The real problem with social media marketing

If you do a Google search on problems in social media marketing, you will find several articles that discuss the following:

  • Personnel (capacity of and/or lack of)
  • Strategy (generally lack of, or not fitting in with overall comms strategy)
  • No ability to measure ROI (or, can’t justify expenditure)
  • Budget (not enough)
  • Content (not adequate)
  • Consistency (generally, lack of)

[Go ahead. Google “the problem with social media marketing” and you will see for yourself.]

Although all these problems definitely affect the ability to do social media marketing, the biggest problem is this: all it takes is one click to unfollow/unlike.

In other words, it’s easy to lose support, and once you lose support, it’s very hard to gain it back.

It occurred to me this morning that although I recently unfollowed a couple big names in social media that I had not missed them in the very least. In fact, I was relieved to not see them in my timeline. In the personal realm, I have hidden several people on Facebook. Again, I don’t miss them and have almost forgotten them.

It’s easy to hit hide or mute or unfollow. And once you are out of sight, well, you are out of mind.

Still, because there’s a low barrier to entry, there’s also a low barrier to exit. Something can go viral one week and practically disappear the next week. People lurch from one topic to another. Some social media accounts get stale. Some social media accounts become offensive. Whatever the reason, we lose interest and we move on. And once we move on, it becomes difficult if not impossible to get us back.

There’s a small hitch to my theory and it’s social sharing. Say you unfollow “JoeBigMediaExpert” but your trusted colleague “Ilovesocialmedia” hasn’t. If “Ilovesocialmedia” constantly shares “JoeBigMediaExpert’s” posts, you’ll see them.

Still, the ease of ignoring (unfollowing/unliking) on social media plus the clutter issue (too much stuff!) is what any social marketer has to deal with. The guiding questions may be these:

  • What keeps followers interested?
  • What offends followers?
  • What’s the best way to bring value to followers?

What do you think?  What makes you keep following a brand or personality? What turns you off?





About Deborah Brody

Deborah Brody writes and edits anything related to marketing communications. Most blog posts are written under the influence of caffeine.

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