6 Warning Signs That Your Social Media Marketing Efforts Are Failing

Do you sense that your social media marketing isn’t providing the outcomes you had hoped for?

Having a strong social media marketing strategy is growing more and more important for businesses and the success that they’re seeking.

Just a few years ago, social media could be viewed as a supplemental marketing effort, but the marketing world of today largely revolves around social media.

This means if your social media marketing efforts are failing, your marketing as a whole is likely to falter as well.

But how do you know if your social media marketing strategy is failing? What are the signs that your marketing tactics aren’t working the way that they should?

It is important to remember that there are a number of issues that could influence how you would perceive a failing social media marketing strategy.

Not all companies design campaigns with the same end goals in mind, so while higher engagement might be a gold star for one company, another may be looking for a boost in sales.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the warning signs that could mean your social media marketing strategy is failing and needs to be readjusted.

#1: You’re Not Getting Any Engagement

This is probably the easiest warning sign to identify, and should be the first place to check if you’re worried that your social media strategy is failing.

If you are consistently posting to your social media platforms, but you’re not seeing any likes, favorites, or reposts, then you can assume your social media marketing strategy isn’t doing as well as it could be.

When your followers aren’t engaging with your posts, there are a number of things that could be behind the lack of action. What you first need to consider is the amount of engagement you were getting on posts before you began your campaign. If the number of likes, favorites, or reposts you are getting is now lower than it was in the past, it probably means that your followers are not identifying or agreeing with the information you’re sharing. You may have gotten too far away from the information they are looking to see or your information just isn’t making an impact.

Keep in mind that there is a correlation between the frequency of posting and the engagement. Sometimes, the correlation is negative. Sometimes, it’s positive. It all depends on what your audience wants, and how they engage.

Buffer, for example, Tweets 14 times a day.


You may wish to do the same, or you may wish to limit your tweeting.

Research indicates that the optimal posting frequency to Facebook is once a day.


By posting at a better frequency, you may be able to elicit more engagement from your audience.

Take a step back from your campaign and look at your social media as a whole. What information gets the most engagement? What posts have been the most popular? Consider where you have already done well and try to craft future posts to match those popular ideas. You should immediately see an increase in your engagement.

#2: Engagement Isn’t Translating into Action

Although engagement can often be the number one sign that your social media marketing campaign is failing, it isn’t a clear indication that your marketing campaign is doing well. Even if you are getting a ton of engagement on all of your posts, you may not see an increase in the products or services you were outlining in your campaign.

In an ideal world, every person that engages with your social media posts will go on to make a purchase. Obviously, this isn’t going to happen.

However, it is still important to consider the ratio of people who engage with your posts and those who move on to fulfill the action you suggested.

The core idea here is to build a social media funnel to grow your business.


If you are getting a few dozen or hundred likes to shares on your posts, you should expect to see a good portion of those individuals moving on to respond to your CTA.

If your engagement isn’t translating into action, you most likely are just teetering on the border of information that is interesting, but not interesting enough to make followers click through. In addition, you may not be providing users with a strong CTA to push them to take action.

Make sure you’re using CTAs in your posting and using the right CTAs that make a difference.

Research on CTAs on Twitter found that simply asking for what you want will often get results.


Reevaluate your messaging and content and find ways to make your posts more attractive, compelling, and powerful.

#3: You’re Not Setting Up a Clear Path to Purchase

Social media should be used as a tool to nudge your customers, clients, and followers along to complete a desired action.

Research shows that customers use social media for virtually every type of purchase — even buying a car.


What’s more, social media users look to engage socially at every phase of the purchase cycle.

Every social media effort should have a spot in the sales cycle, moving the user gradually towards a purchase.

Consider how a typical path to purchase looks like, using LinkedIn.


Keep in mind that social media plays a crucial role in the sales cycle. Tracking your customer journey from awareness to conversion will help to refine and improve your efforts.


If your social media pages do not take into consideration the many people at different stages of the cycle, you are missing out on potential opportunities. If you are only focusing on one level, such as only getting individuals to sign up for your newsletter, you aren’t addressing all the individuals who have already signed up for your newsletter.

Another problem is if you aren’t clearly telling your followers what you would like them to do. Each of your social media posts should provide a clear link to perform the action you are looking for. If you would like them to read a blog post, sign up for a newsletter, or make a purchase, you need to provide your followers with a clear path to get there.

