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What to Do if Your Social Media Engagement Sucks


If your social media engagement sucks, this article is for you. So many factors go into a successful strategy. Many of them you can control, but some you cannot. 


Enough with the chit-chat. Let’s dive in. 


What to do if your social media engagement sucks


We are going to do an audit of your strategy, starting with best practices. Then we’ll look at the topics you’re sharing and who is on the receiving end of your social media strategy.


Are you following best practices?


It’s easy to get this stuff wrong – a lot of people do. But I’ve got two pieces of good news for you:


  1. Best practices don’t change often.
  2. It’s super easy to incorporate these changes into your current strategy.


White space is your friend


Short sentences and paragraphs are the way to go when it comes to any online content – blog posts, emails, or social posts. It’s faster to read, and more white space makes it easier on the eyes. 


When someone’s scrolling through their feed, fast and easy wins. Remember: we have short attention spans! 


People like snackable content


Speaking of short attention spans, definitely incorporate “quick-bite” or “snackable” content. This is the shortest of the short: a graphic with a quote or copy that is less than 80 characters.


If you have a lot to say, break it up into a few posts. 


Hashtags aren’t a free-for-all


Before you start using hashtags, do some research to see how they’re being used. 


For example, I might think that #socialmediaengagement is a great hashtag to use, but when I look it up, it’s all TikTok-related. I do another search and find that #socialmediatips is more popular for B2B-related content. 


(I didn’t actually do that search, by the way.)


The number of hashtags you use also matter. No more than two on Twitter, four on LinkedIn, and five on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.


Link placement matters


On LinkedIn, always add a link in the comments rather than in the post itself. It’s proven to increase reach and the number of clicks. 


Instagram has always made it hard to add links; you can add one in your bio or in a caption. Likewise, TikTok allow links in your bio. On Twitter, it’s super easy to add and then shorten a link. 


YouTube now allows you to add clickable links to the video itself – not just to the video description. You do this via a card or end screen (read more about it here). 


Consistent visuals are a must


If you’re adding graphics and images along with your social posts, they should have a consistent look and feel. That means picking a color palette and filter and sticking with it. You could even opt to use all custom graphics and photos. 


This is important because your posts will be instantly recognizable when someone’s scrolling through their feed. Also, it looks like you know what you’re doing – that may sound trivial, but it does inspire confidence.


Monitor for engagement


Social media is social. If you’re going to share ideas, stories, and tips, you need to monitor your posts for comments. No need to respond immediately, but within a day is reasonable.


People who post and ghost (ha – that rhymes!) will soon be ignored. 


Social is not about selling


Promoting a product or service on social media is perfectly fine – when done in moderation. No one hops over to social media to see ads.


When you do promote something, it’s best to combine it with a tip or story. If you can inspire the reader with possibilities, they’ll be more open to learning more. 


Tagging expands your reach


When possible and appropriate, tag brands and people in your social posts. I’d caution against doing this to get on a super famous person’s radar. They get tagged all the time.


Instead, look for ways to share the love. Tag a partner when talking about a project you worked on together. Tag the friend who gave you an idea for the blog post. Tag a brand whose products you can’t live without at work. 


Just remember to be authentic. 


Post the right amount on each channel


You need to post pretty regularly on social media in order to get traction and show up in people’s feeds. On LinkedIn and Instagram, post two to three times per week. 


Twitter and TikTok require a lot more activity. On Twitter, aim for up to five tweets per day. Yes, per day. On TikTok, up to six times per week is preferable.


Perhaps your topics aren’t resonating?


If you’re doing everything – or almost everything – listed above, your topics could be falling flat. Finding the topics that resonate the most takes time, so let’s run through what you could be sharing on social.


Share content people love


What’s your most popular content? What generates the most clicks on social and in emails and drives traffic on your website? 


Look at the metrics every month and make a note of the topics people love the most. And by the way, it’s OK to re-share popular content from last year – or even a few years ago.


FAQs are low-hanging fruit


When in doubt, address the questions you are asked the most. You already know people are curious about X. So talk about X! 


Industry trends and statistics, anyone?


I am not a math person, but my gosh I do love a statistic. Statistics help us make decisions about where to spend our time, money, and resources. 


For example, if I told you that visual content is 40x more likely to be shared on social media, you’d probably make the decision to start creating more custom graphics. Well, at least if you wanted to greatly increase your engagement and reach.


Tell client stories


Stories come in a few flavors. You can share conversations you’ve had with clients or partners. You can tell stories of their challenges and how you helped them. Or you can share your own a-ha moments.


Stories are not just engaging – they bring your work and expertise alive. This is especially true if your work is a little abstract, like coaching. A story clearly shows your audience the value you bring to the table.


Sprinkle in actionable tips


What can your audience learn or do right now? A short, actionable tip – like the ones I’m sharing in this blog post – are a perennial favorite on social media. 


Start pulling them from your blog posts, and you’ll have tons of content in no time.


Is your audience/network active on social?


The final piece of the social media engagement puzzle is your audience. 


First, are you connected with all current and past clients? This can be rather tedious, so if you have an assistant, ask them to check.


Second, are you connected to your ideal clients? Do this asap so you can start showing up in their feeds and engaging with them in a non-salesy way. 


Third, what about your partners and the connectors you’ve met? I get a lot of work through these two groups. If you do too, make sure they’re part of your network.


Finally, are they active on the channels you’re using? I find it maddening that marketing executives in larger companies – the ones who could bring me in on projects – are not very active on LinkedIn. 

If this is true for you, too, find out where they are hanging out. (This blog post offers tips on how to reach the unreachable.)


Social media marketing is a long game


If you’ve only been active on social media for a few weeks or months, remember that social media marketing is a long-term investment. Stick with it!


And if you have another issue with social media engagement that I didn’t cover in this blog, let me know! I’ll do my best to answer your question and provide you with a way forward.


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