"The 10 Most Common Reasons Marketers and BUSINESSES FAIL With 
Modern Social Media Marketing"
Written by Jeremy White on June 18th, 2018
If you are promoting any kind of website, you probably have heard of the online marketing concept social media marketing. In fact, if you are the typical online entrepreneur or marketing consultant, you probably use that phrase quite frequently. 

Just like with the word “love” the more people repeat the word, the more confusion it creates. What can pass for social media marketing to one person may be a complete out and out joke to another person. It really is quite bad and it leads to a tremendous amount of confusion and failed marketing campaigns. 
Make no mistake about it. If you want your social media marketing efforts to yield solid results, you have to get out from under common mistakes even pros make. I wish I could have told you these mistakes earlier because you probably would have saved a tremendous amount of time, effort and money. 

Well, the good news is by learning these mistakes now, you can go a long way in avoiding them in the future. Here are the 10 most common reasons marketers fail with social media.
Unfortunately, social media marketing is one of those concepts that doesn't 
get any clearer the more people repeat its name.
It doesn't really matter how big your marketing budget is. Chances are there will always be a person in the executive team who expects your online marketing efforts to go large or go home. The idea is that you need to get out of the gate and take no prisoners.
 
While there is a lot to commend this strategy, it's too easy to overdo things. It's too easy to just blow through a tremendous amount of money and effort and have very little to show for it. Social media marketing is essentially a long term engagement. It doesn't really fit well with a one shot big shot approach because you don't know all the variables coming in.

Strategic information regarding consumer intelligence, audience insights and audience profiling are things that you discover along the way. You can do some advance research but at best, they are shots in the dark. You will only truly know in a real world campaign scenario once you have already jumped in with both feet and done the marketing. It reveals itself as you try out your approach.

Given this reality, if you adopt a one shot big shot approach, you end up blowing your money only to end up with seriously flawed or partial at best hindsight. Do yourself a big favor and avoid this mindset. Instead, commit to a slow start.

In the beginning, you're just feeling things out and eventually, you will get enough of a clue to take it to the next stage. Once you achieve your initial set of victories, you can then start connecting the dots putting together a more workable strategy and then you can start scaling things up.

A lot of online marketers simply copy and past what their competitors are doing. This extends all the way from the content that they produce to their social media graphical elements all the way to the meaningless campaigns they run. 

Now this may seem like it makes a lot of sense, but you have to understand that you can't blindly copy because when you just copy and paste whatever somebody else is doing, there's a good chance you'll be copying their failure. If you don't know what to look for, if you don't know how to cross reference, slice and dice and otherwise numerically analyze what you've copied and pasted, you are wasting your time. 
Companies often times copy a competitor that is not on the same level as them. If you are just starting your business, trying to copy a companies advertisement strategy like Pepsi will not work. They are way ahead of you. 
If your competitors are struggling, you're going to struggle even worse because you don't have their built in audience. You have not proven yourself or created solid value. Instead of operating from a strategic advantage, you have actually dug your own grave.  

It's no surprise that blindly copying what your competitors are doing can often lead to fatal results. It's best to find companies similar to yours in terms of size and ambition and watch what they are doing. Research their methods and try to understand their strategy then MODEL them, don't copy them. You might blow through a lot advertising dollars and profits trying to do so and only to have very little or nothing to show for it.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to go with their gut feelings as far as marketing strategies are concerned. They think that they're on to something that is so hot that they only need to spend money on it and it will pretty much take care of itself.

Maybe they've discovered that people like a particular type of content so they jump in with both feet and invest a tremendous amount of money on a specific type of content and try to promote it all over the place. It turns out that the person behind the idea is very distinct from members of his target audience. 
It turns out that this person has different values and has a different mindset compared to the typical member of his target audience.

Not surprisingly, content that he finds compelling is a complete waste of time to his intended audience. What do you think happens in that situation? That's right. The company blows a tremendous amount of money and nobody shows up for the content. Talk about a wasted opportunity. 

Thankfully, there's an easy solution to this. In fact, it's so easy and obvious that it pretty much jumps out at you. I'll discuss the solution near the end of this book.

I understand that a lot of movers and shakers in start up companies want to start the game with a bang. They want to be the next air bnb, they want to give Uber a run for its money in terms of growth. They want to be the next big thing. 

