There are no guarantees that Social Media will succeed for your business or organization. However if it’s not delivering the results you had hoped for, here are 3 possible reasons why:
1.) You don’t have a strategy – Chinese general Sun Tzu is credited with the axiom “Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and the others are all just tactics. Without a solid strategy that defines your brand, target, goals and voice, it’s impossible to determine the platforms and communities where your audience is, and ones in which they would expect you to be, or what to do once you begin. Unless you have a strategy to help you evaluate whether the next rising social network is a real opportunity, or just the next shiny object, you are almost certain to fail.
2.) You aren’t committed to do what it takes – Unless one of your posts becomes the next viral sensation on Mashable, your path to measurable impact will be a long one. Building fans, followers and reputation requires a presence that keeps you top of mind with your target audience. Without frequency, rotation, valuable content, timely interaction, and immediate response over an extended period of time your efforts will likely fail.
3.) You rely on Social Media as a silver bullet – Even a “successful” return from Social Media efforts can be a failure if you’re cutting other, more profitable marketing efforts in hopes of Twitter or Facebook becoming your panacea. Strategic consideration of new vehicles and measuring their success of each against all your efforts will enable you to do what works and discard what doesn’t. If your website, email marketing, search engine optimization, pay per click, and traditional marketing efforts are producing more return on your investment than Social Media, continuing to use it at their expense could result in the biggest Social Media failure of all.
This article originally appeared in the BizTimes.com Social Media Strategies Column, in August, 2015