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Why Social Media Doesn’t Work Sometimes

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Social media
© 2017 Scott Bateman

Social media doesn’t work for some publishers and business owners no matter how hard they try. Several important reasons explain why.

The explanation begins by identifying some of the reasons  why companies do social media. Five reasons explain why. They do it to:

  1. Increase website traffic from links in social media accounts.
  2. Increase sales on website from links via the accounts.
  3. Build brand, especially for large corporations such as Coca-Cola.
  4. Increase in-store traffic by promoting sales and other events.
  5. Build long-term relationships, such as email newsletters.

These “conversions” deliver the return on investment that goes into social media in the form of time and money.

If there is no measurable benefit for social media, why bother at all? In the early days, some companies chased after “likes” on Facebook without understanding that likes by themselves have no benefit.

The actual benefit comes from reaching those likes and their followers with future posts. Then it was a matter of getting them to take some action that contributed to the company’s profit, revenue or customer base.

Facebook gradually clamped down on the distribution and made it more difficult to reach the maximum number of likes and their followers.

5 Reasons Why Social Media Fails

Social media fails for companies because of various reasons. Sometimes it is just one reason and sometimes it is a combination.

1) It’s Simply the Wrong Business Type

Many local newspapers have enormous reach, massive likes and fantastic clickthrough rates from posts to their websites. The clickthroughs produce high readership and strong ad revenue.

Retail and travel websites often have poor reach, struggle to grow likes and likewise struggle to get many clicks.

2) Social Media Oversaturation

Major social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus and Linked In increasingly are suffering from oversaturation. It means there are too many accounts competing for the same niche audiences.

But the networks don’t mind too much because companies have to buy advertising to achieve prominence, eyeballs and clicks.

3) Account Mismanagement

The heavy competition requires companies to spend more resources on effective account management. But some companies don’t have the time or budgets to do so.

Many of them make the problem worse by not learning how to manage their accounts in the most effective way with the fewest demands on time and budgets.

4) Failing to Track and Analyze Results

A publisher finally looks at website traffic from social media accounts. He or she may discover that one hour a week on Pinterest and one hour a week on Twitter produces an average of 50 clicks from the first and five from the second.

This is not a hypothetical example. Not tracking results and adjusting resources is a common occurrence among companies with social media accounts. Some never make the effort at all. The end result is wasted resources and lost opportunities.

5) Failing to Focus on Conversions

Even if companies track clicks from social media to their websites, they often don’t analyze the next steps by the visitor to increase conversions.

Conversions mean the benefits that a company gets from social media, such as promotions, subscriptions or selling products and services.

Social media doesn’t work for reasons both within the control and sometimes outside of the control of a business. A publisher who understands the causes can then take the right steps in either ending the effort or finding the answers to improve it.

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