Houston, We Have a Failure to Execute

In continuing our theme of why social media falls short, let’s focus on one of the biggest culprits: the failure to execute.

It goes like this: companies hire a social consultant or activate an internal team to create a social media strategy that looks at the why, who, what and how’s.

A well-defined strategic and tactical plans are put together, the right social media services are selected, the resources (people and money) are allocated, and the launch plans are made.

The next big step is turning the plans into action – taking them from the planning board into the real world, which are far less glamorous.

It means making social media happen day in, day out, pumping out content, engaging with happy and critical customers, building relationships while demonstrating ROI to the corporate executives.

For all the planning, it is always surprising how often there is a failure to execute. The reality is execution is difficult. Attaining success can be a long-term proposition as opposed to happening overnight. And measuring success can be a challenge given there are hard and soft metrics.

The reality of social media execution can be a shocking wake-up call compared with the hype and enthusiasm that surrounds social media. Execution is grunt work, not glamour.

It’s about consistency rather than overnight success. And success may pale in comparison with some of the success stories that people point out on a regular basis.

This means many companies fumble the ball when it counts. When push comes to shove, they can’t make social media happen because they are not prepared, not ready or not willing to do what it takes.

Bottom line: If you’re serious about social media, strategy and tactics are only half the battle.