I understand the impatience. I understand that there's a lot of pressure put on startup company founders to achieve victory right out of the gate. But the problem is when you let these pressures get to you, you end up making errors. You end up second guessing yourself and hesitating in certain decisions only to go with the “most obvious” solution. What do you think happens in that case?

Well, you end up paying for social media ad campaigns when you shouldn't have spent your first red cent. Instead of studying your consumer base and understanding their consumption habits, you just jump in with both feet guided solely by some wild guess as to what the market will like. 9 times out of 10, you end up making the wrong call and you spend if not tens of thousands of dollars on Facebook and your app, online store or blog doesn't get the results that you expect.

The reason for this, of course, should be obvious. You started a paid social media ad campaign when you should have gathered crucial information first. Sadly, this is one of those problems that don't go away regardless of how much money you spend on one paid ad campaign after another. You just have to step back, stop the campaigns and take a long hard look at the data that you have managed to collect. That's how you start turning things around.

You have to tie this into a more systematic solution, but data gathering after all the wasted money should definitely be your first step.

I've already mentioned this in a couple of the reasons above. However, this reason needs its own entry. The reason why a lot of otherwise intelligent company movers and shakers and marketing consultants fail to do consumer intelligence involves assumptions. People behind many websites and online publishing projects_ think that they know their target audience members intimately. In fact, a lot of them claim to be members of their target audience.

They think that since they're part of their target market, they know what works, they understand what's hot and what isn't. Unfortunately, assumptions don't work. Sure you may emotionally feel that you're part of the target audience members, but do you actually have the factual profile to back up that emotional conclusion?
A hunch is not a working strategy. You have to base your social media marketing campaign on hard facts. 

Just because you think that you are part of some larger group or you exhibit certain traits that you observe in your target audience members is not enough. You have to look at hard numbers. You have to slice and dice and analyze those numbers and put them essentially through some sort of analytical blender for you to start getting the facts you need to make truly informed decisions. 
 
Up until that point in time, you're just taking shots in the dark and making wild guesses. I'm sure you don't need me to remind you of where those normally lead to.

I've seen this happen so many times that it really is heartbreaking. You get a group of people who are very intelligent, driven and ambitious. They have this hot idea that they're just so excited about. So they pull money from friends and family members to put up a company and launch their business. 
 
The start up business starts out strong at first. It seems like it's the next big thing. In fact, in certain context, it seems unstoppable. But sooner or later, things start to fall apart and it turns out that they already have a tremendous amount of competition. As hot as the idea may be to its founders, it's missing a piece that prevents the company from effectively confronting and eventually overcoming its competitors.
Not surprisingly, it ends up dead. Another piece of roadkill on the long highway to corporate success in the US. This happens all the time. You don't have to live in Silicon Valley to see this play out. The problem here is actually quite obvious. These otherwise intelligent, smart and enterprising individuals ignore their competitors on social media. They kept throwing good money after bad on paid social media campaigns when they should have learned from their competitors.
Make no mistake about it. If you want to save money as a Silicon Valley startup, you need to know how to make your competitors do your homework for you. Sadly, ignoring your competitors on social media is a one way ticket to early failure.

I know you're in a hurry. I know you have all sorts of competitive pressures. Chances are you probably have angel investors, seed money investors or possibly venture funding in the works. Of course to get that investment funding, you have to show quick victories. I understand that. But the problem is if you use the wrong tools to target certain outcomes, chances are you will fall flat on your face. 

Instead of impressing your would be investors, your company would look like a clown show. I know that sounds harsh, but it's the absolute truth because when you are not very discriminative in selecting third party content for social media usage, you are essentially lighting your brand on fire. Stick a fork in it. It's absolutely done.

“Good enough” is never good enough when it comes to start ups. I don't care whether you're located in Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley or Digital Island in Singapore, you need to invest in the very best. Now this doesn't mean that you have to spend an arm and a leg for high quality content. There is high quality third party content out there. But without some sort of content quality framework, chances are your social media marketing campaign is going to fall flat on its face.

I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've seen really promising high quality online publishing start ups crash and burn. Please understand that this has nothing to do with the intelligence level or IQ score of the people behind the blog. These people are obviously intelligent, ambitious and they are curious. They know their niche inside and out.

