21 reasons social media marketing fails

Posted on August 12, 2012 by Rob Petersen

When social media failsSocial media marketing is the use of community-oriented publishing vehicles, available to anyone, to create awareness and build relationships that are capable of generating business behind your brand.

The necessary ingredients are:

  • Relevant content
  • Commitment to publish consistently
  • Willingness to connect with others and engage in conversations
  • Courage to put yourself out there

If you need to see proof of results, a free eBook, 166 Case Studies Prove Social Media Marketing ROI, is available to download on the sidebar of this website with just a click and no strings attached.

Social media marketing has evolved. It offers the same multi-media options and consumer profiling as mass media. There is TV/video (YouTube) and radio (blogtalkradio, podcasts). Social networks function much like magazines skewing to specific demographics. Facebook, for example, is like People magazine; Twitter like Us; LinkedIn is like business publications (Forbes, Business Week, Inc.) and Pinterest like women’s service books (Ladies Home Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, Cosmopolitan).

Plus, there are targeting and promotional tools to help you find advocates and influencers on social networks (Booshaka, Klout), blogs (Technorati, Alltop), geo-target (Twitter Search) and promote in ways that encourage sharing (Wildfire).

But it would be misleading to say social media begets success for all businesses. Many don’t realize the return expected. Why? Here are 21 reasons social media marketing fails.

  1. Desired business results are not defined
  2. Social media is seen a substitute for a business strategy
  3. Measurements and key metrics (Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)) are never established
  4. A Facebook and Twitter page is thought to be what’s sufficient for a social media presence
  5. Who you want to attract is not articulated
  6. Where they spent their time on social networks has not been investigated
  7. What are the shared interests with your brand are not explored
  8. The conversation is a monologue, not a dialogue
  9. Negative as well as positive comments aren’t acknowledged or responded to in a timely fashion
  10. There isn’t enough relevant content
  11. Keywords are not used so consumers find your brand the way you want to be found
  12. Your brand is promoted more than you give thanks to others; the latter is a much more important form of expression
  13. The action you want consumers to take is not clear or made easy
  14. “Like” us on Facebook is seen as all that’s required for a meaningful relationship
  15. Social media is not integrated with other marketing efforts
  16. The efficiency of social media content in other forms of marketing (traditional email, eBooks, webinars) is not pursued
  17. No one looks at the KPI’s, Key Performance Indicators, regularly to keep the business strategy on track
  18. No one takes actions or makes adjustments based on the learning to optimize results
  19. The head people at the company says: “So what if we ‘Likes’ and ‘Followers,’ how is this helping business?”
  20. Soon, even the “Likes” and “Followers” start to stall
  21. Everyone in the office says they have too much to do to devote time and attention to social media. It’s concluded social media can’t really help this particular business.

Is this something you have observed? It’s too bad because with the right content, commitment and a little courage, there are plenty of examples that prove the situation can be turned around.

Do you think these are accurate descriptions of instances where social media fails?



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