What’s up with our social? Whether someone is asking you that question, or you’re asking yourself, here are a couple things to consider before you start making excuses or assumptions about why your community is to blame and not you.
1. You’re content is weak.
If you’ve been posting about the same things, directing people to the same webpage, re-using pictures, duplicate language…..snap out of it. Look back 3 months ago and if see the exact same style messages on your networks, your content strategy needs a makeover asap. People didn’t become fans of your page or follow you because they enjoy nothing but endless commercials about what your company’s list of services are. They’re fans because the want to hear your take on your industry’s news, announcements, and events -- original content.
2. Large community size, but no one interacting.
You have 50,000 fans/followers and on a good day get 2 likes or a retweet, and one of them is always the president of the company. This is because your fanbase is dormant, most likely due to #1 above. Another reason could be that your messaging and structure is off. The great thing about social is your ability to constantly test new things. Post at different times of day and week. Use different context or perspective in messaging. Did I mention advertising boost? Your messages may not be showing up in feeds because your reputation for content is crap and Facebook knows that. Throw some dollars behind good posts to revitalize your fanbase, as well as get in front of new people. Shake it up, see what happens.
3. You’re not providing any value.
Some people join your community because they’re just genuine fans and could care less about what you post or if you even post at all - looking at you Gold Bond, ;). But that’s only SOME people. MOST people join the community for what you can provide them. Rich content, new information, campaigns, inside looks…etc. Your social fans are fans because they like you, so treat them well. Ask yourself a simple question, why would anyone want to follow or become a fan? If you answered “I don’t know”, then you’re in the wrong department or are in dire need of some brand soul-searching.
4. You don’t respond. To anyone. At all.
If picking up the phone and calling a customer service line were ‘just easier’, then they would’ve done that already. If someone reaches out to you, asks a question or leaves an observation, take the time to interact with them. If they ask a question on social, answer it on social (if possible). The acknowledgment alone helps your image as an engaged community and not just a billboard of your brand’s message. You can’t expect your community to be active if you, the administrator, the voice of the brand, are not. Don’t assume your audience enjoys talking to a brick wall, because they don’t.
5. No one redeemed our ’special offer’, so we don’t do that anymore.
Well then it probably wasn’t that special then, was it? Learn from your communities. If no one bites, then go back to the drawing board. Your job isn’t to feed your fans enough to keep them alive, your job is to reward them. Like, actually reward them. Does that mean enormous giveaways every week? No, but a campaign every once in a while surely helps. Content themes take time to develop and gain steam. The results of a one-off post are not indicative of what your community likes/dislikes. As is the case with #2, try posting different times, days of the week and with persistence.
The first thing you need to do is admit defeat. Acknowledge that you need to change, that it’s not your community that has the problem, its you, and begin breaking it down. You may have lost touch with your audience, but you can always win them back with revitalized content strategy and a little ad-spend. Whatever you do, don’t assume the status quo is permanent.