Emily Aborn Content Copywriting and Consulting Services

Help My Social Media’s Not Working!

Three Potential Reasons Why (and How to Fix it)

The number one reason people book Strategy Sessions with me is because something’s not working in their marketing. 

“Help! Emily, my social media’s not working!” 

“Help! Emily, my website isn’t working!” 

“Help! Emily, my networking efforts aren’t working!” 

These common frustrations are what inspired me to write the blog specifically on three reasons your social media might not be working and how to tweak it just a bit so it gets you feeling a little better. 

For the other two frustrations, you can read my blog on networking here, or book a strategy session with me here

While I can’t solve all your social media woes, I’m going to give you three ideas you can start implementing right away to improve your social media and help it work better for you. 

What do you mean when you say your social media’s not “working”? 

What does it even mean for your social media to not be working? In order to know what that means, you have to define for yourself what it means for it to BE working?

What does it look like if social media is working for your business? What do you hope to gain or get from it? Can social media even realistically get those results for you?

  • Do you want it to get you more clients?
  • Give your brand a little online home for people to discover you? 
  • Are you looking to gain visibility? 
  • Are you hoping to increase your credibility and be seen as an expert? 
  • Do you want a place to share your thought leadership and ideas? 
  • Are you looking to build connections and relationships? 
What does social media “working” mean to you? 

By the way, yes, I’m asking you to sit down and clearly define this. You can just pull out one of those notebooks sitting next to you right now (no, I can’t see you. Yes, my desk is covered in notebooks too). Take a minute and physically jot some ideas down. 

Sometimes I think we (myself included) put unrealistic expectations and pressure on any one area of our marketing -especially social media. We expect it to do ALL the heavy lifting: get us new clients, network for us, scale our businesses, spread our message far and wide. It’s not the only marketing tool we have in our toolbelt AND if we’re unfocused on what we’re asking it to do for our businesses, we actually might be the ones getting in the way of it working. It’s very best for us. 

Get clear on what you’re asking social media to do and then… take a look at whether or not you’re showing up in a way that helps achieve that desired outcome. 

Example: If I want social media to get me new clients but I’m literally NEVER posting about my business, you can see an obvious disconnect here and why I might think it’s “not working”. If I want social media to be a spot to increase my network and connections, but I never engage and only promote, promote, promote -again, we have a disconnect. 

Reason #1: Your Social Media’s Not Working Because You’re Not Being Consistent 

Gahhhhhhh! Emily, please no more talk about consistency. I know, I know. I’m very consistent with how much I talk about consistency and I’ve said this about ten gazillion times. I’ll probably say it about eight gazillion more. 

When I say consistency, I’m not talking about frequency. I’m not talking about you needing to show up MORE often. Listen HERE to my episode on the Myth of Consistency

By consistency, I mean showing up when you say you will, even if that just means for yourself! If you commit to posting once a week, post once a week. Set a frequency that works for you. Commit to what works for you and then be consistent. 

It’s a long game. I know we all see these overnight insta-sensations, and it looks magical and fun, but for most of us, we’re playing a very long slow steady game. With lots of twists and turns as we build. 

  • Consistency builds momentum
  • Consistency builds confidence in yourself
  • Consistency gives you TIME to know what works and what doesn’t, what feels right and what you’ve had enough of 
  • Consistency builds brand recognition and trust 
  • Consistency builds a body of content and knowledge 
Reason #2: Your Social Media’s Not Working Because You Only Show Up When It’s Time to Sell. 

Hang on, there’s a soapbox around here somewhere I need to roll out… 

Just kidding, I’ll spare you. But honestly, this is a huge pet peeve of mine. If you haven’t heard my Content with Character talking about the four types of content to create connections on social media, here’s the link to go download that sucker ASAP.

We can’t always be selling on social media. 

If that’s the only way you show up, people will breeze right by what you’re sharing more often than not. If all you do is show up, steal the mic, turn the spotlight on you, and then walk away, you might find that social media’s not really working for you… because what you’re doing isn’t working for others to connect with you. 

Conversely, you can’t NOT ever sell. We love seeing pictures of your hiking excursions, dinners out with friends, and dogs, but please remember to tell people what your business is, how to work with you, and how to give you money. 

If you’re asking social media to be a part of your business and marketing strategy, and you’re never sharing promotional content, you might discover social media’s not working for you. 

Blend these two pieces together (plus the other two types I recommend in the episode) and you get a healthier social media strategy.  

Social media is a two-way street. You’re not a telemarketer, you’re building a relationship. Engage, comment, interact, ask, share, and cheer others on. Don’t just be solely fixated on what you’re promoting and sharing. 

Reason #3: Your Social Media’s Not Working Because Your Content/Messaging is Off: 

This could be for a couple of reasons, and as the content copywriter I am, I’m going to attempt to keep this short and sweet. 

  • Sometimes, we’re not talking to the right people in the right places. 
  • Sometimes, we’re not talking to “anyone” at all. We’re trying to talk to everyone and anyone and not being specific enough.
  • You may also be talking down to the exact people you’re trying to reach. What do I mean by this? Showing them how smart you are, making them feel lesser than or dumb. Making them feel overwhelmed, frantic. This is highly uninspiring. I really don’t enjoy content that makes me feel like I’m a dummy, or like crap about myself because I’m not good enough, and I think this air and tone comes through in marketing and can be a huge turn-off.
  • Your messaging might be overall unclear. Is it hard to understand what you do? Sometimes we try to overcomplicate what we do and we end up glazing people’s eyes over with confusing jargon or words that are all but meaningless. Don’t make it hard to understand what you do. Explain it in a way that’s easy to consume and simple. And make sure to give your calls to action equally simply. 

We’re flying FAST these days, especially on social media so you have to often say to people clear directions such as: 

  1. Go to my website
  2. Fill out the “work with me form” 
  3. I’ll get back to you within 48 hours and we’ll book a chat! 
  • And last but not least, your messaging could be off because you’re not really into or standing behind what you’re offering people. That’s a question only you can dive into and explore for yourself, so I’ll leave you with that and your notebook in a sec’ :). 
How to Fix it (starting TODAY!) 
  • If you have been consistent, and steady, and you’ve given something a good amount of time – it might be time to mix it up and try something new! Maybe it’s time to try a new platform, share a new type of content, ditch a platform, join a Facebook group, the list goes on. The experiment is allowed to be over and you can decide on your next one.


  • Mindset tweak: remember that social media is a PIECE of your marketing puzzle. One piece. It’s important to see what other ways you’re showing up in your business and getting visible too and ideally… those weave together in a cohesive way so you can ping pong from what you’re doing in the real world to what you’re sharing on social media and vicey versa. For example, a podcast is a slice of a marketing pie. A podcast can be a marketing tool, then become a blog that helps bring people to your website, and then even broken down into social media posts, and an email from there, or a speaking topic! This is about baking your own little marketing pie and not putting all the weight in one slice.
  • Book a strategy session with ME! Look, sometimes you just need to talk it out. And that’s exactly what I’m here for! My strategy sessions are focused entirely on your questions and pain points and I give you solutions and lots of resources to help you move forward right away.