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Social media not working? Here’s how to generate sales and get real ROI from social media marketing

Last checked and updated on 30 March 2023

Regardless of how you feel about the social media revolution, there is no denying that the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al., has changed the world. Over half of the global population is now using social media, typically for over two hours a day. Social media not working for your business? Then you probably can’t afford not to take action.

In the UK alone, an astonishing 84.3% of the nation engages with at least one social media platform. That’s a wide audience that a business could be reaching – and lot of potential revenue being left on the table if your social media marketing strategy is not up to snuff. 

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Does social media marketing really generate income?

Social media certainly can be a source of revenue for your business. As with any approach, though, just because something can work does not necessarily mean it will. It would be great if generating income from social media was as simple as creating profiles, then sitting back and waiting for the profits to roll in. 

Alas, nothing in life – or business – comes quite so easy. If your business is not currently seeing the financial results you were hoping for from social media, it could be time to review your tactics. Your efforts will be rewarded in doing so. 

The equation is simple – over a quarter of businesses that outperform their rivals financially also enjoy a larger social media following. Obtaining likes and follows will not keep the lights on in your business, though. You need to understand how to harness the power of social media, using this to improve your conversion rate optimisation.

Social media not working – how to enhance ROI from social media marketing

For those of you who started with the problem of social media not working: we promised insights into how you can improve your business fortunes through social media, and here at Creative.onl we take our promises seriously. Feel free to contact us to discuss your social media needs in detail. Before picking up the phone, read on for ten insights into how you can bolster the return on investment of any social media marketing strategy.

Social media not working? It will be soon!

Find your target audience 

On paper, it’s tempting to focus all your social media marketing energies on Facebook. This is the most populated social media network in terms of sheer numbers. The core demographic of Facebook skews older than other platforms, though. The average Facebook regular is in their late 30s or early 40s. 

That could be perfect for your marketing needs, depending on the product or service you offer. This age group is stereotypically tech-savvy enough to make an online purchase and boasts sufficient disposable income to make an impulse buy. However, if your primary audience is younger women aged below 24, you’ll find just 7.3% of this audience on Facebook. This makes any investment in Facebook marketing a false economy.

Finding your target audience online, and identifying their preferred platforms, may require a little trial and error. For the most part, though, the core demographics of the biggest names in the social media game are:

FacebookAs discussed, older millennials make up the core of Facebook’s daily audience. The platform is slightly more popular with men than women
InstagramAlmost two-thirds of Instagram regulars are younger than 34, with an even gender split. Use this platform if your audience skews younger than those found on Facebook
Twitter18 – 29 year olds are the largest Twitter demographic, with the vast majority (over 70%) being male. Twitter is rarely used for conversions – it’s best utilised to raise brand awareness and direct consumers to another platform
LinkedInLinkedIn is popular with college leavers and young employees and jobseekers as a social media network, but it’s the most popular platform for B2B marketing
YouTubeIt’s claimed that some 80% of adult social media users regularly visit YouTube, with the male/female ratio split 54/46. The platform remains most popular with under-24s, despite the rise of TikTok
TikTokTikTok is becoming hugely popular as a marketing platform, especially due to its popularity with big-name influencers. 60% of TikTok users are females under the age of 24, making this is an ideal platform for such a target audience

Take this information under advisement and ensure that you’re channelling your time, effort, and money into the ideal platform.

Time your content to perfection

Once you have established where your audience spends their time, you need to discover when they are online. Social media feeds move rapidly, and even if you pay for advertising space you cannot guarantee that you’ll remain at the forefront of a user’s homepage.

If you’re simply looking to get eyes on your profiles, it’s best to post on social media before lunchtime on a weekday. This way, you’ll catch your audience while commuting or idly browsing while enjoying their first coffee of the day. 

Don’t expect to make too many conversions at this time, though. How many times have you weighed up and considered an unsanctioned purchase while you’re still wiping the sleep from your eyes? All the same, posting at this hour is ideal for gaining attention from your audience, potentially earning your page a like and a follow. This, of course, generates promising leads for future sales

Budget appropriately for PPC campaigns

We promised insights into ROI throughout this guide, but as a gentle reminder, the I in this acronym stands for investment. You’ll need to set a social media marketing budget and ensure that you’re speculating to accumulate. 

Growing your presence organically is great, but you’ll need to purchase some advertising space to ensure that you’re reaching the optimum number of people. Geography also matters – while social media helps a business reach a global audience, local online marketing is always a great skill to master.

The best thing about social media PPC campaigns is that, unlike traditional SEO marketing, you’ll have significant control over who you’re targeting. In addition to those all-important keywords that get you noticed on Google, you can build an audience profile and ask your social media platform to target the feeds of users with specific interests.

Learn to sell without sales tactics

Once you reach the social media feeds of your target audience, you need to ensure that you’re speaking in an appropriate language. That means avoiding heavy-handed sales tactics

The clue is in the name – social media. Most users sign into their platform of choice to catch up with friends and celebrity news, accepting advertising as part of the deal. What they do not want, and will not tolerate, is being bludgeoned with sales pitches that make it clear a business sees them as walking, talking revenue streams.

