Social Media Fail? What to Do if You’re Not Getting Results Using Social Media

Does this sound familiar? “I’ve gotten involved with social media and don’t have anything to show for it”, meaning they’ve gotten no results from their social media on chat with random people efforts.

I heard this lament from a friend the other day when she was talking about her business and how their new Facebook Page and LinkedIn profiles weren’t driving customers to their doorstep.

Is this a case of social media being over-hyped? Or, is it that as a small business they didn’t do a good job creating quality content, enticing and engaging their unique audiences, and converting their social media leads into sales? Is it social media, or is it poor execution?

Examples of social media done well

Social media can be a very effective marketing tool and has been shown to drive sales in a number of business success stories: take a look at some of Social Media Examiner’s case studies, an example of a successful retail case study, and examples of 9 recent social media campaigns.

Social media cautions

Social media is something that takes time, and over time becomes effective because of trial, error, and revision.

A musical analogy comes to mind: a standing ovation takes a composer to write the music, a songwriter for the lyrics to the song, band-member talent, numerous practice sessions, and finally a solid performance from each player in the band the night of the show. Bringing that to social media, you need a planner, a plan, talent – from there practice leads to performance and results.

It’s important to start with a plan. Your strategic social media plan should include:

Specific, realistic goals – from increasing customer satisfaction to generating x% more revenue, be detailed in what you are looking to achieve from your social media efforts. Remember, social media is one tool – it can leverage your time, but is not a substitute for your in-person and other marketing efforts, rather, it is an enhancement of those activities.
Measurement – identification of the metrics you will use to measure results. Take advantage of Google Analytics and take time to tie specific measures to each of your goals.
Stakeholder identification – who your target audiences are and where they are active online
Tactics – choose what platforms will you engage on (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, or another narrower network if appropriate). Create a content calendar. Develop social media campaigns. Address SEO. Engage with your community.
Implementation details – determine personnel assignments and timelines.
Assessment – Review, adjust, make changes and re-engage.
Just because you social media efforts haven’t helped you achieve your desired results yet – don’t despair. Engage smarter.

Social media fails

You can make mistakes in the social world – check out these examples of recent social media pitfalls and social media fails.

Bottom line – social media offers businesses significant opportunities to leverage their time and talent to meet meaningful goals and revenue increases. The challenge is that social media requires work!

M Erickson

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