6 Reasons You’re Being Social Media Ignored

We’re just two weeks into 2011 and you may already be feeling a little social media frustrated. It’s okay, you can admit it. You can admit that, despite all your best efforts, your social media accounts are failing to connect with the right people. In fact, sometimes you’re left to wonder if they’re connecting with anyone. You’re not seeing any replies, no retweets and your follower count has been stuck at 200 for three months. What’s going on?

It’s a question I get a lot from small-, medium- and even large-business owners when it comes to the status of their social media accounts. When things aren’t going quite the way you’d hope, sometimes it can be tough to figure out why. However, below are some common reasons I see for why businesses find themselves social media ignored.

1. You don’t update enough: If you want people to connect with you, you have to be present. You have to constantly be updating your accounts, sharing information, talking to people, and acting like you’re part of the community. While we’re all busy and it’s sometimes hard to fit yet-another-task into your schedule, it’s all part of creating that social presence. If you’re having a difficult time finding time to Facebook, schedule it into your day or week. The same way you schedule in all your other work, schedule in these types of tasks to make yourself accountable for them.

2. You go update overboard: Woah, Nelly. Slow down. It’s not necessary to post a new Facebook update every five minutes. In fact, you really don’t want to. By posting too much information you begin to overload your community and make it difficult for them to keep up with your updates. They may also suffer brand blindness – failure to notice your avatar because it’s all they ever seen. If you’re not sure how many times you should updating you may want to take a look at how often some of your favorite brands update their accounts. What frequency seems to be working for them? Don’t be afraid to experiment and see just how much (or little) your customers want from you.

3. You’re not providing enough value: One big mistake I see brands make with social media is that they update for the sake of updating. It’s almost as if it’s Wednesday at 9am and they suddenly realize they haven’t said anything all week. So they’ll log into Twitter and write about what their cat did this morning or how much traffic there was on the freeway coming into work. While it’s fine to share lifestyle tweets, you want to make sure you’re also providing value. You want to create a strategy for the type of content you’ll be sharing and how you’ll communicate with your audience. Whether you decide you want to share value through posting links, writing great content, offering deals & promotions, or just having above-and-beyond levels of customer service is up to you. However, you should know what that value is and what your goal is for being there.

4. You don’t respond to others: Are you monitoring your social mentions so that you can respond to people who mention your brand or who ask questions that you can answer? If not, it would help the health of your account to start. The point of social media is to be social. Take time to track down the people talking about your brand or to monitor keywords appropriate to your business, and then hop into the conversation. There’s nothing worse than a brand that has a Twitter account but doesn’t respond when you ask them a question. It’s like you’re there, but ignoring them.

5. You’re too salesy: We like marketing in social media the same way we like it everywhere else – subtle and when it doesn’t feel like marketing. If you try to use social media to “sell” your customers, you may actually be turning them off. Instead, use these platforms to let them get to know the person behind the brand. Once they form that connection with you, they’ll be much more interested in hearing about what you do for a living and how they may be useful to them. Avoid being salesy as much as possible. Instead, just be a person with a no agenda.

6. You’re hiding from your customers: Do your customers know these social media accounts or are you hiding from them? Are you promoting your Facebook account from your Web site, in your email newsletter, on your Web site? If you’re not and you’re simply hoping they’ll find your social accounts on your own, well, that may be a big reason why your numbers aren’t growing. People can’t connect with you if they don’t know you’re there. Make sure you’re promoting your presence.

Above are some common reasons why customers aren’t connecting with you on social media. Any I missed?


Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

18 Reactions
  1. You missed the fact that I’m incredibly boring…

  2. Thanks, Lisa!

    Yes; one has to actually respond back. It’s what makes social media a two-way communication!

    Commenting on blogs that you follow, making comments on others statuses, and just making sure that the folks that like and trust you-hear from you, will all contribute to more non-ignoring.

    It’s so important.