The problem is the high quality content that they produce targets only one type of social media viewer. You have to remember that when you're on Twitter or Facebook, people consume different types of content. Some people are partial to video, others like audio files, even others like infographics or diagrams.
A lot of people may love text content in the form of links, but you have to accommodate people based on their preferences. We're not all heavy readers. Some like quick and short videos. Others like animated GIFs. Until and unless your content speaks to the different format preferences of people found on these different social media platforms, you can bet that you'll be leaving a lot of dollars on the table.
That's precisely what many once high flying blog and online publishing enterprises suffered from. They think that as long as they publish great content that their target audience members have a track record of liking, then they are well on their way to success. I wish it were that easy because even if your target audience members love a specific topic, they probably would like to engage with that content on many different levels.

This means that you have to give them the format that would maximize their content consumption. This is very hard to do when the very best you can offer takes the form of a blog image and a blog post. I'm sorry to be the one to report this to you, but simply pairing text and photos in the world of social media digital mobile content is not going to cut it. Not by a long shot.

If you have a YouTube video promoting your company, please do yourself a big favor and mention articles on your Facebook page. If you're running a Twitter campaign, hook yourself up with free traffic by tweeting about your YouTube video. 
 
You have to understand that your audience members are distributed across many different social platforms. Just because people are active in social media doesn't necessarily mean that they are on all platforms. They definitely are not in a position to equally split their time and attention among these different platforms.

Consumers being consumers have different content format preferences. Some people like pictures. Others like animated gifs. Others love videos. My point here is that you will explode your online traffic by appealing to people on one platform to check out your content in another platform.

When you do this, you get many bites at the apple. You get to brand them many times over, they get to see your content, they get to see what you're about. Chances are they may even develop some sort of affinity or affection for your command of a particular niche.

Whatever the case may be, you need to start looking credible and authoritative otherwise your brand is going to suffer. A lot of people fail to do this in social media because they think that it's just an extension of their blog. Fatal mistake.

People are on social media because that platform has specific features that they are attracted to. You are on Facebook for a specific reason. You look at content, you can share it, you can like it, you can comment on it. That's the bundle of experiences that you came for and failing to maximize and optimize this is a one way ticket to early bankruptcy for your startup company. It doesn't matter how many millions of dollars you've raised in venture funding. It's going to run out sooner rather than later.

Do yourself a big favor. Maximize your content's presence on all the social media platforms so they create content verticals in of themselves that pull traffic to where you need it to go.

Like I mentioned earlier, if you are the typical American startup, you probably have hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars invested in your venture. Now I wish I could tell you that when people invest that type of money in your business, they would stand back and let you run it according to your desires. But no.

The reality is once people invest their money in your company, you can bet that they will not only be financially invested, but they will also be emotionally tied to what you're doing. This is where all the stress and pressure comes in and not surprisingly, business founders are in a rush to achieve victory. They want to get to a million dollars in sales as soon as possible.
I understand why you need to do this and I share your ambition. But the problem is you can't run this as a sprint. Social media marketing really boils down to a two way conversation with your target audience members. Just like with any conversation, you have to stop and listen.

Unfortunately, if you are in a mad rush to instant millions, listening is the last thing on your mind. You just want to talk and talk and talk. You just want to blast your brand out there because you are in a rush to convert that traffic into cold hard cash. Also, you will be sprinting your way to an early bankruptcy if you do that with your social media marketing campaigns. 
This is a long term thing. This is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to understand that the more your social media marketing campaigns run, the more data you pick up about your audience members. This data is very valuable because you can use it to craft your content, position your brand and otherwise make a better impression that leads to higher conversion rates.

What if I told you that modern social media marketing can be automated, integrated and scaled? That's right. You can run your social media marketing campaign in tight, cohesive, compact way that produces predictable results.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that this is some sort of instant path to overnight millions. That is a fantasy. That is a pipe dream. That's just not going to happen. Instead, you can set up your social media marketing campaigns in such a way that it runs in the background while collecting data. In the mean time, you can work on building up your company, fine tuning your online properties and otherwise positioning it for ultimate success.

This is the right game plan. Unfortunately, a lot of people are clueless to this. They think that they fall for any one of the 10 reasons I have outlined above and they are well on their way to bankruptcy. Make no mistake. You have to have the right game plan going into social media marketing otherwise you're going to blow lots of money, waste a lot of time and still fail.

It doesn't matter how well you're funded. One million dollars times 0 is still 0. Automation is crucial, but you also have to figure out what to automate, how to automate and how to maximize your results. Don't get me wrong, automation can go a long way in helping you succeed, but to truly succeed, you have to have the right game plan.

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