Believe it or not 52% of companies out there are operating without a plan in social media, according to the latest eMarketer report. Nada, Zippo, Zilch.
That’s probably why most corporate social media initiatives will fail. Operating without a sound plan or strategy is very much like throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing if it will stick to it, just to see if its done. At the end of the day you have wasted spaghetti either on your wall or on your floor.
With companies planning to implement 10 or more endeavors into social media marketing this year, how can they operate without a plan, without guidelines, without policies, without goals and without measuring? Social media marketing is becoming a more common line item in budgets, especially in 2010, and accountability is crucial to prove whether the efforts are working or not.
Unfortunately what happens in most cases, especially with those who don’t have plans or strategies to guide them, is that the C-Suite or the person in charge suffers from “Shiny Object Syndrome“. Basically they see social media, they hear about it, they look at the results that look instantaneous or overnight that are being touted on Mashable, Tech Crunch, CNN or NBC and think “We Have To Have That!“ So the word comes from on high that they need to have a Twitter account, or be in Four Square, or have a Facebook Application. The marketing team scrambles to put it in place and just starts engaging, a few weeks later …… Nothing!
What happened, why didn’t anyone talk to us? Didn’t they like our coupons? What about our ads, did they click on our page of ads? Why didn’t they buy anything? This Social Media stuff doesn’t work!
That’s what happens when you don’t start off in social media marketing without a sound plan or strategy. It didn’t work because likely your captive audience wasn’t where you just started your tactic in, or you weren’t talking to them in the lingo they use, or you insulted them by not reading the rules or understanding the norms, or worse you treated them like the “general public”. It failed because you didn’t have policies in place or you didn’t keep your entire team (and company) clued in on your efforts or your messaging you wanted to convey in social media. If failed because you neglected to set goals and measure those tactics you implemented to see if they were helping you meet your goals and either tweak, add more resources to or switch tactics in your social media plan….. a plan which you didn’t set in place.