Knowing when it’s time to break up with your current social media platform can be an excruciating decision. The more time and money you’ve spent trying to make it work for your business, the harder it gets.
The simple truth is that some brands just aren’t good matches with certain social media platforms. Can you imagine Kim Kardashian using LinkedIn as her #1 social channel? Of course not, because LinkedIn doesn’t align with her brand or attract her target audience.
It’s important to carefully evaluate the performance of your current social channels and determine if you’re on the right ones, or if a breakup should be in the works.
4 Signs You’re on the Wrong Social Media Platform
There are four clear signs that it’s time to abandon a social media platform and move on to a more productive channel:
- You have absolutely no engagement
- Your followers aren’t growing
- The little engagement you have is off topic
- The channel isn’t driving traffic to your website
Individually, these signs don’t always indicate you’re on the wrong social channel. But when you can consistently identify two or more signs in your social performance, a breakup is around the corner.
For example, if you have no engagement it might just mean you’re sharing the wrong type of content and your target audience isn’t interested. But it could also be a sign that your audience isn’t using that social platform.
As you move through this blog post, you’ll notice that many of the same signs can be an indication of multiple problems. When that’s the case, you need to experiment in order to determine what the real cause is before taking drastic measures.
Let’s go through each of these four warning signs in more detail.
1. You Have Absolutely NO Engagement
An account that receives zero engagement is disheartening. Especially if it’s a repeating pattern that happens each time you publish a post:
There are three possible reasons your social media account isn’t earning engagement:
- You’re not incentivizing your audience to engage by asking the right questions, highlighting their needs and your solutions, or creating a two-way conversation
- Your content doesn’t resonate with your audience
- Your audience isn’t on that platform
If you’ve fallen victim to the third reason, it’s time to quit that social media channel and move to one that allows you to interact with your target audience. Trying to create engagement in places where your audience doesn’t exist is a complete waste of your resources.
You can’t create an audience. You can only define one, find where they spend time, and interact with them.
It’s Not the Social Network, It’s You
If your audience is on your current social channel and you’re still having a lot of problems, you’re probably doing something that’s discouraging them from engaging. Possibly broadcasting content at them, rather than communicating with them. Or worse yet, broadcasting content that doesn’t even appeal to them.
Think of your social media account as a platform where the main goal is to help people. Find ways to provide value and your audience will keep coming back for more.
Start by learning social media best practices, then implement those best practices using your content to reach people and build an online community.
2. Your Follower Count is Stagnant
Everyone loves to see their follower count grow. A large following doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll drive more traffic or push sales higher, but it can act as a form of social proof, lending legitimacy to your brand’s online presence.
When you’re experiencing little to no growth in followers, that’s a symptom of something more serious. Your targeting the wrong people with your content, or your audience isn’t spending time on that social media platform.
Pay attention to your analytics and dig deep into your performance metrics. If your social followers are made up of 78% males and your target audience is young mothers, you need to reevaluate.
3. Engagements are Completely Off Topic
How many times have you published content on your social channels only to receive a weird, off-topic comment that has absolutely nothing to do with your post?
In addition to irrelevant comments you’ll probably receive a lot of “angry” reactions on Facebook, and mean-face emojis everywhere else.
If that’s the case, there’s a strong possibility that the majority of your audience doesn’t use that social platform. However, this can also indicate that your targeting is way off or the content you’re sharing is controversial.
Again, it’s important to experiment with your content, targeting, and messaging before pulling the plug on a social media platform. You wouldn’t want to leave a social platform only to learn that your messaging was the problem and your audience really was there all along.
4. Social Media is Not Driving Website Traffic
Website traffic is one of the biggest benefits for brands executing a strategy on social media. If you’re not seeing any web traffic—or it’s too minimal to mention—there are several potential reasons, including:
- You aren’t sharing content that interests your target audience
- Your audience isn’t spending time on that social media channel
- You aren’t sharing content that links to your website as often as you should
- Your CTAs aren’t engaging your target audience
Are these reasons sounding repetitive yet? Probably, but that’s because the cause for a lot of these problems can be very similar.
If you’re not sure how much traffic is being driven to your website by social media, look at your referral traffic sources in your website analytics.
The percentage of traffic referred by social media will vary according to the industry. For entertainment brands—like BuzzFeed—a large portion of their traffic will typically come from social.
Solving Your Social Media Woes
There’s still an unanswered question here:
“How do I know if I’m doing things wrong (sharing the wrong content or not encouraging engagement) or if I’m on the wrong a social media platform?”
Simple. Just experiment with the content you share and do your research. If you’ve been sharing Forbes articles 100% of the time without sharing original content or articles from other sources, try adding some variety.
Take the time to get to know your audience on a very personal level. Research everything from their purchasing behavior and demographics, to their hobbies and preferred methods of communication.
Don’t abandon a social channel without testing to see if your tactics are to blame. Sometimes a simple adjustment in messaging or the inclusion of visual content vs. blog content can transform social performance.
If you’re still experiencing the same problems after switching things up on the content front, it’s probably time to move on.
This article was originally published here.