Social media has made its way into boardrooms at organizations across the planet.
But the next stop after the boardroom, all too often, is the chopping block.
Why? Because it is expected to survive on its own. In other words, organizations don’t tie social media goals to their actual business goals. They give social media its own set of goals. You’ve seen them before, they look like this:
“Increase our Facebook fan base!”
“Get more @mentions and RTs!”
“Make sure we respond to conversations on LinkedIn!”
“Generate X blog posts per week!”
In other words, social media is placed in a vacuum (on its own) and expected to grow (on its own) in that vacuum. And that, my friends, almost guarantees failure.
Tamar Weinberg summed it up nicely in a blog post today:
“While I get pitches all the time to offer “social media services” to clients, I rarely, if ever, exclusively offer social media marketing.”
“An integrated digital marketing approach is the best way to see success online for any business.”
“I have news for you, social media experts: if social media alone is what you’re selling, I hope you start getting other skills under your belt.”
The takeaway? Social media – like radio, television, ad campaigns, website copy, email newsletters and any other form of customer communication – should be all working to accomplish business goals, not chase feel-good metrics that look great in a PowerPoint slide but not so great during budget meetings.
In simpler terms, put social media in a vacuum and it will act like it is in a vacuum: it’ll most likely suck.