Top 5 Reasons You’re Not Seeing ROI from Social Media

Top 5 Reasons You’re Not Seeing ROI from Social Media

As a marketing professional, I have heard plenty of excuses from business owners about why they aren’t on social media. Just to name a few:


“Social media isn’t for me.”
“I don’t have time for that.”
“I mean, what’s the point anyway?”


The “point” is, successful social media marketing requires a solid strategy. It does not have to be time consuming (hence the need for a solid strategy). Now that consumers are spending more time engaging with brands in the digital space, social media is an important component of any marketing strategy.


In my experience there are 5 reasons why most people don’t see a return on their social media marketing efforts. Let’s identify them and explore the causes and solutions.


#1. You’re on the wrong channel.
The most important tactic in getting a return on time from social media is to be where your audience is. It’s not helpful to be on Facebook if your audience isn’t. As you select your platforms and craft your strategy, keep your customers in mind. Be where they are!


Don’t get me wrong—I’m sure you can find a way to use just about any channel to promote some aspect of your business. Though many businesses can successfully manage a presence across several platforms, it’s best to start small. I’ll share a few reasons why in #4.


#2. You’re not active.
Social media is all about what’s happening right now, and the only way to succeed in that space is to have something to say in the right place, at the right time, to the right audience. Make sure you’re consistent with your posting—don’t let several months pass without engaging with your audience.


While there are many platforms to automate content dissemination, social media still requires a certain level of effort. In my last post, I shared tips on how to plan ahead to make pushing regular content easy. Using tools like Hootsuite and Latergram to schedule automatic posts will save a lot of manual labor (time). If you can’t think of anything interesting to post, using tools like Buffer to recommend and schedule content can be useful as well. Use sparingly though—you still want to use your own content so your followers get to hear your authentic voice.


Now, although you can automate your posts, don’t be a robot. Schedule some content, and then schedule small blocks of time during the week to actively engage on each channel.


Do not link all of your accounts together and cross-post the same message across every channel.


Cross-promotion is good, cross-posting is not. Each social platform is conducive to a certain audience and type of content, so be thoughtful about what you’re posting and where you’re posting it. Don’t post tweets to Facebook, and don’t post long, truncated Facebook links to Twitter that nobody can read. It’s annoying, and a waste of time.


If you want to share the same message across multiple platforms, make sure you reformat it to fit the platform you’re using. This will allow your users to interact with your content in the best possible way.


#3. All you do is sell.
You may use social media to promote your product, but building trust is paramount. Instead of selling all the time, use social media to showcase your business’ values and behind-the-scenes endeavors. The more your audience understands who you are and what you do, the more they will want to buy from you.


For service providers:  Instead of pushing ads and sales-y posts all over your timeline, use it as a way to position yourself as an expert and a resource in your field. I have converted followers into clients by being an expert and a resource—emphasizing the value of my expertise to the right people.


For products:  Instead of constantly hawking your wares, focus on the person behind the product. Share product benefits, suggestions, how-to’s, and other content that is relevant to both the product and the user’s lifestyle. Connect your product’s unique attributes to the customer’s lifestyle and characteristics.


Those who have the most meaningful engagement on social media are what we call Influencers. However, you don’t need 20,000 followers to be an influencer! Be that go-to resource within your niche—your audience. Provide valuable, relevant content that your audience is interested in, and you’re guaranteed to have good engagement and attract new followers within—and sometimes outside of—your niche.


Don’t focus too much on the number of followers you have. The quality of your followers is more important.


#4. You’re doing too much.


social media icons


If your website header or footer looks like this, you’re doing too much. In fact, when a visitor sees this it actually discourages engagement. The main thing that causes social media to be time consuming or overwhelming is being on too many irrelevant channels. When you spread yourself too thin, you can’t keep up with every account and you will lapse in communication. Prioritize your audience(s) by choosing the top networks where they spend their time.


In my business, I focus on 3 channels. I post and engage with people regularly on these channels, and it has made a difference in my business. Best of all, it does not consume a lot of my time!


I’m not saying that you have to limit yourself to 3 channels. But if you are going to spread yourself out, make sure you can keep up with it. It may mean hiring someone to manage and monitor these channels for you, and translate the data into vital information about your audience that you can use in your sales strategy.


Speaking of data…


#5. You don’t measure your influence.
Have you ever examined the analytics behind your social media channels? If not, you’re not alone. I’ve met many business owners who don’t realize the value in regularly monitoring their analytics, but it’s very important to the success of your social media marketing strategy.


Every social media channel has some way to view and measure data such as impressions, reach, and clicks, whether it’s built-in or through a third party integration. You should be monitoring this data constantly and paying attention to what it’s telling you. Don’t get caught up in the actual numbers, but pay more attention to how and when people are engaging with you.


Getting a basic look into your analytics doesn’t cost you a thing! Facebook and Twitter have analytics built in. Third-party tools like Iconosquare provide excellent Instagram analytics, and there are similar tools for Pinterest and other platforms. If you want a deeper dive, you can look into some of the paid services.


If you’re looking for a highly targeted approach or a serious focus on social to boost revenue or the impact of a campaign, this will require a deeper dive. Measuring and translating this data can get complicated, so it would be beneficial to hire someone who knows how to measure and interpret it.


Paying attention to the data and what it’s telling you is essential to improving your content marketing strategy. Knowing simple things like what time of day your audience usually sees your posts can help you adjust your schedule and dramatically increase engagement.


Concluding Tips for Success
If you’re new to social media marketing and not sure where to begin, a good way to start is to look at some of the Influencers that you regularly engage with. What kind of content do they post? Who follows them? Who do they follow? Are they getting a lot of engagement? Watching people who are doing it right will give you inspiration and tactics that you can use.


Consider social media as another touchpoint for your brand. It’s your opportunity to connect directly with your global audience in a meaningful way. Remember: be where your audience is, be active and engaging, monitor your data, and adjust accordingly. These are the key ingredients in the recipe for social media success!


Have these tips changed your perspective on social media marketing? Let me know in the comments.

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Robyn Short

Robyn is a Creative Problem Solver who lives at the intersection of design and business. Her company, All Things Creative, provides branding, design, and marketing assistance to businesses who are serious about growing to the next level. Follow Robyn on Twitter.

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