The 8 Biggest Failures With Social Media Marketing

The 8 Biggest Failures With Social Media MarketingFailing in your social media marketing efforts?

Maybe you tried social media and didn’t see much lift. Social media seemed like a lot of work — learning the idiosyncracies of different social networks, creating and scraping content, engaging your network — for very little ROI (Return on Investment).

Ever think maybe you were doing social media marketing wrong??????

Biggest Failures in Social Media Marketing

1. Not spending enough time or money on social media marketing.

Take a look at the survey on your right from eMarketer and you’ll see that MOST firms are spending LITTLE or NOTHING on social media marketing! That’s why I call this one of the biggest failures with social media marketing. Companies take a “wait and see” attitude toward social media marketing — we’ll test the waters with a small spend and see what happens. That’s like opening a store and only stocking a few items until you see if those sell. You’re just setting your social media marketing efforts up for failure.

Instead, most firms spend 90-100% of their marketing budget on traditional media. It boggles the mind as to why firms continue pouring money into a medium that no one watches, everyone hates and distrusts, and costs WAY too much money.

2. Not hiring the right people

Firms seem to think they can avoid failure in social media by hiring young kids — often simply interns. Firms assume that social media is simply knowing how to set up a Facebook page or a Twitter account and figure their interns all know this stuff. Every year I teach a social media marketing class to very bright marketing students at an elite private university and I can tell you these social network mavens know NOTHING about how social media marketing works. That’s why I call this one of the biggest failures with social media marketing.

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3. Duh – it’s marketing !

Often folks running your social media marketing are techies or design folks who don’t understand the first thing about marketing or consumer behavior. SEO folks may be able to get you on the first page of Google, but do they convert that traffic? And, your design team may create fancy webpages and beautiful Fan Pages, but DO THEY HELP CONVERT THAT TRAFFIC? I recently visited a client whose designer fought AGAINST having a newsletter sign-up on the home page because it didn’t work well on the mobile site. Not only is that a lame excuse, but, as a B2B company, the firm likely didn’t have many folks in the TARGET MARKET trying to access their site from a mobile device.

And, don’t even get me started on what these guys don’t understand about branding. That’s why I call this one of the biggest failures with social media marketing.

4. Using the wrong metrics

Tracking likes, fans, followers, etc causes you to make poor decisions – like running contests to get more Likes. Since these numbers often fail to generate increased sales for your firm, why measure them? That’s why I call this one of the biggest failures with social media marketing.

What you should be measuring are things that DO help convert visitors, such as sentiment, reach (ie. ReTweets, shares), and increased sales.

5. Lack of consistency

Social media marketing doesn’t work like traditional advertising — you can’t flight it or pulse it. You’ve got to commit to creating great, engaging content 365 days a year. That’s why I call this one of the biggest failures with social media marketing.

6. Lack of follow-up

When folks post comments or questions on your Facebook page or on Twitter, answer them quickly. Ignoring these interactions can cause complaints that might go viral. That’s why I call this one of the biggest failures with social media marketing.

7. Say thank you

Saying thank you is so simple and easy, yet firms forget to use it enough. You’ll find if you consistently omit thank you’s when folks mention good things about you, they’ll stop. That’s why I call this one of the biggest failures with social media marketing.

I’m small enough that I thank folks for every like, +1, share, ReTweet … Now, I can envision a day when that might not be possible, but I’ll still thank folks when they say something nice about me.

8. Listen more than you talk

A major difference between social media marketing and traditional marketing is the two-way communication offered in social networks. Consumers have great things to say, so listen to them. They’ll tell you what they want, how they fell, what they like and don’t like. A smart marketer can turn this conversation into better products, better promotions, and increased sales. Failure to listen is one of the biggest failures with social media marketing.

Your Turn

What do you think are the biggest failures with social media marketing?

Hausman and Associates

Hausman and Associates, the publisher of Hausman Marketing Letter, is a full service agency operating at the intersection of marketing and social media. Subscribe to our newsletter to learn more tools, tricks, and tips for marketing your business. We’d love to show you how to make your marketing SIZZLE. Please contact us for a quote on marketing strategy, marketing research, coaching, complete social media marketing packages, or to have Dr. Hausman speak at your event.

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Comments: 1

  • Monica says:

    Wow, I think I’m guilty of all of this! Social media marketing is definitely not my strenght. Thanks for your insights. Anyways, I think other marketing strategies could be more effective and less time/resource consuming (like email marketing, for instance). Depends on the market, of course.

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