5 Reasons Your Social Media Marketing Isn’t Working

Posted at Jan 29, 2018 4:55:39 PM by THAT Agency | Share

With the recent Facebook News Feed Algorithm update, there has been a lot of short-sighted advice being handed out. With the suppression of organic reach for brands, people have said everything from focusing on Facebook Groups only to abandoning Facebook altogether. We all just need to take a deep breath and think objectively about what we are hoping to get from social media marketing. Why does it exist? Why is your brand participating in the first place?

Now, this may not be a popular opinion with the social media purists, but social media marketing is MARKETING, just like any other channel. The model is essentially to gather an audience segmented by data and selling things to that audience via advertising. That’s the way the world works. Misunderstanding this dynamic will doom your social media efforts when it comes to business results.


Before I dig deeper into the 5 reasons your social media marketing isn’t working, I want to make something very clear. Growing a social community and getting them to engage with your brand is very important. However, to act like doing so is the sole reason Facebook, Twitter or Instagram exist is simply ignoring reality. We must have a multi-pronged effort that tries to capture people’s attention while also trying to advertise to them in a value-based way. THAT is the power of social media.

Here are the top 5 reasons your social media marketing isn’t working!

1. You’re Overestimating “Community”

Community building is important in social media marketing, however most marketers grossly misunderstand the type of community they are building. When most social media marketers think of a social community, the imagine thousands of people all gathered around their brand patiently waiting for a piece of content to come out that will immediately improve all their lives. When in reality, you are supposed to be showcasing the value of what your brand brings to the table in an educational, informative and value-driven way in hopes that your community will choose YOUR BRAND when a need arises. We have to stop pretending that people really want to be friends with brands. If you are a social media marketer and disagree, quickly try to recall the first and last names of actual people in your community. You probably can’t. Once we all get a realistic understanding about what TYPE of community we are trying to build and WHY we are building it, results of social media marketing efforts will improve.

2. You Aren’t Advertising

I am still baffled at the amount of “marketers” that are averse to social media advertising. It is literally the most cost-effective way to reach a targeted group of consumers. The free ride is over. It has been over for a LONG time with other marketing channels. While not every business has a large budget to invest in advertising, a little can go a long way with social media. We strongly urge brands to pinch off some budget and test social advertising. If you don’t, be ready for a lot of disappointment when it comes to your social media marketing results.

3. You Get Distracted by Flashy Tactics

If you value tactics over strategy you are doomed to fail. Its very simple. No amount of “hacks” or “tricks” are going to scale for your business in social media. You need to start with the goal of your efforts and work backward fleshing out a strategy that will help you achieve your business goals in a cost-effective way. Realize that everything you do takes time and you must asses the amount of time you will sink into an activity versus what it will give you. You know, the ole ROI conversation. Be cautious of flashy tactics, they usually go obsolete quickly. One way to avoid distraction is setting a plan and sticking to it. There are some great resources out there to help you plan and implement a consistent strategy.

4. You Don’t Understand Data

One of the most dangerous things to a social media marketing strategy is not understanding data. If you can’t measure, analyze and react to the data created by your social activities, you are flying blind. While you are at it, you need to invest time in understanding attribution models. The logic of see post, click link and buy product almost never happens. Consumers tend to bounce around before they purchase, so by not understanding the data behind HOW your audience shops, you may misinterpret the effectiveness of your campaigns. Get familiar with Facebook Insights, Facebook Analytics (from the pixel) and Google Analytics while you can so you fully understand exactly what your efforts are producing. Success with social media marketing isn’t only about Likes, Engagements and Shares!

5. You Act Like a Big Brand – You’re Not

If you are modeling your social media marketing strategy after Coca-Cola or Nike, you are way off the mark. Top brands like these has built brand equity over decades of work. Unless you are prepared to go to market with immense budgets, trying to borrow ideas from them likely wont work. Small to mid-market businesses must work extra hard (and smart) to cut through the noise on social media. Never ever assume that people simply know you and they will automatically understand what you are trying to accomplish. Be realistic, be humble and go to market with a scrappy and smart plan to build your brand every day. You cant skip years of brand building and hope that assumed brand equity is going to bode well for your brand. Spend the time and money building awareness and prospecting new business. With time, your brand will grow!

Once you stop making the above mistakes, you will surely see slow and steady improvement for your social media efforts. Its time to treat actually use social media for marketing!

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Tags: Social Media

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