Social media marketing is vital, it’s here to stay, the ROI that businesses have from their social media marketing efforts can be impressive. Although not every business tends to have its success on the channel, I’ve seen a lot of businesses fall in many social media traps.

The result of those businesses that didn’t follow these six must-do’s for effective social media marketing ended up losing traffic and followers.

They then wonder why their figures dropped…

Here are five warning signs that should ring alarm bells and make you realise what you’re doing is going to result in less traffic and engagement.

5 Warning Signs Your Social Media Traffic Is About To Dry Up

1 – Always posting about yourself

Guess what your followers want to receive from your social media posts? Value.

Most if not all consumers follow a business for one of two reasons, they either want to receive value from what you share, or they want to stay updated with new releases, product updates etc. I come across a lot of businesses that completely understand this approach, but there’s still a very large number that don’t.

Your followers don’t want to be fed sales posts daily. If they were interested, they would be getting in touch with you or browsing your website.

Every business will have a different target audience and that’s fine. There is a ridiculous amount of content ideas that your business could share.

For example, if you are a Software as a Service (SaaS) business, you could write interesting actionable articles on your blog that provide value to your target audience. These could then be shared on your social media. You could even repurpose that content into short videos since 55% of people watch videos online every day according to MWP Digital Media.

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A good way to remember this is to relate it to dating. If you go on a date and you are the one talking about yourself and everything you do, not paying an interest on your date they won’t be interested. It’s the same with your social media posts. Provide your audience value, they will then be more likely to trust your business and follow through with that link click.

2 – You don’t post often enough

A social media post has a short lifetime, if you only post once or twice each day, you are not maximising your reach. It’s understandable that you can’t be on social media every hour, but there are ways to achieve this and that’s scheduling your content.

For maximum exposure and without coming across as annoying to your followers, you should consider posting several times each day depending on your platforms.

For example, from my experience, I’ve found with Twitter, six to 10 tweets a day, Facebook, two to four posts a day and Instagram, one to four a day all at different times have great success. They reach your audience at various times. This is one ingredient in the recipe for social media success.

3 – Not utilising hashtags

Hashtags have been around since 2007 ever since Chris Messina first invented the Twitter hashtag. Still to this day, businesses aren’t utilising them effectively or even not at all.

Utilising hashtags in your social media posts allows your content to reach a larger audience, beyond your own social media followers. Think of hashtags like categories.

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The number of hashtags you use should depend on each platform. For best results, you should consider using no more than three hashtags in your tweets, two hashtags in your Facebook posts and 30 for Instagram.

Your hashtag should be a keyword that categories your content in a short word or two.

For example, if I were to share an article that’s about content marketing, I would use the following; #ContentMarketing, #Content.

4 – Not posting at the optimal time

Whilst it’s great for you to post on a frequent basis, you need to make sure you are sharing your posts at the optimal times. This will increase your reach and is guaranteed to drive more social traffic.

There is absolutely no point in sharing your social media posts late at night when your consumers are asleep. Likewise, with sharing your posts at the time they step into their workplace to begin their day.

Don’t just guess when the best times to post are, you should consider using tools like Audiense and Facebook insights to know when your followers are online so that you have a larger reach.

The best time to post for every business varies, so do your research and you are bound to see great results.

5 – Not including media

There’s a reason why 3.2 billion images are shared on social networks each day. It’s because social media posts that feature images get twice as much if not more engagement.

According to Buzzsumo, Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without. Likewise, with Twitter, tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images, according to Buffer.

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Social Media posts with images

The media you include in your social media posts doesn’t just have to be images, the content could be videos, infographics and even live-streams.

It goes without saying, the content you share needs to be high-quality and eye-catching.

Research from brain rules suggests that when people hear a piece of information, they’re likely to remember only 10% three days later. However, if a relevant image is shared with that same information, people tend to remember 65% of the information three days later.

You don’t have to be an expert in social media marketing to drive traffic to your website. However, you do need to be aware of the mistakes that you could potentially make that could affect your reputation and dry up social media traffic. Remember, the more active you are and engage with your audience, the stronger the connection will become with your audience.