This is a continuation from the Web 2.0 Expo: Why Social Media Marketing Fails- And How to Fix it . Can’t agree more. I’m not even sure if we should be calling it marketing or doing “marketing campaigns” since that’s not what building relationships or producing thought leadership content in social media is about. I preferred the term social media optimization (hence SMOExpert.com ) Apparently, I lost out on the great Web 2.0 Interactive Marketing Naming War, and I’m left with the BetaMax of marketing names. Anyway:
Experts Discuss 4 Key Reasons Why Social Media Fails
April 1, 2009 · 11 Comments
Today at the Web 2.0 Expo, a panel of industry thought leaders – Peter Kim (Dachis Corporation), Charlene Li (Altimeter Group), and Jeremiah Owyang (Forrester Research) discussed Why Social Media Marketing Fails - and how to fix it.
Keeping true to the spirit of social media, Peter Kim invited input for this session before the show, on his blog where folks respond to what they wanted to see at this session. Not surprisingly, it was standing room only for this brilliant panel of former and current Forrester analysts.
Here are the key highlights from this insightful discussion where panelists also provided concrete suggestions on overcoming major hurdles to social media success in companies.
#1 How do I get my culture to adopt? (Lack of buy-in from C-level executives)
This was quoted as the No.1 reason by the panelists for the failure of social media adoption and success in companies. Charlene Li bluntly stated that, most companies are not ready for change. “Big guns” need to get involved and for those executives to get onboard is show the connection to bottom-line/revenue. Li highly recommends “Go for the sweet spot”, which are corporate (financial) goals that the management is focused on and to demonstrate how social media can help drive those results.
Jeremiah’s experience was different in that executives are usually the last to adopt. Smaller groups at lower level management were more likely to drive social media adoption. However all three agreed on the need for a champion at the executive level to make social media successful in the long-term.
Peter Kim asked whether companies needed a ”Chief Social Officer” to help social media adoption in companies? Li disagreed and said that it was a fallacy. Social media shouldn’t be just one person and that it would be “dangerous” to have just one person responsible for social media. She believes that it’s everybody’s responsibility. She gave the example of Charles Schwab, which is focused on a customer engagement strategy and for them social media is just one of the many ways to achieve that strategy.
Kim pointed out another dangerous fallacy and that was the perception that social media ia young person’s game and many companies hire interns to do their social media strategy. Li thought a good practice she has seen is that many companies are pairing up marketing folks with younger people. Owyang suggested using the Hub and Spoke, where various cross-functional groups drive the initiatives but coordination is done centrally. The other two models he discussed were: Tire – social media is initiated from the edges and grows organically without any coordination. Tower – social media is initiated from upper management levels and can be inauthentic
#2 How do I make my campaigns work? (Using the “Campaign” model)
All three panelists pointed out that it was wrong and misguided for marketers to treat social media as just another “campaign”. Li said that attitude is the biggest problem, because social media is not a campaign. She went on to add that it’s about relationships and conversations, not about technologies and she also said that very few brands do this right.