Getting no response to something you’ve posted in social media can be downright unnerving.
When this happens, most of us ask ourselves, “What did I do wrong?”
Well, just like the Eskimos apparently have many words for “snow,” social media has many words for “silence.”
If your audience doesn’t respond to a particular piece of content or communication, you may have done any number of things wrong…or nothing wrong at all.
Hearing crickets on the other end of the line can actually mean your audience is thinking a great many things. It’s up to you to do the homework to figure out what it is.
Here’s what they could really be saying with their silence…
- “I didn’t see it.” One of the biggest reasons you may not hear a reply is that not everyone actually saw your content or comment. This could be due to the frequency that you post, the time of day/week you post or the social platform in which you post. Check your analytics and do some homework on your audience if you suspect this is the problem.
- “I don’t understand you.” There are many factors that can make your posts hard to understand. Maybe you became victim of auto correct and your “carefully crafted” post read as gibberish on the other end. Maybe no one got your joke. Maybe your sarcasm fell flat. Maybe you made a reference to something no one knows. Remember to always stop before you hit, “publish” and reread it again. Does this make sense?
- “I’m not your audience.” Take a hard look at your social network. Are there a lot of robots in there? (Cause robots really don’t care how interesting your content is.) Is your network comprised of the people with which you want to be engaged? Because you can have a million social followers, but none of them will do you a lick of good if they aren’t the right followers.
- “I don’t care.” Are you writing content that is intriguing, thought-provoking or at least entertaining? Are you really saying something — something new and interesting, something bold and compelling? If not, and you are a little bored by your content, expect your audience to be bored too.
- “I don’t think you care.” Are you asking any open-ended questions? Are you adding visuals to your messages? Are you posting original content? If you’re simply syndicating a poorly curated pile of miscellaneous stuff to your networks, your audience will feel it and they’ll respond (or rather not respond) accordingly.
- “I’m shy.” In every social network there is a swarm of “lurkers” — people who read your posts (maybe all of them) but they don’t ever comment or engage. It’s important to remember that these people are still valuable assets for your brand. But you need to have a comprehensive, integrated marketing strategy to see the full value of that asset. Your post may tickle a lurker’s fancy, but maybe it will be your email marketing or advertising that ends up getting their business.
- “I had to go.” Remember, your audience may be reading your content at home before bed, on a plane, in the bathroom, in the middle of a meeting, etc. If you are talking to someone and they just stop responding to you, maybe they had to go do something else. So, be sure to get to the point in your conversations ASAP.
- “I got overwhelmed.” Many of the people you talk to in social media may be top of the funnel connections. Sure they like you and may be game for hitting the “share” button on your content or replying with an “LOL.” But, asking for things beyond that may be too much of a commitment. This includes asking for money, asking them to participate in a complex activity (click here, now click here, now create an account, then register for our contest!) or asking them to do a lot of work (like filming a video testimonial to tell you how much they love you.)
- “Whoa.” If you’re a content artist, and not just a crafter, there may be times when you create something so good that it stops people dead in their tracks. Your audience may share it or “like” it like crazy, but the content itself may leave them speechless. And that is awesome.
So, next time you hear crickets after you post a content or comment, lean in and listen harder. They may be trying to tell you something.