June 27, 2016 Duncan Alney

Top Social Media Marketing Frustrations (& How To Avoid Them)

social media marketing frustrations

I frequently run into people who express frustration with social media marketing. So I decided to crowdsource a story. Here’s how it rolled out.

My sincere thanks to Shashi Bellamkonda, Jason Falls, Justine Fritz, Alicia Hungerford, Mike Moyer, Serena Vora, Dana Byers, and Geno Church for lending their support to this effort.

I tagged a couple of well known practitioners – Shashi Bellamkonda, CMO of Surefire Social and an extensively networked guy in general, and Jason Falls, VP of Digital at Elasticity, author, speaker and all round bad ass.

First, Justine Fritz chimed in that social isn’t always the last piece in the buyer’s journey or communication continuum – and a general lamentation that perhaps social doesn’t receive the respect it deserves within the enterprise.

Next, Alicia Hungerford pointed out that companies often don’t really “get” social media marketing, but slavishly get involved with it.

Mike Moyer chimed in with the fact that he notices a lack of authenticity.

Serena Vora provided the insight that sometimes brands don’t define the desired outcomes for a social media marketing program – they get involved in an uninspired way. She also pointed out that people (marketing and brand people I assume) don’t fully understand social.

I was happy to hear from Dana Byers about the lack of authentic generosity (by brands) and an inability to convert curious people into customers (or to track that).

Shashi Bellamkonda injected the common frustration of not tying social media marketing to real business goals.

I was both enlightened and surprised to see these responses. Some of them are consistent with what we started seeing in 2007 – that’s the beginning of time in social.

My recommendations for avoiding social media marketing frustrations

1. Clear definition of business goal and marketing need that social media marketing will fulfill. For example: brand awareness, web traffic / lead generation, customer service etc.

2. Well articulated outcomes that are desired – for example: increasing share of voice against competitors and industry benchmarks or increasing web traffic from social by 20% or X traffic.

3. Strong understanding of the audience driven by internal research, ongoing deep listening of the open social web and anonymous Facebook data with well thought through insights.

4. An understanding of whether competitors are using it and how; as well as whether the audience is on.

5. Specification of of where social sits in the business process map, who owns it and their buy in, infrastructure, processes, protocol and the right people.

6. I love to use an I3P framework – infrastructure (including tools), processes, protocols and people – to round out the operationalization of the approach.

7. A la Jay Baer’s vision – it is critical to be helpful and address negativity with transparency.

8. Lastly – share some love baby. It goes a long way.


What do you think? What have I left out? What can help alleviate some of your top social media marketing frustrations (other than several martinis?)

Duncan Alney

CEO at Firebelly
Fun Fact: Duncan co-authored the book "Facebook Marketing Secrets." He founded Firebelly in 2001.
Duncan Alney

About the Author

Duncan Alney Fun Fact: Duncan co-authored the book "Facebook Marketing Secrets." He founded Firebelly in 2001.

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