Picture this: you’ve spent hours building up a library of social media graphics, formulating the “perfect” captions to go along with it. When it comes time to post, you hit that button with sheer excitement and wait for the likes to roll in…
And you wait, and wait, and wait some more… but they don’t quite hit the numbers you had hoped for.
“What the heck am I doing wrong here?! My post was so fun!”
The sad truth about social media? It doesn’t matter how beautifully designed your content is or how curated your captions are. If you don’t have a reason for posting, if you don’t have a strategy in mind, you won’t get the results you really want.
You’re on social media to connect with your audience, which in turn, helps you sell. But how do you figure out what’s working and what isn’t? You can see likes and reach, but are those posts with the most likes really doing anything for you? Probably not, if you’re here reading this!
This post is all about uncovering 5 common reasons why your social media content isn’t working for your business or brand – and how to fix it.
Mistake no. 1: You’re not thinking about your target audience
The most important thing to keep in mind when creating social media content isn’t finding the perfect image or graphic. It’s not about driving more sales or more followers — it's about connecting your target audience. Understanding your target audience means creating content that they will relate to — who are they? Why are they on Instagram or your chosen platform? What problems do they have and how can you help them?
Think about how your content can help your potential customers and clients. Brainstorm posts that encourage and inspire them. Clearly show that you have the answer to the issue they want to fix. When you understand what your target audience is looking for and what they need, it’s much easier to create content that will grow your online presence.
Mistake no. 2: Your content isn’t engaging
No one wants to have boring content. That’s a given. But making sure your content is engaging enough for the right audience — and is on-brand — is a must. Don’t overlook this.
We know there are so many brands out there with hilarious captions and Reels, but don’t be tempted to bend your brand voice to “be like them.” Focus on your brand voice and how you can pull that out in your posts. Think about how you can introduce your concepts or share ideas in a way that aligns with your brand voice. Don’t be super conversational — “Hey bestie!” — when your brand voice is a little calmer — “Happy Monday!”
You should (again) be thinking about your ideal audience here, too. Create posts that your target audience will find intriguing. Post about something they’ll feel passionate about or that they really relate to. Post about the causes that are important to you. Interest and passion can be felt a mile away, and alternatively, people can tell when your heart is just not in it. Don’t waste another second creating posts just because you think you have to.
Engaging content ideas
You didn’t think we’d just leave it at that, did you? Here are a few ways you can engage your audience based on their style and your brand voice.
- Grab their attention with ALL CAPS, advice, personal stories, giveaways, or simply ask questions.
- Be relatable. Building a genuine connection with your audience is a sure-fire way to keep people engaged.
- Ask questions. You don’t have to talk at your followers; ask them for their ideas and thoughts in the comments or DMs.
- Be helpful — people are coming to you because you have value and expertise.
- Create saveable content like workout tips, quick tutorials, or recipes.
Mistake no. 3: You’re not consistent
You don’t have to post every single day if you don’t want to (or don’t have the time to!), but to keep a steady flow of growth on your social media channels, you need to be consistent. When you show up consistently and share valuable content, your audience is more likely to engage with your content and see you as an expert in that particular subject, field, or industry. When that happens? You’re in a great spot to grow.
That being said… it’s better to focus on quality, not quantity. Showing up everywhere all the time is overwhelming, but if you stay focused on the right people (aka that target audience who could turn into clients or customers) and the right platforms (where your people spend their time), it’s much easier to grow online.
Gone are the days of posting for the sake of posting. Instead of trying to create tons of content just to have something to share every day, focus on creating a few pieces of content that your target audience will find valuable.
Mistake no. 4: You're not using call-to-actions (CTAs)
CTAs are a huge piece of any social media marketing strategy. You’re literally calling your audience to take action, such as clicking a link, making a purchase, etc. And they aren’t just for emails and sales pages either. You can add them at the ends of your Stories, posts, and Reels to point people in the right direction.
If you want to see any leads from your social media efforts, don’t forget the CTAs. Some ideas for a good CTA on social media include asking someone to:
- Like or share your post
- Save your post
- Leave a comment
- Tag others
- Click the link in your bio or story
- DM you to discuss something specific to your post
Whatever it is you want them to do, make it clear and easy for them to do it.
Mistake no. 5: You’re not paying attention to analytics
Posting and never checking your analytics is like taking a shot in the dark or playing a guessing game. We’re conditioned to think that followers mean everything and, if that number grows at all, we might fall into the trap of thinking we’re doing everything right. But if you’re not seeing tangible results from those numbers, they’re just vanity metrics!
You want to get down to the nitty-gritty and know what’s driving traffic to your website and getting more eyes on your offers. With algorithms constantly changing, you need to be aware of what's working and what isn't.
Use your analytics dashboards to learn:
- What content resonates with your audience and encourages more clicks, likes, or comments?
- What content drives conversations in your comments or DMs?
- What content isn’t doing so well (low engagement, likes, reach, etc.)?
- What content is actually driving people to your website, blog, or sales pages?
It’s also important to remember that content that drives engagement isn’t always the content that drives sales. Engagement is crucial, but don’t forget to focus time and energy on content that makes you money, too.
Bonus! Mistake no. 6: You haven’t invested in a stock photo membership
Great social media content goes beyond simple feed graphics — it also includes high-quality photography and videos. While we know having great visuals means more eyes on your posts, we also know that not everyone is a photographer or can budget for an on-call brand photographer to follow them around (#goals).
When you join Styled Stock Society, you’ll get access to all the tools, templates, and stock photos and videos you need to show up online consistently and with great visuals. From thousands of stock photos to hundreds of Canva templates and a growing library of stock video, we’ve got you covered!
You’ve got unlimited access to stunning visuals waiting at your fingertips… so what are you waiting for?! Oh… and did we mention our members also get a full calendar of caption prompts and templates each month? You’ll never run out of things to post when you join our membership!