Why Isn’t Social Media Working For My Business?

December 19, 2019

Why Isn't social media working for my business

“I tried it once, but it just didn’t seem to work.” This is a very common statement that we hear, here at Milkbar.

Usually from a frustrated small business owner, who is trying to understand why the social media networks that everyone and their dog has told them they “need to be on” just aren’t generating what matters most – revenue for their business.

These sentences are generally followed by the question, “So what will you guys do differently?” and in this blog post, we will try and unpack why your business’s social media might not be working, and what you could be doing to change that outcome.

1. Not setting a measurable core objective

Instagram Followers might be nice, but money is even better right?

Possibly the biggest mistake we see here at Milkbar, is when a business doesn’t set out a core objective for what they are wanting their social media platforms to achieve for their business, plus find a metric for it to be made measurable.

It guides all future decision making, from what your content pillars should be, through to what Ads Manager campaign objectives to prioritise for your paid spend.

For example, if you run a restaurant and you want to drive more lunch time bookings – then a metric such as the number of booking forms completed – where the traffic has come from social media, might be the best metric to measure and track. If three months later, you find yourself stressing about not having grown more Instagram Followers, you can remind yourself that it’s a job well done if you have however grown the number of bookings.

2. Not creating a marketing funnel

For Facebook and Instagram ads to be successful, you should really be nurturing your customers’ journey. Generally speaking, a funnel would start with prospecting potential customers at the beginning – you may target them with an engaging and socially-optimised piece of video content – and be targeting people based on their interests and demographics.

Once people have started to engage with this video content, you may like to set up the next phase of the funnel, which could potentially be a Carousel advert showcasing some of the product featured in the video. This would be specifically seeded out to those who have watched your video or engaged with your social media channels – what we refer to as a ‘warm’ audience.

How complex you make your funnel can differ from brand to brand, but generally, the next steps would be to generate website traffic and get those who have engaged with you, over to your website, then potentially adding product to their carts, and eventually purchasing.

The process of establishing a successful – and more importantly, sustainable – marketing funnel takes time and patience, and a lot of testing of audiences, creative and copy. Whilst an uber-successful “viral” post can be amazing for your business, for long-term success, you need to have a stable and consistent funnel strategy.

3. Not investing in paid advertising

There’s almost no point in investing in beautiful content if no one is going to see it. And that’s where paid advertising spend comes in. How much you choose to spend is up to you, and generally speaking, you get what you pay for. The great thing about social media marketing is how affordable it is – and most importantly, how measurable it is too. 

4. Not creating a unified brand style and tone of voice

Quite often, when we ask brands (particularly start-ups), who their target market is, they will say “everyone”.

Unfortunately, trying to market to ‘everyone’ is very difficult, because everyone has different tastes and needs.

Whilst being a mass-market brand is certainly possible, it is still important to have a strong sense of self with your brand. This will help you determine everything from graphic design, through to website content, through to content pillars, through to the language we use when we communicate in captions.

We like to ask our clients, “if your brand was a person, who would they be? Where would they shop? How would they dress? What activities would they do on the weekend? How old would they be?” Your brand might have several target audiences, and we can deliver specific content to each audience, however, it’s important to know your brand DNA.

5. Not having a strong conversion rate on your website

Social media can be considered a “traffic driver” – but at the end of the day, for e-commerce businesses, it all rides on whether your audience has a positive experience with your website.

If you’re driving a large amount of qualified traffic to your website but sales aren’t good and your conversion rate is poor, it might be time to look at the reasons why. At this stage, it might be worth engaging a specialist in website conversion optimisation, and conducting an honest evaluation of your website and your competitor’s websites.

It’s not just about aesthetics – there is a lot of science around website conversion, including everything from the hidden things like best practise coding, through to button placement, colours, navigation, etc.

So look into your Google Analytics, and understand your customer journey on the website, where they’re dropping off and why. There’s no point in having an amazing social media strategy if no one hits “check out” once they reach your website!

6. Not being consistent

Did you start social media and get very excited about it? Then did your attention waiver, life got busy, and suddenly you’re posting sporadically, only when you get a chance to do it, or worse – you haven’t posted anything in 18 months?

It’s not an uncommon scenario – as at the end of the day – you probably have a million things to do.

However, consistency is key, when it comes to social media. It’s important that you post regularly. Our advice? Commit to a schedule that is achievable for you, and make sure you’re making your content work hard for you.

If you’re writing a blog post each month, make sure you’re linking to it from Facebook or turning it in a bite sized quote tidbit to post on Instagram too.

Consistency is key! And making your content work harder for you, will be a time saver and also help you to create a more holistic marketing strategy.


As always, if you’d like to chat with our team of social media experts regarding all things pixel, product catalog, Ads Manager & customer funnels – don’t hesitate to reach out.


Sam Sidney Milkbar Digital Director Founder

Sam is the founder and director of Milkbar Digital. In her spare time she loves wine, cooking ridiculously complex recipes, building Lego, playing Nintendo and hanging out with her pets Indi (cat) and Winnie (dog).

Milkbar Digital is a Melbourne social media and digital marketing agency here to help business small and large. If you need help with your social media or don’t know where to begin, get in touch!

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