#Fail: why social media marketing campaigns fail

I’ve previously posted on how to measure the success (or failure) of a social media marketing campaign. But why do social media campaigns fail?

This is an apocryphal quote – and I can’t find the source – but I’ve heard Alexandra Samuel talk about the default state of a social media marketing campaign being “fail” … mostly because it ain’t easy.

But why?

I recently read a great list by Darren Houle at Communicopia. In brief, he lists 5 reasons for social media marketing failure:

  1. Lack of organizational buy-in to company culture
  2. Lack of organizational tie-in to company goals
  3. Short-term objectives
  4. Lack of planning for the inevitable sticky situations that will arise
  5. Quitting after the first failure … “we tried that, it didn’t work”

The reality is the same one facing those who want to get rich quick, become famous quick, become an instant expert, or go from 90-pound weakling to 240-pound Schwarzenegger: it does occasionally happen, but only fools plan on it.

Social media marketing campaigns that are successful over the long term arise out of a company culture, mission, and vision that is conducive to openness, creativity, responsiveness, humor, and change. This takes time. This takes effort. It’s not as easy has hiring an SEO firm and writing a check.

The biggest clue
Successful social media marketing campaigns aren’t campaigns at all. What do I mean?

I’m simply saying that they’re not episodic, they’re not short-term, and they’re not something that you can pick and one day and throw away another day … like a magazine ad or a TV spot.

Successful social media marketing, like all great marketing, tells a story that draws in an authentic way on the larger, longer story of a company or organization. It’s a chapter in a book, an act in a play. There was one before, there’ll be one after.

The biggest question – as in all marketing – becomes: is your organization’s story worth listening to?


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Your Article is very interesting, It addressses issues in a very clear manner. I have enjoyed very much reading it. Keep up the good writing.


  • i do Social Media Marketing specially when promoting a new website or an affiliate product. Social media is more effective than offline advertising in my opinion.