You can work around this, but it involves strategic use of images and copy – including UX microcopy. Focus on the quality of products and services rather than the price point. Show pictures of any product in use, ideally with testimonials, and utilise a CTA like “learn more” over “buy now.” Every time you remind a social media user that you’re aiming for a conversion, they feel like a customer and not a human being

Publicise sales and promotions

Everybody loves a bargain, and well-marketed social media campaigns that promise sales and promotions can yield promising results. If you have done your homework and are marketing to the ideal audience, anybody who sees your post will be intrigued by your offering. 

Advertising through social media can add an additional layer of allure, as the audience will feel as though the officer is tailored to their unique needs and desires. As always, though, you’ll need to consider the perfect time to pitch these sales. The most active days for online shopping are Sunday and Monday, so consider saving your sales posts until then.

Simplify impulse buying

All being well, your sales posts will capture the attention of your target audience. If they click on an advertisement, you’ll make an impression – and thus be liable for a charge if you’re adopting a PPC model. To make this approach fiscally prudent, you really need to turn that impression into a conversion.

It is claimed that social media can increase rates of impulse buying by up to 40%. The key to encouraging impulse buys is making a sales funnel as short as possible. The more hoops you make a consumer jump through, the more time they’ll have to change their mind. Compare these two buyer journeys and ask which you think will result in more sales?

Buyer journey #1Buyer journey #2
Acknowledge advertisementAcknowledge advertisement
Click on call to action within advertisementClick on call to action within advertisement
Review landing page that elaborates upon the offerReview landing page that elaborates upon the offer
Call to action that asks user to proceed to checkoutPop-up checkout screen, including the option to complete check out as guest
Request consumer signs up with username and password before checking outPop-up asking to confirm acceptance of Ts and Cs before authorising transaction
Ask user to wait for confirmation emailComplete transaction
Ask user to click on confirmation email to activate account 
Ask user to return to checkout 
Checkout screen that asks for payment details 
Pop-up asking to confirm acceptance of Ts and Cs before authorising transaction 
Complete transaction 
Social media not working? Consider these buyer journeys

Many social media platforms now offer in-app purchase buttons, which can result in the most rapid of conversions. That’s not always an appropriate approach – if you’re looking for a long-term relationship with a consumer, they’ll expect a little more wooing. If you’re a retailer that trades in moments, though, these can be a quick way to bolster a bottom line.

Don’t be afraid of giveaways

We have talked a lot about conversions and the financial rewards that come with them, but that’s neglecting the importance of consumer data. In many respects, first-party data is the most valuable currency of all when trading online, especially on social media. Gaining user information directly from your audience helps you build a reliable customer profile that can be used for future campaigns.

The downside is that consumers know this and do what they can to guard their personal data. As we’ll discuss in a moment, you can use the opportunities to interact with your audience to learn a little more about them, but a giveaway can be the fastest way to consumer’s hearts.

You’ll find a transaction that everybody benefits from by offering a free product, ebook, or software trial in exchange for consumer data. Just ensure you walk a delicate tightrope about what data you ask for in exchange for your perceived generosity. 

An email address alone is not always much use, as anybody can unsubscribe from a mailing list when they have what they want from you. Equally, though, many consumers will be dubious about revealing too much about themselves. If you’re going to issue a complete survey to users as part of your giveaway, you’ll need to offer something irresistible in return.

Encourage user interaction wherever possible

A great way to build your organic social media presence, thus boosting brand loyalty and enhancing the likelihood of future conversions, is by encouraging interaction with your users. Ask your audience questions (polls can be hugely impactful) and create interesting content that merits sharing.

Additionally, to make your interactions with followers stronger, make sure to respond to any comments and messages you receive. Use social media management tools to manage all your interactions.

Even with social media not working, nothing goes unnoticed in social media, with platforms designed to absorb as much of a user’s attention as possible. This means that personal or business accounts that earn likes, comments, and shares will always appear prominently on a news feed.

Don’t actively ask for likes and shares, though, even in exchange for a potential prize. That’s crass and makes your business look desperate, as well as being a tactic often used by scammers to harvest personal data. Instead, focus on making your social media presence a must-follow for your target audience, turning users from customers to brand ambassadors.

Social media still not working? Embrace influencers

Social media influencers have a mixed reputation. Some businesses consider the practice crass, and no shortage of everyday social media users grossly overestimate their sway over a few thousand followers – many of whom are bots. Always take time to discover the genuine influencers in your niche.

It’s always advisable to set a budget for influencer marketing if you’re looking to improve your social media ROI. The reason is simple – influencers sell. Over half of Zoomers, for example, trust influencers unreservedly. Turn this to your financial advantage. 

Hire a social media marketing agency when social media is not working

Finally, bringing in professional help from a social media specialist could make all the difference to your bottom line. The most comprehensive approach will be to appoint a social media manager, acting as an individual or as part of a company. There’s really no reason to accept social media not working.

We’re returning to that key word with this advice – investment. While a professional will charge for any social media strategy oversights, you will see greater returns from your online presence.

We’re always delighted to hear from you if you’d like to discuss your social media needs with Creative.onl, we’re always delighted to hear from you. Our friendly and experienced team are ready to discuss how we can help your business expand its reach – and financial rewards – through social media. 

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Important – The information provided in our articles is intended to be for general purpose use only, and not advice for you or your business. We strive to publish accurate information, but encourage you to fact-check and seek expert guidance. You should always speak to a qualified professional to get tailored advice about how to operate your business under your specific requirements and circumstances.