Top 5 Reasons Your Social Media Strategy Can Fail in 2010

Social Marketing | January 19, 2010

There are many reasons your social media strategy can fail in 2010. Here are just five of them…

No Top Down Support
It doesn’t matter how mainstream social media is without top management support you’re going to fail. Social media takes time. When the boss sees people Tweeting, blogging and Facebooking during business, if he’s not on board he’s not going to like it. Find examples of competitors or other companies in your industry doing an effective job of engaging community and brand building through social media to get the boss on board.

No Content Strategy
Just because your company has a Twitter account and a Facebook fan page doesn’t mean you have a strategy. You need a content hub and a content theme for an effective content marketing strategy. Define the “why” and the “what” of your content strategy. Develop content that delivers on the three E’s: Educate, Enlighten, Entertain. Use platforms like Twitter and Facebook to support your content strategy. But, put the horse in front of the cart, not the other way around.

No Consistency
You’ve developed your content marketing strategy and you have the boss on board. You plan out the first two months of content and you post. Then that big trade show comes up and you get super busy. Your consistency goes from daily, to weekly and before you know it your only consistency is being absent from your social media strategy. This is worse than not having a social media strategy. If you’re not consistently posting content and engaging community, you’ll never enjoy the benefits of social media marketing. You wouldn’t water a garden once or twice then walk away from it, would you? Consistency is not an option in social media marketing.

You’re Too Loud
If all you do is consistently deliver a sales message on social media, you may just as well go buy billboards and skip social media. For social media newbies, the temptation is sometimes to use the tools as megaphones to shout sales messages. Some brands can earn the right to offer deals and promotions on social media. But, even those brands must have a loyal audience. In most cases the loyalty must be earned through consistent content and authentic, creative engagement. Brands that engage their community through enjoyable experiences win.  Remember the three E’s.

You’re Not Human
Brands who hide behind a corporate facade with corporate speak and no human interaction don’t do as well as brands who engage human to human. Zappos and Ford Motor are good examples of large B2C brands that engage well human to human.  In B2B some relatively unknown names such as Indium Corp.

BatchBlue and HubSpot are successful at engaging human to human rather than hiding behind a brand. The people at each of these companies post content in their individual name, respond to comments and engage with people who engage with them. They recognize that the brand perception is what other people think it is. They don’t ignore anyone. They engage human to human and it’s very effective for them.

There are other reasons your social media strategy could fail in 2010. For additional reasons, you’ll find an entire chapter dedicated to it in my book, Marketing 2.0.

Add your comments below to join in the conversation.

Bernie Borges

About the Author
Bernie is founder and CEO of Find and Convert and leads the agency’s strategy. Bernie is a consummate content producer on digital marketing insights and best practices and hosts the Social Business Engine digital TV show and podcast.

17 Comments to Top 5 Reasons Your Social Media Strategy Can Fail in 2010

  1. by Christy Sacco

    On January 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Great piece!

  2. by Rick

    On January 20, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Useful tips!

    Unfortunately, too many marketers today are still trying to use social media as yet another broadcast channel for traditional interruption-style advertising, instead of networking, relationship development and listening/learning from their market (and competitors).

  3. by Bernie Borges

    On January 21, 2010 at 2:17 am

    Rick,
    I agree that too many marketers are applying shouting style tactics in social media. Hopefully, they get feedback quickly that it doesn't work and hopefully they adapt to proper etiquette of social media and enjoy the benefits.

  4. by Wayne Liew

    On January 21, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Good post, Bernie. I still see a lot of marketers are jumping onto popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter just because others are on it. They fail to look at whether their target audience are on these platforms and by not listening enough before jumping in, they are simply wasting their resources on social media marketing.

  5. by Bernie Borges

    On January 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Wayne, that's right. Some marketers are jumping into the deep end of the pool before they've learned to swim…That's why it's important to develop a plan (learn to swim) before diving in…They should start by listening and learning from it…

    Thanks for your comment.

  6. by Amelia

    On January 25, 2010 at 8:57 am

    It is really important to engage with people on twitter (and other social media platforms) on a human to human basis. Wayne makes a great point – find a niche social media platform (if you can) as well as the universal ones such as Twitter & Facebook to gain better exposure among your potential customers.

  7. by Bernie Borges

    On January 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Amelia – yes, being human is critical to being successful on social media. I like to remind people that social media is "social." You can't be social without being human…

  8. by Dave Kinkade

    On February 28, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Hi Bernie, thanks for the interesting insight. It seems so many companies do operate out of fear and not out of a genuine desire to interact with their customers. Social Media is a brilliant opportunity to show the world that a business can be cool, hip, have a sense of humor and even warm. Those are the goals that we have with my business. If people are interested in our rental homes then they know where to go to find them. Twitter, in particular, should be treated as sacred when it comes to interacting with your customers.

    What I think many businesses don't get is that when you use Social Media as nothing more than that billboard you mentioned you are really telling them they aren't important to you. Nobody likes to feel they are just a number and that is exactly what so many of us are treated as when we interact with companies on Twitter and Facebook. They need to wake up before it is too late. Thanks for the call to action, Bernie.

  9. by Bernie Borges

    On March 1, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for your comment. I sometimes say "when in Rome do as the Romans." In this analogy, marketers should engage people the way the want to be engaged, not by using old style marketing on a new platform….Thanks again for your participation in this conversation…

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