones who are the most knowledgeable, clever, witty, and the ones who can add some value to the discussion. No one wants to listen to a jerk. Unless, of course, the jerk knows how to wield the power of edgy humor and sarcasm to get the point across (which can work as long as it stays consistent with the persona you’ve built).
7. Your content does not align with your offerings
If you’re selling tires and your social media feed consists of nothing but inspirational quotes, how does any of it relate to the core of your business? Sure, an inspirational quote or a joke here and there is fine, but even then, you should pick the ones that are in some way, shape, or form aligned with your offerings. For instance, if you’re posting a quote about the importance of seizing the day, add how good it feels to drive your car towards the sunset with a fresh set of tires or something like that.
Another more extreme example that also expands on some of the points made above would be trying to market your counseling services with an account that has a history of hurling insults at those who think differently. Who would want to go see such a therapist? When people look for one, they’re probably looking for someone who’s insightful and trustworthy. The last characteristic they’d want to see is having to reveal their sensitive side to someone who’s quick to judge!
8. You’re posting rehashed content all the time
Although social media algorithms aren’t as brutal compared to Google when it comes to policing duplicate content, you should still make an effort to put your own spin on it. Not for the sake of being original per se, but to have your own voice. After all, this is why most of your followers have decided to subscribe to you in the first place – to hear what YOU have to say, exactly the way you mean it.
At the very least, at least half of your content should come from your keyboard (nothing wrong with using speech-to-text software, just make sure to create something from scratch). That being said, if you’ve found an article that nails exactly what you want to say, it’s fine to link to it as is. In most cases, however, the goal should be to share your perspective on something in an engaging way and find all the necessary facts to support your point of view.
The term you’re looking for is “thought leadership”. As you work on becoming a trusted voice of authority in your niche, people will seek you out to find out what you have to say about certain matters, even if the topic itself has existed for decades. As long as you have a solid command over the language you’re speaking, this shouldn’t be too hard – if you have a fiery opinion about something, use it as a driving force!
If, however, you’re experiencing a writer’s block (it happens to the best too), don’t despair – Ocoya is here! Through its integrated Travis AI, it will generate engaging copy to use as a vehicle of inspiration or use as is if you like any of the myriad of variations it can produce at the click of a button.
As always, visit the app's home page and locate the Travis AI section to your right. Open it.
Keep scrolling down until you see a section that says "Engaging Social Posts". Click it.
Finally, enter your product or brand name (if it applies), a short description, then hit the big green "Generate" button. Watch Ocoya generate your content for you!
9. You aren’t doing market research
A key part of doing market research on social media is identifying the key influencers in your market as well as some of your competitors. Not to copy from them of course, but to get a rough idea of what they’re doing to be successful. Instead of tumbling in the dark and trying to guess what the correct answers are, why not model your own social media marketing strategy after what has been proven to work for others?
Since they’re your direct competitors, you might have second thoughts about becoming their follower, which is valid. The solution is simple; instead of pressing the “follow button”, make a private note or Excel sheet to track them. In case you’re struggling to identify the key names in your market, a simple search will likely tell you all you need to know. The ones with a high follower count are worth paying attention to. Alternatively, there are tools that can help you discover them.
10. You’re not tracking ROI
When all is said and done, the main point of social media marketing is to improve your bottom line. It’s easy to get discouraged if your bank account is not reflecting the hours and hours of work you’re putting into this and we totally get it. The good news is, a simple solution is learning how to track ROI on social media so you’ll know exactly what is and isn’t working.
For starters, every time you promote something from your catalog, use a link shortener such as Ocoya’s Jubb.ly. Not only will it make your links look pretty, it also comes with built-in tracking, so you’ll know how many clicks each of your links is receiving. In turn, you will be able to allocate more time and resources to producing posts that bring you the most traffic and conversions.
If you want to take this further, see if you can use Google Analytics or an open source alternative to track how many visitors coming from social media are converting to subscribers or paid customers. Yes, that’s how detailed these can be!
Although there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to social media marketing, there are certain signs that what you’re currently doing simply isn’t bringing you the desired results, some of which we’ve covered today. Once you’ve uncovered the root cause of the issue, you’ll be able to take what you’ve learned and steer your campaigns in a new direction if need be.
The key takeaway is to not get discouraged! The main difference between those who are successful on social media and those who are not comes down to perseverance and the willingness to learn something new.
Social media marketing can be a difficult beast to tame. On one hand, the core objective is to sell more products, but at the same time, you don’t want to come across as just another pushy salesman who keeps shouting “BUY NOW” from the rooftops without any context whatsoever.