If your small business has a social media presence already in place, then it’s likely that you recognize the importance of it. Social media can help you engage with customers, build brand awareness, discover new leads and generate sales.

However, having a presence isn’t enough. You need to be utilizing your accounts in a meaningful, creative way in order to reap these benefits. If your campaigns are providing lackluster results, and you’re not generating any engagement, then it’s time to rethink your strategy. Here are a few common reasons why your social media activity may be falling short of expectations.

You Don’t Have a Plan in Place

The first step in creating a sound social media strategy is to plan. Within that plan, you must have clearly defined goals, as well as benchmarks within a specific timeline for meeting them. Without concise goals in place, you’ll never know exactly what you’re trying to achieve through social. This will keep you from creating a strategy that propels your business forward the way you’d like it to. Take some time to determine your most sought-after goals and create a plan for how you’ll achieve them. Keep track of your progress and be patient, as results may not be immediate.

You’re Unaware of Your Target Audience

How can you create content for an audience that you know nothing about? The answer is simple, you can’t. You can try, but it more than likely won’t provide the results you’re looking for. For paid campaigns especially, in order to garner positive results, you need to reach your designated target audience.  Take some time to get to know and understand your audience. Ask them questions and send out surveys to learn more about them. You can then utilize targeting tools to narrow down target audiences and reach the right people. You can determine these audiences based on things like location, interests, gender, age and more.

You’re Using Too Many Platforms

There are so many social media channels out there, and without the proper time and resources, it’s unrealistic to expect small businesses to be present on all of them. You should, however, be present on the channels that are being utilized most by your target audience. Once you’ve determined your target audience, do some research to determine the platforms that will provide the best ROI for your business. Facebook is generally a starting point, so begin there and figure out the other channels that might work for your business.

Your Content is Dull

It goes without saying that if your content is boring, you’re not going to generate any buzz or engagement with your audience. Consumers in the digital era have come to expect a certain amount of authenticity from businesses on social media. That means creating unique, original content that will encourage your followers to engage. Conduct research about what’s going on within your industry and try to format posts to coincide with some of that information. The more interesting your content is, the more likely your audience is to engage with it.

You’re Not Doing Your Research

All of the previously mentioned components fall into this category. In order to succeed with social, you need to conduct regular research to figure out relevant trends, the best posting times, the content that’s going to garner the most engagement, etc. You should always seek to educate yourself on what’s going on within your industry and how it can be utilized in other aspects of your business. Complacency and a lack of insight can be crucial factors in determining success or failure within your social strategy.