21 Reasons People Don’t Engage With Your Social Media Content And What You Can Do To Fix That

by | Dec 18, 2021

When the engagement on your social media posts suddenly tanks, panic mode quickly sets in.

And it’s no surprise you feel that way. Because, for years, we’ve been told that engagement is the key to cracking a successful social media account.

Nothing wrong with that. Or is there?

Well, the problem we have with this line of thought is that most people’s perception of engagement boils down to just two things – likes and comments.

We regularly see social media managers stressing about dips in engagement when really they’re missing the bigger picture.

Likes and comments are just the public-facing versions of engagement. In fact, there’s much more to it than that.


Engagement includes:

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Follows
  • DMs
  • Emails
  • Profile visits
  • Shares
  • Saves
  • Website traffic from social media
  • Downloads


Don’t get us wrong. We’re not knocking likes and comments. They’re an important signal that people are interested in what you have to say or sell. A thumbs up that your content has been powerful enough to provoke a reaction. And we’re definitely here for that.


But they’re not the only thing that matters and this is where having a marketers’ mindset is essential.


You see, good social media marketers work to a strategy, they understand audience psychology, they’re analytical about the data and they adapt their content and goals accordingly.

They’re not attached to vanity metrics and don’t get freaked out when things change – and they do always change – because they’re confident they can handle anything.


21 reasons people don’t engage with your content:

  1. Your content isn’t relevant to them
  2. The subject is sensitive
  3. Someone else has already said what they want to say in the comments
  4. They don’t want to put themselves in the firing line
  5. They’re lurking
  6. The time of year. It’s Christmas, Easter, summer. They’re busy
  7. They’re so engrossed in scrolling they forget
  8. Your content doesn’t speak to them
  9. The post is about you, not them (Spoiler: they don’t care about you)
  10. You’re posting too often… or not often enough
  11. You’re asking too much… ‘please tag, like, comment, share…’
  12. You haven’t included a call to action
  13. They’ve heard that TikTok / Reel music 100x already
  14. Your content is stale and samey
  15. You don’t engage back so they give up
  16. The platform is prioritising features you’re not using
  17. They don’t understand what you want them to do
  18. They need to jump on a Zoom call
  19. Lunchtime is over
  20. They’re on the loo / in the bath / walking the dog / cooking dinner
  21. The ad break ends 

Predicting the dips

As you can see there are tones of reasons people don’t engage at any given moment. And understanding why this happens means you can prepare for it.

We know, for example, that engagement dips at busy times of the year – including summer and Christmas – so there’s no need to be taken by surprise.

Instead, use the opportunity to give value to your followers without asking for too much return. Create useful posts that they can keep or share. Stay relevant to their lives by being helpful and supportive.

You should also be using your analytics to guide you.

If your posts are tanking during Love Island or The Batchelor, you have a timing issue and should tweak your strategy.

Likewise, if your target audience is school parents and you’re posting at pick-up time… you get the idea.


Know what’s success looks like for you

With a marketer’s mindset, you can view engagement objectively. And you can talk confidently to your clients about what’s happening.

Let’s say your audience isn’t big on commenting but your client’s inbox is still overflowing with inquiries. You’re winning. Something’s working!

So stop wasting time worrying, and focus your energy on creating content that supports these goals.


In conclusion

There are hundreds of reasons why people might not engage with your posts and that’s fine. Using data and a strategy will help you to understand why a drop might be happening and allow you to deal with the situation calmly.