When Social Falls Short

This post is for anyone who has had to ask (or been on the receiving end of the query) where did our social media marketing strategy go wrong?

The answer may be two-fold.

It is possible that things began to go awry when the primary focus of social media marketing shifted to numbers; that is, when the accumulation of fans, friends, followers and connections became the be-all-end-all measure of success.

Especially when compared to conventional media, social media affords such great opportunities, not the least of which is placing the world at the proverbial doorstep of any enterprise…without respect to budget.  But the instant that bolstering numbers becomes the objective, the real strength of SM has been diminished.  From the beginning, social has been about community; its dynamic growth is directly linked to the market’s desire to connect, to experience relationship, to be part of something; its lifeblood is dialogue.  Go for numbers in lieu of relationships and sacrifice results.

Or perhaps we lost traction when we began to equate marketing with the creation and delivery of the message, as opposed to identifying the precise point at which connection might occur.

Don’t misunderstand — messaging is most certainly a critical piece of the process.  But creative genius and awards aside, if messaging doesn’t emanate from a clear understanding of what it takes to connect with our target, we should not be surprised when the market barely moves in our direction.


Building A Strategy? Start Here.

Find endeavors that have experienced SM marketing success, and you’ll find two constants: smart targeting based on a strategy that transcends the numbers game; and,  communication that begins with intentional listening.

What might happen if, for a season, we forsook the pursuit of numbers and invested in carefully selecting a target market?  What if your enterprise were able to build a community that shared concerns, aspirations and experiences?  Invest in what it takes to identify and cultivate this market and you’re on the brink of success.

Couple smart targeting with intentional listening and experience what happens to a marketing strategy that includes feedback and collaboration with clients/customers/targets.

These are the differentiators and critical factors of a successful social media marketing strategy.  It takes aim at a specific target, and employs the creative (and opportunistic) resources of the mind’s ear.  It is a relentless quest for common ground and points of connection.  And it results in messaging that connects with targets, and has unquestioned impact on the bottom-line.

Eric Fletcher