Younger entrepreneurs and content marketers are major social media fans. They insist that in the consumer-driven economy we face today and the popularity of social media with those consumers, the only smart thing is to market to them where they are.
Older, more seasoned business professionals often consider social media marketing a “fad” that will devolve and become irrelevant. Especially in the B2B sector, these pros prefer the more traditional methods of finding leads, contacting them personally, and nurturing a sales campaign with those leads. But even many B2C businesses have their doubts about the benefit of social media marketing. Some of these may be warranted – not because social media marketing is ineffective, but because so many businesses do it wrong, that they don’t reap the ROI they should.
Here are eight reasons for doubt about the value of going social with marketing campaigns.
1. Too many writers and marketers insist that social media marketing is free.
It isn’t. Having said that, it is true that posting content all over social media is actually free. Setting up accounts and profiles is also free. However, while you will not have to spend money on any of this, there is quite an expense in time.
Hours of work is involved in creating content that is going to engage readers/viewers, compel them to share, and establish the kinds of relationships with consumers that will ultimately result in sales. When those hours are added up, there is quite a cost. Many businessmen are not committed to employing a full-time content marketer or contracting this service out at a hefty expense.
2. Success is Not Predictable
It is difficult to know what content will grab viewers’ attention and which posts will bring responses and shares – that is for certain. While analytics will provide some information, every business is unique with a unique customer base. What engages one audience will not engage another, so a great deal of research and experimentation is required as content marketing strategies and content itself is crafted.
Traditional businessmen tend to want to go with “tried and true” marketing strategies rather than put money into something that they believe is so unpredictable.
Often, businessmen want more immediate sales results than they are going to get on social media. And calculating ROI from social media marketing will be disappointing for anyone looking for a quick result. It takes time for a brand to spread on social media, and effort put into developing a following may not bring in large sales numbers of a long time. May seasoned business professionals are not willing to wait such a long time for a return on investment.
4. Social Media May Not Have the Reach that is Often Touted
Experience business executives often doubt the real reach of social media, except in a few extreme examples, when content goes viral. And in some respects they are correct. When a piece of content is posted, it may not be seen by a business’s entire audience. If members of hat audience are not online when a pot is published, chances are they may never see it. This can be countered by posting the same content several times, according to a planned schedule, so that a greater portion of that audience will be reached. Another option is paid advertising, of course.
5. Data From Social Media Doesn’t tell the Whole Story
No, it doesn’t. Analytics will let us dig deep into the behavior of users, all of their demographic information, and will even tell us how many users access a business social media page/account. The data will not, however, provide qualitative information such as how users feel about a brand or their interaction with others as they discuss your brand. For this type of information, you will have to use social monitoring tools and access any comments and/or feedback being posted about your brand. This will take a great deal of time, and again, businessmen may not want that kind of time put in when they believe that a social monitor could better be used on other sales efforts
6. Social Media is Not Routine and Constant Adapting can be Exhausting
Traditional marketing is both routine and predictable and its results can be known quite quickly. Social media platforms change all the time, and new ones continue to be created which need analysis to determine if they are appropriate for a specific business. Keeping up with new trends in social media can be more work than it is worth, some businessmen believe, and so they do not get involved at all.
7. Companies Can Make Big Mistakes on Social Media
A post can not only bomb but, occasionally, offend. At the other end of this spectrum, it is easy to miss out on opportunities for content that competitors may get to first. No content marketing strategy will ever be perfect, and older seasoned businessmen are quite risk-averse when it comes to marketing. They do not want to take chances of “bombing” marketing that may hurt their companies’ reputations. A lot of money and time can be spent on content that reflects a lack of creativity, that does not engage consumers, or that is just not shared. Add big mistakes to that, then, and there is a great risk.
8. There May be Resistance to the New Consumer-Driven Economy
If experienced business professionals believe that social media is just a fad, they may also believe that a consumer-driven economy is as well. It’s hard sometimes to accept that consumers can be in control of a brand rather than the company itself. If a company stays off of social media, then consumers will not be in control. The problem is this: staying off of social media will mean that competitors’ brands will be spread on social media, and a growing number of consumers now rely on recommendations on social media rather than on traditional advertisement.
Despite the doubts of traditional business professionals, social media can actually be cost-efficient and successful in spreading and promoting a brand. Most marketing professionals realize that consumers are on social media – a lot. They understand how powerful a social media presence can be if done right. Those with reservations probably have those doubts because they are more concerned with spending time and money and not doing it right.
Norman Arvidsson is a passionate author who was born in Sweden but then moved to the United States with his family. Now his goal is to share his experience with others through blogging. He is familiar with such areas as web dev and design, marketing, blogging, freelancing, startups, small business, self-development, and eLearning. Considers personal growth as the main goal in his life.