10 Reasons You Aren’t Getting More Followers On Social Media (+ How To Fix Them)

Did you know that as of January this year, there were 2.08 billion active social media accounts? Did you also know that the average social media user spends 2 hours and 25 minutes per day using social networks?

So basically, if you’re not on social media, you’re missing a trick.

But time and time again, people still ask the same question: how do I get more followers? How do I build more of a community?

The first question you need to ask yourself is why you want more followers - if it’s “just because” your thinking needs to change. Of course, we all want more followers. It’s not just me who gets giddy when I’m getting closer towards my next milestone on Twitter, is it?

Ideally, you need quality followers and readers as part of your tribe who want to know what you have to say. These people will give you a good reputation online and help you build a very strong community. But what do you do if it just isn’t growing the way you want it to?

This post is for you if:

  • You’ve been trying to grow your social media presence for a while and you don’t seem to be getting anywhere
  • You don’t know what to do to build a community
  • You want to up your social media game but don’t know where to start

Today, I’m going to share with you 15 of the biggest reasons why you aren’t getting more followers on social media, plus what you can do to fix this.

#1 | You’re Asking People to Follow You

As Cat said in one of her articles about Twitter, the old “follow 4 follow” is the most pointless and blindingly obvious way to get people to follow you. It’s quite sad that we still get people who ask you to follow them just because they’ve followed you. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to choose which communities I become a part of! If you’re serious about building a strong online presence on social media, it’s not worth inviting people into your community who aren’t going to be a loyal member of your tribe. Always be intentional when it comes to following.

#2 | You’re Posting Too Much

If you’re tweeting every ten minutes or posting to Facebook every hour, you’re going to be flooding people’s feeds with complete nonsense. Be consistent, but remember the line (although it’s a very thin line). Always think about the type of content you’re putting out there. Ask yourself whether it will be valuable for your community. Ask yourself what they will gain from seeing this post in their feed. You don’t have to feel like you have to post everything. Keep things for the future and silence the noise once in a while. It can be refreshing.

#3 | You’re not posting enough

On the flipside, if you’re posting to Facebook once a week or tweeting once a day, you’re also dampening your chances of getting more followers. Remember what I said about the thin line and consistency? It’s SO important. In our industry, there is a need to feel present online every day – it comes with the job. Which means consistency is key (I bet you’ve heard that before!) The average lifespan of a single tweet is 18 minutes. So you need to post more often if you want to be seen.

#4 | You’re Posting about Yourself

We all know that self-promotion is part of building an online presence. We also know that it can feel a bit icky. A rule of thumb that works well for me is 80/20 – 20% of what you share is self-promotional and 80% of what you share is everything else. So let’s say on your Buffer schedule, you’ve got it set to post 10 times a day. That would mean that out of those ten tweets, only two would be self-promotional. Doesn’t seem like a lot, does it? But people notice if you’re too spammy. Keep it to a minimum and create a nice balance – it’ll work in your favour.

#5 | Your Profile Isn’t Filled out Completely

Ah, the all-important profile. Whether you want to build a professional brand or just get yourself out there, your social media profiles are essential. Why? Well, not only do they let everyone know what you’re about, they also show up in search engines.

Each of your social media profiles can act as a landing page for your overall personal brand. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest – they all work together to create your vision and represent you. Make them the same (this makes you easier to find) and fill everything in.

Further Reading: How To Create A Great Twitter Bio With These Key Ingredients

#6 | You Haven’t Defined Any Goals

If you’re putting so much effort into social media, you’d better be measuring your results for it! I find this to be a crucial element of my overall strategy. But you can’t measure how you’ve done if you don’t set goals in the first place. Your goals depend on what you want to get out of social media. You can track your followers, your engagement, how many clicks you get – anything that’s important to you and your strategy. This gives you something to work towards.

Further Reading: Back To Basics – Do You Even Need To Be On Social Media?

