Social media marketing is an area which seems to divide businesses. Some companies embrace it, invest in it, and generate fabulous returns from it, whilst other businesses are pensive, scared and unwilling to get online and start competing via social.

Since launching the UK’s first fully-managed blogging service in 2005, it’s been interesting to see the fortunes of some firms as compared to their competitors. The early adopters of blog marketing, for example, are way, way ahead of their industry competitors.

Trying to catch up a thought leader is a virtually impossible task, after all. But, some are still unwilling to invest in social media.

There are also those companies getting online and making a hash of it, then claiming social media marketing doesn’t work for them – even though, with the right guidance, their products and services could have successfully been marketed via social media engagement.

SMMFailure

The four types of social media marketing failure I see most often are:

* We don’t have time

This type of social media marketing failure masks a bigger problem – any business not committing time and energy to marketing its products and services is asking to be taken out of business. Particularly with more companies getting involved in effective social media engagement to drive traffic, increase loyalty and increase sales.

Solution – create dedicated time for consistent social media marketing, or outsource it to a trusted professional consultant.

* We’re dipping our toes in

This type of social media marketing failure is common: businesses doing a bit of social media engagement, the odd tweet, a sporadic blog post now and then. Then, three or four months later, they’ll exclaim in a disgruntled fashion that social media didn’t work for them. In the words of Yoda – ‘Do Or Not Do, There Is No Try‘ especially when it comes to social media marketing.

Solution – invest in social media management workshops and social media training, to create effective strategies.

* We’re having a go at it

This type of social media marketing failure is common amongst small businesses and solo entrepreneurs. The hapless, untrained, uneducated DIY-ers, jumping onto social media platforms and trying to deliver successful social media engagement without any knowledge, training or professional guidance. Would you ask a trainee Doctor to ‘have a go’ at heart bypass surgery for you?

Solution – same as above, invest in professional consultancy to make sure your social media marketing is achieving results.

* We don’t have budget

This type of social media marketing failure is on the increase, and comes from the assumption that social media engagement comes for free. Obviously, as with any other well-planned, strategic, effective marketing activity, it takes time, energy, investment and cold, hard cash. A business not investing in social media marketing is losing customers to competitors online.

Solution – allocate budget to social media marketing and start taking the online revolution seriously, before it’s too late.