5 Reasons Businesses Fail with Social Media

As someone who helps businesses with their social media presence, I spend a lot of time analyzing what works and what doesn’t on the social web. And, I love sharing my findings here to help your business.

One of the things I’ve noticed about social media is that there are some common characteristics of businesses that are destined to fail online. I can give you all the social media tips and tricks in the world, but if you don’t start with the right mindset, you’ll have trouble gaining traction.

I don’t want that to be your business. If you don’t either, make sure you avoid these
 five reasons I see business crash and burn with their social media efforts:

 Lack of strategy.

Companies that don’t know why they’re engaging in social media or what they want to get out of it will struggle to get results.

Before you dive into social media, take the time to
 answer a few key questions
 to determine your goals and the best approach for how to reach them. This will help your efforts be more focused and put you in a better position to be successful on the social web.

2. No measurement.

As marketers, our mantra is this — you can’t manage what you don’t measure. This especially goes for social media.

Despite what some people may tell you, you absolutely
 measure the effectiveness of your campaigns and ROI of your efforts. If you’re not taking the time to do this, how do you know what works?

 It’s not part of the company culture.

Companies that don’t understand the two-way nature of social media will have difficulty being successful with it.

Social media, when done well, should be woven into the fabric of your company culture. This means you’re willing to respond to criticism, answer tough questions and encourage employees to act as ambassadors for your brand. If your company isn’t willing to embrace this mentality, you’re headed for trouble.

 Lack of resources.

Social media is
 free. Although it costs nothing to sign up for the various networks, you must dedicate time and resources to manage your company’s presence on the social web.

All too often, companies don’t consider the time it will take to manage this effort and
 their social profiles turn into ghost towns. Don’t let that be your company. Whether you manage social media internally or hire someone to help you, you must make sure you’ve allotted the proper resources to get the job done.

 Unrealistic expectations.

Although social media offers an incredible opportunity to connect with your target audience and
 grow your business, it is not a silver bullet. Success with social media will not come overnight.

Yes, you can and should expect to get results, but social media is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a long-term strategy for growth, not a get-rich-quick scheme that guarantees instant success.

What do you think?

Why do you think businesses fail on social media? What would you add?

A portion of this post originally appeared as my guest article for the Nashville Business Journal.

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Laura Click

Laura Click is brand strategist, speaker, podcaster and the founder of Blue Kite. Learn more about Laura and her work at Blue Kite.

5 replies on “5 Reasons Businesses Fail with Social Media”

Let me tell you–it wasn’t long ago when I didn’t “get” social media myself. And when I decided I wanted to join, it was with all the most mercenary intentions. So I know exactly what businesses are thinking: why can’t it be as simple as getting a good message out there over and over again to the right people? You know–like “traditional” marketing?

It just isn’t, and as you said, all the tips in the world won’t help anyone if they don’t shift their mindsets–or learn the hard way.

VERY well put, Shakirah! You’re right – businesses just think that social media is a broadcast channel. It’s not. It’s a two-way communications channel and that’s where so many get hung up.

Hi Laura,

As I start to get into this with by branding clients, number 1 is the big one. They know they want to get into social … becauase every one else is, of course 😉

“Social media, when done well, should be woven into the fabric of your company culture.”
–Indeed, and it is part of your brand message.

I’m now 9 months into blogging and never would have imagined how much time it really takes! So now I speak from experience when I give a bit of advice. I used to think of it much like good old fashioned marketing, but no more. It’s part of the mix, but a complex animal that requires a lot of work and planning.

Thanks, Laura!

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, Craig! I appreciate your insight – both from the branding perspective and someone who is still relatively new to social. You’re right, social media and blogging take a lot of time. It’s totally worth it if you’re willing to make the investment in it, but sadly, a lot of folks don’t want to do the work.

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