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7 reasons social media technology doesn't help every business

Social media is a useful tool, and a wonderful use of technology for businesses, but only if they know how to use it, and use it right. Many business feel like their social media efforts were a waste of time, and for many this is true. However, this is not because it is a poor technology choice for marketing, but rather because they may be making one of these seven mistakes. The following are seven reasons social media technology does not help every business:

  1. They use it without a plan or strategy. When a business jumps into social media without a strategy, it is not going to do much for them. Just like any other tool for marketing, without a plan it does little good. Before starting a social media campaign, it is important for businesses to create a long and short term strategy, determine what they want out of their social media, and how they plan to achieve it.
  2. They think too narrowly. Only using it for short-term campaigns is going to only provide short term results, or none at all. If you want to have social media help your business, you have to think long term. You have to build a user base, you have to provide relevant content, you have to be consistent in your use, and not to self promoting, but you have to do all of this over a long period of time, so that your customers and potential customers know what to expect from you, and when to expect it.
  3. They leave the important people out of it. If your social media campaign isn't lead by the executives it isn't going to be as great. Look at Twitter, who gets the most followers? The celebrities, the big guys. People want social interaction with the head honcho, not some underling. So, get the executives in on the campaign, even if it is just their face.
  4. They are spread too thin, and are swayed by the newest shiniest platforms. It is better to create a single social media platform campaign and devote yourself to better posts, optimizing it, etc. then try to be everywhere. There are tons of social media options, choose the big ones (twitter, facebook, etc.) and then use tools to spread your content across both media, rather than trying to do too much yourself.
  5. Using it alone. Social media should not be used as a replacement or stand-alone strategy, it should be part o a comprehensive business strategy. When used alone it can help, but not nearly as much as it has the potential to do.
  6. They don't use it for what it is intended for. If you are not responding to comments of import in a timely manner, then you are going to lose customers, not gain them. Respond, don't try to think of something clever, or consult your legal department to craft a standard answer, just get out there and respond.
  7. They have unrealistic ROI expectations. You can't expect immediate results or over the top success. Be realistic and you will get what you expect and be happy for it.
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