Updated: Jul 27
More and more people are spending more and more time on social media than ever before,, making it an essential part of any company’s digital marketing strategy today. But if you aren’t seeing the engagement levels you hoped for when you started out, there may be some common mistakes you’re making that could be to blame. Here are eight reasons your social media content may be failing to connect with your target audience, along with tips on how to avoid them in the future.
1) People get bored quickly
It’s a proven fact that our attention spans are becoming shorter. Keep your content relevant, relatable, and entertaining or people will start to tune out. The average human attention span in 2000 was 12 seconds; now it’s just eight. And if they are tuned in, they’re multitasking, which tends to make people more forgetful. If your content is easy to tune out, it won’t get the attention of the multitasking mind, so make sure you snag your viewers’ interest.
2) Insufficient frequency
No social media strategy will succeed if it’s not updated frequently. In fact, recent research shows that frequency drives engagement on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. If you don’t regularly post content or replies on these channels, your audience might feel like you’re no longer interested in connecting with them. And if they think you aren’t interested in connecting with them anymore...well, they might just stop following you. That’s a conversation killer before it even starts! So, make sure you have a posting schedule in place—and stick to it. (This goes for company blogs too!) It doesn’t matter how engaging your content is; if people can’t find it because there isn’t enough of it out there, then your efforts are going to fall flat. You want your customers to see your name regularly enough that it’s at the forefront of their minds when they are thinking about the type of product or services you sell!
3) Posts are too long
No one wants to sit through a 3,000-word essay when they just want to scroll through social media, especially from a brand/ Sure, you have something really important and meaningful to say—but we’ll never know if you don’t convey it succinctly. Anecdotalism can be your friend here; instead of writing paragraph after paragraph of text, insert stories or examples that illustrate your message. You’ll come off as more relatable and interesting (and still make your point). This isn’t always easy for every topic, but for many cases, it’s well worth it. Instead of trying to convey your message with a lot of words, focus on succinct, clear statements that use fewer but more powerful words.Clunky language distracts readers, turning them off rather than pulling them in. Use plain language that flows naturally instead of marketing speak that makes your content difficult to digest.
4) Wrong voice tone
If you notice that your audience isn’t engaging with your content, it could be due to a mismatch in voice tone. Find out what’s right for you by performing research on competitors and influencers in your industry. By reading through their social media posts, blogs, and tweets, you can start figuring out which voice tone resonates best with your target market. It may take some trial and error, but don’t give up—the payoff will be worth it! Make sure that you understand how to tailor your messaging so it feels natural to your target audience. For example, if humor works well with your followers, make sure you are sprinkling humor throughout your marketing efforts.
5) Images don’t match up with the copy
No matter how compelling your text, if your audience can’t relate it with what they see in a visual medium (e.g., an image), then you are losing valuable opportunities for communication. Similarly, users might feel confused if there’s no apparent connection between one piece of content and another (e.g., what does this cat have to do with a plumbing company?). If you want to be successful on social media, ensure that your visuals match up with your copy so readers understand how each element relates to one another.
6) Too much self-promotion
If people are receiving updates in their social media feeds that are nothing but blatant self-promotion, they’re not going to be interested. Yes, you want to keep your brand in front of your audience. But there’s a fine line between promotion and spam. It can be easy to cross over into spam territory—and if you do, that doesn’t make people any more likely to purchase from you! Users want to follow pages that are relevant to them, not pages that just feel like constant advertising. They want to feel like they are building a relationship to you and your company, not just being sold to. Instead of constantly self-promoting, try posting content that engages your target audience or sharing links to articles related to your industry. This will encourage engagement with other users as well as demonstrate expertise within your industry. The most effective marketing isn’t just about promoting yourself; it’s about creating value for others.
7) Bad hashtags
While hashtags have become an integral part of social media and help organize your posts by categorizing them, using too many or using generic hashtags can make your content seem unprofessional. To ensure that your posts are getting seen, choose hashtags that are relevant to your business, not just a few generic ones (e.g., using “#clothingboutique” instead of just “#business”). Having relevant tags makes it easier for people looking for a specific subject matter or product to find you. Also, don’t use more than two in one post—this will confuse readers who may not know what all of those hashtags mean. Finally, avoid including any spaces in your hashtag as some sites won’t recognize it if there are spaces.
8) Typos and grammatical errors
The online world isn’t forgiving, and even a single typo or poor grammar choice can tank your credibility in an instant. The average reader can spot typos from a mile away, so make sure your spelling and grammar are top-notch before hitting publish. If you don’t feel confident about proofreading your own content, bring in an editor who specializes in social media marketing. You’ll be glad you did!