Social media can be part of every phase in the path to purchase, or it may touch on only some of the points. Either way, it’s important to be aware and intentional as to how you implement it.


Consider your social media marketing campaign and the way it works with your other marketing strategies.

Each phase of your strategy should seamlessly work within one another so that your followers can enter the system and move swiftly through until the desired action is complete.

If you aren’t setting up a clear path from Point A to Point B, you can’t expect your social media marketing strategy to be successful.

#4: You’re Asking for Too Much

There are very few potential customers out there who are willing to make a purchase based off of a single tweet. Even if the product or service is small, the user needs to establish a sense of urgency and that this is the exact product they need to fill a particular service.

Many social media marketing strategy campaigns fail because marketers don’t take the time to consider realistic goals or the buying habits of their customers.

They consider the product they would like to sell the most of and target it throughout a social media campaign. While this may work if you already have a group of established customers following your pages, most customers aren’t going to make a purchase based off of one social media post that happened to appear on their timeline.

Consider your social media pages like a retail worker in a physical store. If they suggest their most expensive items right when you walk in, you’re probably going to assume they have nothing within your price point or that fits your needs.

You’ll turn right back around and walk out. Now consider if they offer you something quick, at a low price point, and doesn’t take much commitment. You’ll be more likely to test the waters and determine if the product is right for you.

#5: You’re Not Showing Any Personality

Although your social media pages are a great tool for pushing sales and exposure, if that is all you promote, you’re not going to have a great social media presence. While there is nothing wrong with using post programmers, your followers don’t want to feel like they are following a computer.

Failing to show any bit of personality to your social media posts usually means that people aren’t going to engage with your posts, they might unfollow you, and they’re less likely to follow through on your desired action.

A powerful example of personality in social media marketing is Gary Vaynerchuk. If you want to add some dynamite to your social media, act like Gary.


Part of Gary’s success is his personality. He lets loose on social media, and his fans love it.

Do you have to be an individual or act like Gary in order to be successful?

Of course not. Big brands can express a personality just as well.


Potential customers enjoy doing business with businesses and brands that they feel like they have something in common with.

This means that your social media posts should sound like there is a voice behind them and that a single person who embodies your brand is creating them.

#6: You’re Not Engaging Back

You need to view your social media platforms like a party. While you may have some great points to make and things to say, no one will want to communicate with you if you are only speaking and not listening.

You can’t expect anyone to take the time to listen to your message if you are unwilling to engage in conversation with them.

For big companies, it can be difficult to engage with every customer or client that interacts with you on social media, but it is necessary to do so as much as possible.

If you simply allow customer’s comments, questions, or concerns to go unnoticed or unrecognized, you’re presenting an image that you don’t care about the wellbeing of your customers or that you don’t appreciate the commitment a customer gives you.

Something as simple as liking a post directed at you and your company is enough to show your customers that you are listening and that you took the time to read what they sent you. If you have the time or an adequate response, send them a message back. Customers love when brands engage with them and it can make them feel more favorable about you.


Social media marketing is continuing to grow. As more and more marketing efforts move from standard print or commercials and begin to make their way to online avenues, having the right marketing strategies in place is crucial. If you are consistently creating marketing strategies that aren’t meeting your desires or living up to their expectations, it’s time to reconsider what you are doing wrong and try something new.

One of the biggest benefits to social media marketing is that it is relatively free and easy to change. Unlike advertisements and marketing campaigns of the past, development and materials took time and getting the right placement took money. But with social media marketing, if something doesn’t work the way you were hoping, you can always try again the next day. That is why there is no excuse to not immediately make change to a failing social media marketing strategy.

  1. If you think your social media marketing strategy is failing, first take a look at your engagement levels.
  2. Then, move on to consider how many people are engaging with your posts and continuing on to perform an action.
  3. If you’re not getting the results you were hoping, you may not be laying out a clear path to purchase.
  4. In some cases, you might be asking for too much too soon.
  5. Make sure you are infusing your posts with your brand’s personality and cultivating a tribe with the attitude you choose to adopt.
  6. Finally, make sure you reciprocate any engagement you receive from your fans and followers.

If you can take each of these steps and implement them into your campaign, you should begin to see a higher success rate.

What are some warning signs that you’ve observed in a social media marketing effort?

Jessica Corry

Jessica is a marketing consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship.

More Posts

You may also like