Have you ever heard people say…”Your business needs to be on Facebook”, “You need to start a blog” or “You need to send out an email newsletter”? I find these assumptions vague and serving no purpose. It’s like someone telling you that you need tires for your car to run without telling you what kind, how big, and knowing what model car you own. These assumptions are what I call the social media death trap. The real question is, are you in it?
A few signs that you are in the Social Media Death Trap?
The social media death trap is a place where you feel stuck. Your post, post, post, and post some more and aren’t really clear as to why you are doing it. Think of times you or someone handling your social media posted on Facebook or Twitter. What was the purpose?
Let’s take a look at a few other signs that you might be in the Social Media Death Trap…
A false sense of success
Let’s say someone responds to one of your email campaigns. Was this luck or was a planned event? Is there a process for how you or your team are to respond to such an event? If the answer is no, you are stuck in the Social Media Death Trap.
Lack of Key Performance Indicators
Another big indicator that you are stuck inside of the social media death trap is the lack of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). Your entire effort using social media relies on tactics, but there is no key statistics or events that indicate success relevant to your business. Nothing that says…”Hey, we just reached one of our goals, let’s go celebrate”. Oh and just being able to measure your efforts (e.g. open rate of an email) doesn’t count on it’s own. If you haven’t defined your Key Performance Indicators, you’ll NEVER have a clear indication of what’s working and what’s not.
Social media only involves “being on Facebook, Twitter, etc.”
I’ve always said there are 2 types of online communities organizations need to focus on. External (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) that help attract people to your brand and Internal communities (i.e. that help maintain the communication necessary for building the relationship further. If your only putting your focus into External communities without considering how you plan on building those relationships further, you’ll be stuck with many contacts, but no money.
Lack of time and resources
We all know how fast a day can go by. You get that motivation to share that blog post or make new contacts via social networks, but nothing gets done. Why? Well, this is a key sign you are in the Social Media Death Trap. You’ve set your priorities in such a way that doesn’t allow for time to implement your social media strategy. Now I’m not saying that is a bad thing. The role you’re in right now might not give you all the time necessary to implement your social media strategy. Someday you’ll get to it. And that someday never comes.
The Social Media Death Trap is one lonely place.
Here are a few results of being stuck inside of the Social Media Death Trap:
|Increased sales, marketing and advertising costs||Lack of a loyal community and under-utilization of efficient communication channels|
|Decreased morale and productivity||Lack of platform to promote internal communication outside of the “day-to-day” tools|
|Increased emotional stress||Well, trying to manage your entire social media strategy by yourself with everything else you have to do isn’t fun 🙁 I’d also like to add that a sense of uncertainty is a big factor in your stress level. Not knowing what’s working and what isn’t can is definitely one of those uncertainties.|
|Huge opportunity costs||As you experience unplanned small successes, you’re missing out on tactics that might yield 10 times better results|
So, how the heck do you get out of the Social Media Death Trap…
There are 2 critical components that will help you get out of the Social Media Death Trap: Strategy and Resources.
Let’s take a step back for a minute. Social media is really just a set of tools used to communicate with one another digitally. The key thing to remember is that it’s only 1 part of your overall digital marketing strategy.
You need a plan that is broken down into 4 areas:
- Purpose – What specifically are you trying to achieve. Vision, mission, and goals fit inside of this area
- People – Who do you need to engage to achieve the Purpose
- Platform – What Platforms best serve as a vehicle to engage the People
- Process – What processes are necessary to use the Platforms to engage the right People to achieve your purpose
You need to employ a methodology, such as the one above, to get a better grip on how you are going to achieve your purpose. A methodology provides you with a framework from which you can develop your digital marketing strategy. From there you will be able to understand why and how to do things.
Once you have a clear written plan on how you are going to achieve your Purpose (e.g. vision, mission, goals, etc.), you need to consider what resources you will need to put in place to make it all work.
Resources might include:
- A solutions provider to handle 1 or multiple tactics outlined in your digital marketing strategy
- Additional time required of yourself and/or your staff to interact with solution providers
- Third-party costs for software and tools needed to execute your digital marketing strategy (e.g. video email tool, email marketing services, etc.
One thing I want to make clear is that there is a clear difference when it comes to a digital marketing strategy company and a digital marketing solutions provider. A digital marketing strategy company, at least a good one, won’t give a bias to a solution that requires their own staff to complete. This is because digital marketing strategy company’s don’t typically hire internal resources such as developers or designers to work directly on client projects. Their strategies are unbiased and include resources (people and companies) that are the best fit to implement their strategy.
Digital marketing solution providers on the other hand focus on tactics and implementation of a digital marketing strategy. They design. They code. They write. They are the doers.
It’s important to understand the clear difference between a strategy and a solutions company, especially in the digital marketing world. This is 1 major distinction that I’ve picked up on over the past 10 years of being in the industry.
If you are feeling stuck in the Social Media Death Trap, don’t worry. You’re not alone. The first step in utilizing digital media to its greatest degree is to first realize where you are and what steps you need to take to make it work for you.