We’ve all seen it at some point. A brand goes viral with multiple posts, businesses rack up like after like and comment after comment, and we’re left wondering what we’re doing wrong.

Why aren’t our posts getting more attention?

How does a cat with a permanent frown get more views in a single post than our business does in months?

There are many possible explanations, but some are more likely than others. If your company is struggling to gain followers – and ultimately conversions – on social media, maybe it’s time to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate things. When you do, start with the suggestions we’ve listed below. More often than not, a poor social media showing is due to trying to shortcut the system and jump from nothing to success. It just doesn’t work that way. Social media is a relationship at it’s core, and you can’t jump from “Nice to meet you” right to “I do” and expect things to work out well.

To help you out, here are the solution to four common social media challenges business owners often face.

1. No Connection

This doesn’t mean that you don’t have any followers necessarily, it just means that even if you do they don’t really care about your posts and they don’t engage with you.

The problem is likely that you aren’t making a connection with them because you’re treating social media like a billboard or TV commercial – a one-way street.

This is possibly the most common and most damaging shortcut for a brand to try.

Social media is a conversation, so start treating it like it is. Monitor every channel you use and respond to every comment possible. An authentic relationship requires authentic communication.

2. No Road Map

Failing to plan is planning to fail, as the old saying goes.

Even if you know where you are and where you want to get to, you still have to build a plan and route to make it there.

Otherwise, you’ll end up lost on the side of the road.

Start with a simple plan:

  • WHY are we on social media?
  • HOW are we going to reach our goals?
  • WHAT do we need to measure to make sure we’re moving in the right direction?

You can always adjust your map along the way (and probably should), but don’t leave the gate without a solid plan in place.

3. No Analysis

Plan your posts for at least a few weeks ahead and measure every single post against your strategy, deciding if they fit into the plan before you post them and measuring each one’s success afterwards.

You measure ROI on everything else in your business, and you should measure every post the same way. Regular analysis is the only way to learn how to adjust your plan accordingly.

See also: How to successfully measure the ROI of social media.

4. No Reach

Many businesses don’t understand that the allure of “free advertising” through social media is today no more than an afterimage burned in the screen. It doesn’t exist anymore.

Organic reach is declining with every algorithm change and paid advertising is necessary to get more eyeballs on your posts.

Winging it for free on Facebook in the early days might have helped your business a little, but today it’s a complete waste of time and resources. Social media advertising has to be a significant portion of your marketing budget, or you might as well be yelling at the screen (in other words, don’t expect a response).

See Also: How to easily generate leads on Facebook (without even having a website)