How to know when something just isn’t working

You put a lot of time and effort into your social strategy: Researching, posting, measuring, and more. It can be incredibly frustrating when all of that time and effort doesn’t seem to be paying off. But how do you know when to be patient and when something just isn’t working?

We’ve got some tips covering just that. Got a question or something we missed? Tell us about it on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

Warning 1: A big drop in followers

Sometimes you get a big drop in followers because a social platform has just done a huge purge of spam and/or bot accounts. Double-check before you panic to be sure this isn’t the situation and make it a policy going forward to proactively block any spam accounts that follow you so you aren’t mixing them in with your legitimate audience.

If you just saw a huge drop in followers and it’s not related to a platform purge, you definitely need to pinpoint why. Sometimes the answer will be obvious- if your brand is in the middle of a moment of high-profile crisis, for example- but other times it might not be so obvious. Is it a general dissatisfaction with your industry that isn’t directly related to your brand? How can you fix it? Reach out to your most loyal fans and followers and use feedback from your discussion to build a better outreach program to your target audience in the future.

Warning 2: A huge drop in engagement

If you’ve had highly engaged followers in the past who suddenly aren’t interested in the content you’re putting out, you need to figure out why and fix the problem as soon as possible. Have you changed your content strategy? You don’t want your brand’s content to get stale, but you don’t want to swing wildly in a new direction without knowing that’s what your audience wants from you first, either.

Your most loyal fans and followers are again a great asset here, but you should also consider reaching out to recently departed customers. Make an exit interview part of their cancelation or any return process for your products, if possible. Find out what your brand could do better and make it part of your strategy going forward.

Warning 3: Gradual downward trends

As we discussed in our recent post on the Five social media KPIs you need to be measuring, a downward trend in engagement or share of voice in your industry is often indicative of a bigger issue. It could be that the strategy you’ve been using- content or otherwise- is no longer resonating with your audience. Perhaps your brand voice has gone stale and needs to be refreshed, or it could be a simple issue of the timing of your posts.

There are a lot of reasons to consider, so be patient and use all the information you can gather to fix the problem going forward.

Avoiding these problems

How can you avoid these problems? Having a comprehensive measurement plan in place can help you spot gradual downward trends in the past that you can study for your present and future, and knowing those patterns ahead of time can help you spot trouble before it becomes more serious. Consider something like one of our multi-channel analytics plans to keep an eye on your brand across channels and our Twitter archive search Echo for deep-dives into the past.

Specific, actionable social intelligence. See how Union Metrics helps marketers win.

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