    The Franchise King

  3. Great Advice,

    There is a fine line between social media and using it for your business, you want to stay active in the community without the community always feeling like you are trying to sell the something. Its OK to mention new products, and services offered by your company, but it is better to phrase so that it will help the community, and maintain a social voice, like two friend talking.

  4. I agree with Andy; many are just plain boring. I guess you could put this under not providing value, but some social media accounts are just plain lame.

  5. Hi Lisa,

    No doubt that social media would fail if the points you mentioned aren’t taken into consideration especially point # 4, people log on to social media to make a conversation, if they don’t receive any response from you, they would feel ignored and will not visit the page again. Therefore, one must make sure to have a highly interactive platform. Thanks for sharing!

    Riya Sam
    Training for Entrepreneurs.com

  6. Getting clients to update enough is a challenge, especially on Twitter. They want to Tweet once a week and scrutinize over the Tweet. Slowly get them to Tweet more often.

  7. Ophelia Livingston

    Contributing value content on your blog is a great way to build trust your clients.Customers are looking for information that will help them. In all situations, there will always be a newbie who is experiencing a particular problem for the first time. They will be looking for help on the Internet.

    Ophelia Livingston
    RU Social Media Ready.com

  8. Tynnisha Hamilton

    At first updating your accounts, answering questions, and becoming involved in a community is a hard task but eventually, it becomes part of your routine. In the beginning, it was like I had to force myself to remember to post status updates and check these accounts, but now it’s just like second nature.

  9. Thanks Lisa, a great post! The best comparison I’ve heard is that Social Media is like being at a cocktail party, and to behave yourself that way. I find there are no shortages of the way that this analogy applies: being present, listening & responding appropriately, being polite, helpful and not boring or too “salesy”.

    Angie VanDenzen
    Social Media Coordinator at Circus Strategic Communications

  10. Excellent points here Lisa! #4 especially is a killer and is so easily avoidable. Just get Hootsuite (or your platform of choice)going, set up a mention stream and a search stream for your brand name, and you will never miss another convo. There really is no good excuse for not responding to people! Especially with your credibility at stake.

  11. Too salesy is a big turn off for me. Labeling something a shameless plug for yourself and then spending 1/2 or more of the reply talking about your goods/services is a sure-fire indicator that the transaction would be all about you.

    Its like the classic like, “enough about me…what do you think of me?”

    #6 being disingenuous about who you are. If you have one persona for business, but it is not really you, that will show up in your social media outlets. As in the super negative business coach or a copy writer with oodles of spelling errors.
    Thank you for the great post

  12. I would add two other issues. The first is, are you in the right groups? My business depends on B-to-B connections, and even then, with Business Owners, themselves. It does me no good at all to be in a group of Sales People – and I am not knocking Sales People!!! But if I am in the kind of atmosphere where no Business Owners are present, 99.9% of my time is wasted by not being able to connect with the people I need.

    Second, many, many people see getting into a group as the end, rather than the means. That is, rather than accomplishing an actual act of presenting themselves in a sales-oriented manner, they see simply “schmoozing” as their ultimate goal. This is particularly true in contrived business leads groups. Many people think that being among other, like-minded people is great, and they fill their calendars with huge numbers of meetings, but then don’t tell anyone anything about why they are actually there! It is similar to the salesperson that gives a great presentation, but forgets to ask for the order.

    I thrive on social networking; but it is a real skill-oriented task.

  13. Klout is really giving people a good idea on how to increase their social media popularity. All of these points are great…if you can improve on just a couple, you will see good results. It worked for me!

  14. Yeah, you forgot just one thing – sometimes your “friends”, and people in general, are simply douchebags! None of my posts get more than a couple of likes or comments, most get zero response, and I damn well know they’re much more interesting than a lot of the posts I see that get a lot of response from a lot of people. I just recently posted about how disappointing it would be that as a new animal advocate I wouldn’t be able to rely on my social media friends for support, and attached a link to a site with research about this very subject. Not one response!!! It won’t be long before I have a huge rant, right before deleting all my accounts.