Why Your Social Media Strategy May Be Killing Your Brand
With the degree to which many companies drank the proverbial social media Kool-Aid last year, it’s no wonder that a slew of organizations are feeling a hangover effect in 2010. Many firms are beginning to realize that all the time and money they spent devising and implementing such an approach has not only failed to produce measurable results, but also damaged their brand equity in the process.
Many companies jumped into Twitter, Facebook, foursquare and other platforms over the past 12 months to 18 months without a well-conceived plan to bring those conversations back to their primary websites. Sure, discussions are occurring, and many in fact may be positive in and of themselves. However, without a solid strategy, it’s very difficult to measurably tie social media back to business goals.
What’s more, many companies have conducted their social media initiatives as though they were a virtual popularity contest. What's the significance of having a million fans on Facebook? Unless those fans are engaged, they represent nothing more than a collection, and the value fades faster than their memory of having clicked that button.
The underlying problem is that companies are essentially offloading hard-earned traffic from their sites as they encourage individuals to instead opt to follow their Twitter and Facebook accounts almost exclusively. Worse yet, those fans and followers are orphaned by a shortsighted content strategy that ends with an editorial calendar.
This isn’t the first time organizations have jumped on a bandwagon and blindly built marketing plans around the latest shiny object. This knee-jerk tactical reaction to social media isn't dissimilar to the dot-com gold rush of the mid-90s, when everyone needed a website but weren’t quite sure why. The unfulfilled promise of riches, and the bubble that followed, forced many to re-evaluate their priorities.