We – the media, the blogosphere and Twittersphere – do a fantastic job of highlighting and celebrating social media success stories. The reality, however, is the number of social media failures vastly outnumbers companies that are thriving.
The reality is social media “car wrecks” are strewn throughout the landscape. It’s not for a lack of trying; it has everything to do with companies making fundamental mistakes in how they approach, embrace and execute on their social media programs.
Far too many companies are drinking the social media “Kool-Aid”. They buy aggressively into the hype that has continued to gain momentum but don’t have a clear idea of exactly what they want to do and, as important, why.
Here’s are five key reasons why social media failure is far more prevalent than anyone wants to admit to talk about.
1. The lack of a strategic plan. Far too many companies run before they walk. As a result, they jump into social media without a well-articulated idea of why they want to do social media, what they want to get out of it, what success looks like, and what rivals are doing.
According to a recent study by Digital Brand Expression, 78% of respondents said they were doing social media but only 41% of companies said they had a strategic plan.
2. The lack of a tactical plan. This is more than just knowing how to use Twitter, Facebook or a blog because they’re not that difficult to learn. Tactics has more to do about best practices, knowing when and how to engage with other people on social media, and using the best and most effective tools to be as productive and efficient as possible.
3. The lack of resources, or hiring people who lack the right skills or experience to get the job done. Too many companies get excited about a social media program but don’t or won’t allocate enough people to actually make it happen. Another mistake is they hire people who are too inexperienced but hope that their enthusiasm about social media will compensate for it.
4. The lack of content that is compelling, engaging, interesting or valuable. At the end of the day, great content and stories make social media be successful. Truth be told, social media services are simply tools to distribute content. In other words, content and stories and the ammunition that makes the weapons (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) effective.
5. The failure to build relationships. Social media is not a one-way street or a one-way conversation. For social media to work, you need to build relationships with people, have conversations, engage and connect. It’s work requires time and effort.
So, what do you think? Why do companies fail at social media?