September 18, 2018

Why Social Media Isn’t Working For You

So you took the first step and signed yourself up for some social media sites and started marketing yourself and now you’re waiting for the traffic to start rolling in. You’ve done your research about social media marketing and everyone tells you to find followers, engage them and turn them into customers. Why isn’t it working for you then?

Have a look at what steps you’ve taken and question whether they are helping or hindering you. Take a look at these items that might be damaging your chances at success or preventing you from achieving your social media goals…

1. You’re Being Too Self Centered

Here is the secret about people. Everyone is pretty worried about themselves and if you want to reach someone you need to be worried about them too. People are only interested in you insofar as they are concerned about how you can help them. Think in terms of how you can provide value to these people. The easiest way to do this is to just worry about how you can help someone else, not talking about yourself and what you are going to get out of it.

2. You Aren’t Visible

You can write what you know and what you love all day. This might give people an idea of who you are and what you think but it probably leaves a lot to the imagination as well. If you take some time to get out and interact with people, via responding to comments, making comments on other blogs and through social media sites, you will make yourself much more visible to others.

Doing this gives you credibility too, when people see you around and providing interesting commentary they will be more likely to check you out. Try to stay within your niche as well, because that’s where your target audience is going to be.

3. You Are Too Serious

There is such a thing as thinking about something too much. If you are going around reading articles about how to be the best you can be, and that’s a noble goal, make sure to take a step back and evaluate what you’ve been told. Maybe certain things aren’t for you, or you could come up with something new that really works.

Test things out and make mistakes if you have to. Just because you haven’t heard it from a social media guru doesn’t mean it can never work. Leave some room for being spontaneous in with all your planning.

4. You Are An Island

It might sound counterintuitive, but promoting other peoples posts can be beneficial for you. If someone in your niche has made a great post, share it. If there is a cool new product that is related to yours, let your followers know.

People will appreciate the value that you bring and you will grow your reputation. Maybe next time when you come up with something great people will be more receptive, knowing that you are someone who shares good content, regardless of the source.

5. You Are On The Wrong Network

Not being on the right networks can prove to be a real problem, but with a bit of research you can find the right spot for your audience. You (hopefully) know who your target market is, so all you need to do is identify where they congregate on the internet.

For example, if you are in the graphic design industry a place like deviantArt would be an amazing place for you to begin networking. On the other hand if you are in the vacuum cleaner business, deviantArt would not be for you. Get out of networks where your target audience isn’t and concentrate your time where you can reach more people.

6. No One Is Sharing Your Content

Its a good idea to check that you’ve provided easy ways for people to share your content. Tools like TweetButton or StumbleUpon buttons are simple to add and make it so much easier for people to share your stuff with others. The easier you make it to share, the more likely people are to do it. It doesn’t hurt to have a button or two built in as a reminder, as long as it isn’t gaudy.

7. Your Site Isn’t Captivating

Maybe you’ve done a good job with your social media outreach. People followed you and see your messages regularly, but traffic has remained pretty constant and hasn’t gone up, or sales are still holding at the same rates. You might need to take a look at your whole operation, website included.

Take a look and consider things that could use improvement. Run some tests with friends/family/person you met off the street five minutes ago. Ask them to have a look at your site and offer feedback for improvements, set up a poll, get the information and make some positive changes. For some more help check out some tips from Copyblogger.

8. You’re a Seller

Don’t sell anything to anyone. If someone thinks they are being pitched to they will turn off and put up guards so you have no chance of getting in. Instead just provide useful services that people WANT and then let them decide on their own what they need.

If you have the patience to let people come to you and you are there providing value to them in some form, be it great content or useful products and services; not only will they be more receptive, but they’ll remember you as the person who helped them out instead of the pushy salesperson!

9. You’re Getting Discouraged and Want to Give Up

Like many great undertakings, social media promotion doesn’t yield results overnight. Have faith in your product and keep getting the word out. If you are persistant you will be discovered by people and if they like what they see they’ll bring other people in on it. Don’t let a slow start get you down, keep your social presence high and wait for good things to come your way.

10. You’re not Having Fun

Take a moment to think right now. Social media, hmm, so I’m spending time on sites like Facebook for work. That’s something most people would have to reserve for leisure time! Now consider that as well. If many people are using social media for fun how can you reach them. You need something interesting and fun to grab their interest away from looking at pictures of puppies or hearing about what someone did on the weekend, even if its for a few minutes.

Write something out of the ordinary that’s just for fun, see how it plays out. Find other interesting people in your niche and follow them, interact with the community and have some fun! If you’re enjoying what you’re doing that’s going to show and people are going to gravitate towards you all the more.

What is your top reason for getting down on yourself about social media? Did you ever want to quit? Did you make a change and see great results? Write a comment and let us know!

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About George McConnell

George McConnell is the head writer for and really likes social media! He is a full time internet entrepreneur and currently writing “That Social Media Book”, focusing on the history and effects of social media on internet and real world culture since its inception.


  1. All your points are dead on George, the bottom line is like in the real world, if you don’t network with people you won’t be successful. If you come off as a robot or self promoter than nobody will care.

  2. Great article George! I especially liked your points about being a contribution with your offerings and leave other people free to accept your offering or not. Look forward to your book!

  3. All valid points, but number 4 is pretty much bang on target. To promote things that are even remotely related to yours is a very good idea to build your brand awareness. You have to enjoy yourself, otherwise social media is really not for you.

  4. Great post, George. Totally agree. We too implore our clients to follow those steps to get the most out of their social media marketing efforts — find the right social networking site to fit their needs, analyze and understand their customers hopes and goals so they can provide content of interest and value, invite response (encourage engagement), and have fun. Will keep our eyes open for your book!

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