You heard all the hype, and you were excited about the sheer potential social media could offer you. It’s completely free to use (unless you’re paying for ads), and has the power to connect your business with billions of people.
But you aren’t connecting with billions of people. Instead, you have maybe a few dozen followers — most of whom are under your employ — or maybe you started off strong but have hit a serious plateau.
Whatever the case, your social media strategy isn’t working. So what can you do?
Knowing When Your Campaign Is in Trouble
First, make sure your campaign is actually in trouble. It takes a long time to earn a strong following, so if you’re only a couple of weeks in, don’t panic yet. However, if you’ve spent several weeks on a campaign and you aren’t seeing any meaningful traction in any of the following areas, it’s time to take significant action to restore your campaign:
· Follower numbers.
· Follower engagement (such as comments, signups, and participation in contests).
· Site traffic.
Evaluating Your Options
There are many potential avenues for development from here, but I recommend the following nine:
1. Do more. This first strategy is probably the most obvious: do more. Are you posting new content regularly? If you’re already posting once a week, try upping it to three times a week. Do you reach out to 20 new people a week? Try reaching out to 50 from now on. Remember to apply this to the quality of your work too — not just the quantity. Step up the amount of original research you use in your posts, and how much time you spend listening to your audience.
2. Try a different platform. You could be using a bad blend of social media platforms, and with so many options available, it’s no mystery why. Research which platforms your customers are using most — and don’t just look at the total number of users. What are they using to engage with brands? Which platforms are affecting their purchasing decisions?
3. Experiment with new mediums. Next, you’ll want to try experimenting with the types of posts you publish. Are you usually writing content and posting the links, relying on your social platforms as mediums of syndication? Try posting images, or streaming video. Try running contests or other participation-related posts. Keep tinkering with new ideas until you find some that truly resonate with your audiences. Here are 101 content ideas to get you started.
4. Step up the engagement factor. Speaking of resonating with your audiences, increase the amount of engagement you’re doing. Talk to your followers, one on one if you can, on a personal level. Respond to their questions and comments, and carry on conversations with them. A small personal touch here can make a follower loyal forever — and attract even more people to your brand at the same time.
5. Retarget. If you’re trying all the “right” tactics and your audience still isn’t biting, consider shifting to an alternative demographic. Is there another, more specific segment of your audience that you can focus on? Is there a better way to differentiate yourself from your competitors?
6. Rebrand. When I say “rebrand,” I don’t necessarily mean redesigning your entire company from the ground up. You could just as easily adopt a slightly new persona on your social media accounts, such as one that’s slightly edgier than usual, or more articulate. Obviously, you’ll want this brand to be in line with your target audience (especially if you’ve recently shifted your targets), so choose a persona that would naturally be appealing to them. Chances are, even if you don’t connect as strongly as you thought you might, you’ll at least get some extra attention and new followers out of the deal.
7. Invest in advertising. Part of the appeal of social media is its cost efficiency — it’s free to make posts to your profile, even as a business. However, advertising isn’t as pricey as you might think. You can place a Facebook ad with a budget as low as $5 per day, and earn between 5 and 30 clicks for that $5 (depending on your targets, your industry, and your competition). Investing in advertising is an easy way to get a short-term boost for your brand’s visibility, which could be exactly what you need if you’ve tried all the above strategies but still aren’t seeing results.
8. Consider hiring a professional. If you’ve been trying to do all of these things on your own, you’re probably exhausted and out of ideas. It’s definitely time to consider bringing in a professional — even if it’s just a consultation to see what you could be doing differently. It’s well worth the investment if it means seeing a consistently positive ROI in the future.
9. Abandon ship. As much as I love social media and am a proponent of the idea that any business can benefit from social media, it’s definitely a bigger powerhouse for some businesses than it is for others. If you’ve tried all the above strategies and you still aren’t seeing the results you were hoping for, it may be time to move forward by simply cutting your losses, and perhaps investing in a different strategy altogether. There are hundreds of options here, so experiment until you find one with a better ROI.
If you’re experiencing slow growth or a negative “backlash” period, it’s not necessarily a sign that you’re doing everything wrong. Plateaus are a normal part of social media development, as you’ll see if you stick with the strategy. However, if you want to keep moving forward you can’t allow yourself to remain satisfied with this level of performance. It’s on you to make changes, try new things, and incorporate these tactics to restore your momentum to its full potential.