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 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 they’re missing the bigger picture.
Likes and comments are just the public-facing versions of engagement. There’s much more to it than that.
What counts as engagement on social media?
- Profile visits
- Website traffic from social media
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 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, are analytical about the data, and adapt their content and goals accordingly.
They’re not attached to vanity metrics, don't blame the algorithm and don’t get freaked out when things change – and they always change – because they’re confident they can handle anything.
21 reasons people don’t engage with your content:
- Your content isn’t relevant to them
- The subject is sensitive
- Someone else has already said what they want to say in the comments
- They don’t want to put themselves in the firing line
- They’re lurking
- The time of year. It’s Christmas, Easter or summer. They’re busy
- They’re so engrossed in scrolling that they forget
- Your content doesn’t speak to them
- The post is about you, not them (Spoiler: they don’t care about you)
- You’re posting too often… or not often enough
- You’re asking too much… ‘please tag, like, comment, share….’
- You haven’t included a call to action.
- They’ve heard that TikTok / Reel music 100x already
- Your content is stale and samey
- You don’t engage back, so they give up
- The platform is prioritising features you’re not using
- They don’t understand what you want them to do
- They need to jump on a Zoom call
- Lunchtime is over
- They’re on the loo/in the bath/walking the dog/cooking dinner
- The ad break ends
Predicting the dips
As you can see, there are many 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 in 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.
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 understand why a drop might happen and allow you to deal with the situation calmly.