Why Social Marketing is Difficult – Pitfalls

Every company is thinking on how to use social media to their advantage. The possibilities are numerous. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube are the most familiar and appealing ones. However companies seem to find it difficult to make good use of the opportunities and to incorporate them in their communication and marketing strategy. How come?

This article describes the most common pitfalls.

Pitfall 1

Social marketing needs a different approach to interacting with consumers and customers than traditional marketing. It needs to be a true conversation instead of a one way communication like advertising is.

Pitfall 2

Social marketing doesn’t fit into current structures. It needs to be an integrated collaboration for marketing, PR, communications, customer support, content production and web development. It needs to be clear who is the owner of the organization’s social strategy and different parts of it.

Pitfall 3

Communities and content are global: Users of social media connect, consume, and share content globally. In a global company the responsibility of the social strategy needs to be centralized. 

Pitfall 4

Social marketing is not a campaign, it needs a permanent approach. Marketing and PR normally work on short time frames and work with individual campaigns and short term objectives. 

Pitfall 5

Social activities don’t have guaranteed results. Social media is a pull medium; usage and interaction is totally dependent on the user choosing to do so.  On beforehand the success is hard to predict.

Pitfall 6

New metrics. These numbers will always be smaller, but not necessarily any less measure of success. Lower reach can be as effective and with better results than a large reach through traditional advertising regarding to for example sales or engagement.

Address these pitfalls if you are starting with your Social strategy and Social activities. Being aware of them and trying to avoid them will result in a bigger chance of being successful in the Social environment.