The reality Zimmerman points out is that social media can’t fix existing business issues, nor is it a sure-fire solution for achieving business or marketing objectives. Social media can be an enabler and an accelerator of existing core capabilities, values, attributes, and plans. It can even be a catalyst for change. But it can’t magically create what doesn’t exist.
Knowing what social media can’t do will help manage your expectations and those of your stakeholders, thereby enabling you to dig beyond the surface hype and get to the hearty matter of what is truly possible.
- Social media can’t substitute for marketing strategy. – Without a marketing strategy and objectives, there can be no real measurement for results that support and advance your business goals.
- Social media can’t succeed without a genuine focus on your customers. – Social media is about listening, engaging, and responding to your customers. If you are not truly focused on your customer, you will not succeed — period.
- Social media can’t be a one-off project. – A successful social media initiative is not a one-and-done deal.
- Social media can’t work without organization alignment. – There needs to be an understood process for communication when “stuff” happens, as well as consistency in messaging.
- Social media can’t change the inherent popularity, appeal, or success of your brand. – Really cool, fun, and even memorable marketing can’t save a bad product, service, or something that no one really needs or wants. If your product is broken, even the greatest social media strategy or program can’t fix it.
- Social media can’t replace experienced digital marketing expertise. – A successful social media effort integrates social media into the many elements of marketing, including advertising, digital, and PR.
- Social media can’t be successful without a realistic level of investment. - It incorporates a host of tools, technology applications, design, and so forth. Strategy development, socially interactive websites, mobile apps, Facebook pages, monitoring tools, analysis, not to mention the time and effort to maintain these elements on an ongoing basis.
Social Media Marketing takes a lot of hard work, creativity, experience, and substance.