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5 Signs that Your Social Media Efforts Are Going to Fail

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Five red flags that mean you’ve got some work to do …

Wrong People Talking the Talk
You’ve got to participate if your social media efforts are going to work, and you’ve got to participate in the right way: with an eye toward engaging your audience, remaining aware of how social and search interact, and staying on message. This is no job for interns just because, “they’re young; they get this ‘social’ stuff.”

Thinking Too Big
A thimble full of sand isn’t going to change the way the beach feels, but that same amount in your bathing suit … Don’t think you have to reach the whole world as you’re getting started. Invite a small group who you know are at least friendly toward – if not passionate about – your company and products or services, and build out from there. It’s easier to build from a strong base even if that base is small to start out.

No Buy-In Across Business Units
Without the power (or a champion with the power) to get involvement across business functions, you simply won’t be able to respond to the issues people raise if you can’t count on every department to provide you the information you need. It’s not just sales and marketing, but those who head product lines and service divisions who need to be involved, or at least support a designated team within the marketing and sales departments.

Big Brother isn’t Just Watching; He’s Helping
If legal or regulatory is looking over your shoulder, editing frequently and slowing down your responses, you’re in trouble. There are industries, like finance and pharma, where regulatory compliance is a legitimate concern, but there’s a difference between compliance and interference.

You Can’t Handle the Truth
If your organization shies away from negative conversations, you’re not going to do well. Embrace the ugly, respond to it, and win converts. People are always impressed when companies¬† address issues head on. Listen, and where appropriate, respond quickly.

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