Common Pitfalls to Social Media Campaigns

Cover to Brian Solis' The End of Business As UsualCMOs are drastically shifting their marketing budgets from traditional advertising to social media and content marketing—and with good reason. Social media based conversions are not the elusive unicorn people have made them out to be, it’s just a matter of knowing how to make it happen. The modern consumer reacts best to content on their turf, not that of your company. However, there are some common pitfalls that almost all brands (large and small) make.

Not leveraging your social media campaign –

If you visit Groubal’s customer sentiment index ( you can search any number of brands to see how Groubal ranks them. In Brian Solis’ book The End of Business As Usual, he lists that at the time of writing Time Warner was ranked 991/1000 for customer dissatisfaction. He goes on to describe a word cloud to “explore shared sentiment.” This word cloud was overwhelmed with negative comments, even to the point of cussing.

As of Dec. 6, 2011 the index for Time Warner’s customer dissatisfaction has dropped dramatically. One can only assume that they have begun to leverage their social media campaign to deal directly with dissatisfied customers on their turf.

In short, you can’t simply have a mission statement or a website with a glowing description of your company. You must leverage your social media so that you address issues head on.

Leaving your customers behind –

Everybody knows that social media is the exciting new way to get customers. Especially in the B2B marketplace, social media is the hot button topic. The problem is, many social media campaigns over compensate for the connected consumer. They start pouring money into QR codes, Facebook pages, Twitter contests, etc. while ignoring that some, many, or even all of their customers aren’t that advanced.

Shifting your budget from traditional advertising to social media is a wise move. However, be sure to keep some old fashioned marketing pieces in place for consumers that haven’t taken the social media leap. In fact, bucking the trend might be exactly what your brand needs to set itself apart.

Not researching your customers –

The word cloud presented by Brian Solis in his book is something you can and should do for your customer base. Take the information from your brand’s Twitter following or Facebook fans and create a cloud to see what items are most common among them. A cloud created based on @Starbuck’s followers found that dog owners were more common than cat owners.

The greatest part of social media is a company’s ability to find detailed information about their customer base. If you leverage a Facebook check-in for your website you can have access to your customer’s birthday, age, location, and much more. By ignoring this information you are leaving precious sales on the table.

Market research is one thing, having direct access to true consumers is something else entirely. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring what is already in front you!

Consistency in frequency is just as important as consistency in message –

There are a lot of different types of social media participants. There are those that are on social media once a week, once a day, and those that seem to check their Facebook, Google Plus or Twitter every waking hour.

Consider two companies:

Company A – Has Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, FourSquare, etc. and updates all 10+ a day, replies to comments or tweets within 15 minutes, and is constantly seeking out new followers.

Company B – Has all the profiles but sporadically updates; if they reply to messages it is a few days later, and they never actively pursue new followers.

It might be easy to assume which one attracts more attention, but I believe the worst thing to do is jump between the two types of interaction. Why? There are consumers who will enjoy the sporadic updates of Company B and there are consumers that will love the active feed of Company A. The problem is that there are probably very few people out there that will enjoy both.

These are just four of the common pitfalls in social media campaigns. As more and more companies shift their budgets to social media, we are likely to see even more. Have you made any of these mistakes? Is there another glaring example of a pitfall you have witnessed? Share it in the comments below.

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Amie Marse is the founder of Content Equals Money. She lives in Lexington, KY with her two dogs: Billie and Lily. She has been writing content for her web based clients since 2005. She launched Content Equals Money in Oct of 2010, home of conversion focused content writing services. She loves to chat about small business development and how to make content equal money!

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    1. Yup! Go ahead and spend the money on all the new avenues but don’t forget to leave some cash for more traditional ads 🙂
      Amie was just talking about…Common Pitfalls to Social Media CampaignsMy Profile

    2. I really like your point about not leaving customers behind as you embrace social media. This is something that it seems like a lot of brands aren’t considering as they start incorporating social into their marketing efforts, but it’s absolutely valid that a lot of users just aren’t that advanced. Sure, millennials can click around and do everything we want them to do, but there are a lot of Gen Xers for whom it was a major accomplishment just to know how to sign in to Facebook, much less participate in contests.

      Great post as always. 🙂


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