#7 | You’re Posting at the Wrong Time

I honestly don’t know what I’d do without Buffer. Gone are the days when we just used to post whenever we wanted. Now we know the optimal times to post for all our social media platforms. There are so many studies out there – just Google “when to post on social media” and loads of results will appear. Plus, you’ve also got Facebook Page Insights which let you see when your audience is most active, and the beauty of tools like Followerwonk and My Social Bro, that let you customise your own personal publishing schedule. You can look out for a special post on that later this month ;)

Further Reading: Buffer – Why Do People Love It So Much?

#8 | You Don’t Provide Enough Value

Social media is all about giving people a reason to follow you and join your community. If your content is all about what you’ve had for breakfast or what you’re doing that weekend, you’re not providing value. Whether you’re offering information, news, entertainment, tips or a place to interact, use that as a lead of attraction. Think to yourself: what would I think when I saw this? What action would I take?  Trust me, it works.

#9 | You’re Not Engaging

What I love most about social media is interaction. Last week, a blogger I sometimes chat to on Twitter said: “Craziest thing I've ever said in July: I'm cold.” Such a simple statement, right? So I responded with: “We had the fire on last night: some summer!” And that conversation carried on and on.

Whenever you see something that you can reply to on social media, start up a conversation. If someone says they don’t know what to make for their lunch and you’ve just enjoyed an amazing meal, tell them about it. If someone says they’re struggling with a co-worker and you are too, share your story. Social media is a two-way street – it's a place born for engagement and making relationships. Not only will this help you build your community, it’ll help you maintain it too.

P.S Twitter Chats are great for this.

#10 | You Lack Personality

No one wants to sound like a robot. This is where your personality comes in – it’s what makes you unique. Social media is all about conversation so the tone you use will really represent you. People are nosy and social media gives you a chance to get a sneak peek into their lives. If you share snippets of what you’re up to on a day to day basis, your personality will start to shine through.

#11 | It’s Not Obvious That You’re on Social Media

Do you have links to your social accounts in the sidebar of your blog? How about your footer? What about at the end of each blog post? Do each of your social platforms link to one another?

If you answered ‘no’ to one or more of these questions then it’s no wonder you aren’t seeing your following increase – it’s because people can’t find you! You’ve got to make it really, really, really obvious what social media platforms you’re on. Include links to every active social channel you’ve got and put them everywhere on your website.

#12 | You Don’t Make an Effort to Follow People

I mentioned earlier in this post that social media is a two-way street when it comes to engagement – but it’s also the same when it comes to following. Don’t just look at the amount of followers you’ve received in one day. Really take a deeper look at who is following you. You might find they’ve got thousands of followers and if you follow them back, they’ll really help you out with your personal brand.

#13 | You Don’t Use Images


On Twitter, tweets with images have 150% more chance of being retweeted.

Do I need to say anything else?

#14 | You’re Too Negative

If your social media posts are always negative, people won’t want to follow you. Can you imagine finding a Facebook page where everything just made you want to cry? You’d leave immediately! Even if you’re posting a sad message, always look for a positive – that’s a motto I live my life by.

#15 | You Always Post the Same Content

“Here’s my latest blog post!”

“Here’s my latest blog post!”

“Here’s my latest blog post!”

OK, I’ll come back after I’ve had a nap and you’ve stopped sharing the same thing…

Variety is the spice of life, right? Maybe that doesn’t exactly apply to the world of social media but the principles are still the same. The more variety the better.

Worried you’re not going to be able to remember to do all of these things? I’ve made a cheeky little checklist that you can print off and keep in your blog folder forever (because I definitely know you’ve got one!)

All you need to do is put your email address in and then click the link that appear afterwards - simple!

Before I leave you, I want to let you know that it’s OK if you’re not doing all of these things yet. Honestly. It takes time to build up a strong, loyal community and the best way to do this is slowly and organically. These tips are meant to share what I’ve learnt and what has made a difference to my own social media strategy. They’re not meant to stress you out and make you think you should be doing them all at once. Try them in baby steps in a way that makes sense to you.


Are you guilty of making any of these social media mistakes? How are you going to start working on them this week?

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Holly SuttonComment