Why Half of Social-Media Campaigns Will Fail

After tentatively exploring social media as a marketing tool for the past year or two, companies and agencies seem to be jumping in with both feet more recently, whether it’s Facebook or Twitter, Foursquare or Gowalla, Groupon or Scavengr. But many are suffering from “bright shiny object” syndrome, according to Adam Kmiec of Marc USA, a marketing and communications agency. As a result, he says, about half these attempts to jump on the social-media bandwagon are likely to fail, and for many of the same reasons. Those reasons include:

  • Believing the Social-Media Guru. The concept of social-media marketing is only a couple of years old, “so how can anyone claim to know it all?”
  • Not Tying a Campaign to Reality. Marketing initiatives that are social in nature need to be “tied into the fabric of a business,” says Kmiec, or they will never succeed.
  • Assuming It Will Come for Free. Many firms believe social campaigns don’t need traditional media support, but this is wrong. “Social does not equal viral nor does it equal free.”
  • Blocking Employees From Participating. Blocking employees from using Facebook, YouTube (s goog) and other social media is the wrong approach, says Kmiec. “To be social with customers, employees must be social.”
  • Sticking the Campaign in a Ghetto. All parts of the company should be involved in a campaign, including communications, public relations and marketing. “If you want to go fast, travel alone, but if you want to go far, travel together.”
  • Not Doing the Research First. Social media provides a tremendous amount of research on user behavior and attitudes, says Kmiec. By leveraging this, “companies can uncover opportunities they didn’t even realize existed.”

The rest of Kmiec’s predictions about how online marketers will continue to miss the boat can be found on his blog.

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Post and thumbnail photo courtesy of Flickr user Alex Proimos