When a business calls us looking for social media help, the company typically falls into one of two camps — either they don’t use social media and want to get started or they’ve been using social media for a while, but they’re not seeing any success.
As more companies have realized the importance of social media, we’re seeing more businesses fall into that second camp.
I’ve written before about why businesses often fail with social media. Oftentimes, the foundational aspects of the social media program are lacking — goals, strategy, measurement, resources and culture. Without those items in place, it’s difficult for companies to achieve social media success.
Although many problems stem from those foundational issues, there are a number of other reasons why companies struggle to get results with social media.
Why Social Media Efforts Fail
If your not sure why social media isn’t working for your company, here are some of the top reasons why companies are not seeing results from their efforts:
1. Lack of good, original content.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, social media needs content to be successful. If all a company does is regurgitate other people’s content, it’s going to do little to advance your brand.
You must create your own content. Period.
And, that content has to be so good that people want to share it. So, make sure your content is unique, useful, compelling or entertaining or people will just tune it out.
2. Weak branding.
Oftentimes, companies see the success of others and try to copy that on social media channels. But, generic “me-too” social media content only makes you look more like your competitors instead of helping your company stand out.
You must identify what makes your company special and build your efforts around that. This will help you build your brand’s personality. Breathing some life into your brand will make your company far more personable online. After all, we like to do business with people, not nameless, faceless companies.
3. Talking to an empty room.
It’s easy for companies to jump onto to the Facebook bandwagon because it’s the largest social media platform and “everyone is there.” However, your customers might not be there or they might not have an interest in engaging with your brand on that platform.
Make sure to do the research to understand where your audience hangs out online so you’re not wasting your time on a social network that’s not going to work for you.
Spreading your efforts too thin.
Many companies feel the need to be on every social network. Most of the time, this isn’t necessary or feasible. What ends up happening is that your team gets burned out trying to keep all of the plates spending.
Unless you’re a large company with the resources to do so, this isn’t going to work for you. Instead, it’s much better to pick one or two social networks to focus on and add to it as it makes sense.
5. You are
It’s called social media for a reason. You must be social. That means, when people talk to your brand you must talk back.
That also means you need to work to create conversations online. Look for ways to strike up a conversation with your audience. Think about how you can keep offline conversations going online.
6. You are overly promotional.
Part of the appeal of social media is that it’s way more relational than the one-way blasting of advertising messages. Yet, many companies treat social media in the same vein as traditional marketing channels. They use it as a one-way megaphone instead of a two-way conversation.
Yes, social media can be used for selling, but if that’s all you do, people won’t tune in. Here are some ideas for selling yourself without becoming to overly promotional.
Lack of consistency.
Companies often hope to see overnight social media success and they get discouraged when that doesn’t happen. As a result, their activity wanes until their social media channels look like an abandoned ghost town.
Be consistent and don’t forget to show up. If you’re not showing up, your customers and audience will turn their attention somewhere else.
It’s your turn
There are plenty of other reasons companies struggle with social media, but these are some of the most common issues I’ve seen.
What other reasons would you add to the list?
Or, are you struggling with social media? If so, let me know if the comment section or send me an email and let me know.
Image credit: David Goehring
6 replies on “7 Reasons Why Social Media Isn’t Working for Your Business”
just talked to client today about all this
Looks like I gave you a script to use then! 😉 Thanks for stopping by, Todd! Any others you would add to the list?
A great list and I find #6 & #7 to be very common. Especially #6, even the “big boy brands” sell too much on social. We all know the 80/20 rule, I wish more would follow it. What I hate is you see articles on big websites (like Forbes) claiming social doesn’t work. Usually it’s because of #6 and they are pushing their message far to often.
Most car dealerships fall into this category. I do not need to see every car you have on the lot, I know you’re a car dealer.
A lot of the Facebook pages I see update once, maybe twice a week. I know business owners do not have time and that is why they need people like us 🙂
Agreed, Adam. What businesses fail to realize is that you can best sell your business by being helpful and responsive. Yes, sometimes you can use overt selling, but if that’s all you do, people will tune out in a hurry.
As for the Facebook pages, I think once or twice a week can be okay depending on the business and the type of content. What’s worse is the companies who completely stop altogether or only post once every few weeks or months. That’s when it’s really hard to gain traction.
With some professional services firms I’m starting to grill them on #5! That’s a good one and yes, follow-through is so very important. We need to talk about commitment 🙂
Totally, Craig. There’s no point in using social media if you’re not willing to engage with people. You can’t treat social media as an advertising channel!