How are we wasting time on social media? - SmartBrief

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How are we wasting time on social media?

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SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social-media practices and issues.

Last week’s poll question: Where do you see companies wasting time, money and other resources in their quest to turn social media into sales?

  • Jumping onto the social-media bandwagon just because everyone else is doing it. 42.31%
  • Lack of an overarching strategy; putting the “how” before the “why.” 32.05%
  • Lacking an understanding of what it is, how it works or where to find the audience. 21.79%
  • Determining whether social media should be a sales channel or not. 3.85%

I have two areas of concern regarding companies considering social-media engagement. First, there is a decided unhealthy focus, in my opinion, on the “how” at the expense of the “why.”

In order for a social-media game plan to be most effective, it has to tie back to strategic marketing goals and objectives. Social-media marketing is still marketing and is, therefore, subject to the same strictures as other forms of marketing.

Second, just to do something because everyone else is doing it, or because it’s the latest, greatest thing, is not a sufficiently good reason to embrace its use. As my mother would remind me when I was a child, “Just because other kids are jumping off a bridge doesn’t mean you need to!”

Strategic objectives supersede tactics every time. But that is “blue sky” thinking. Pragmatically speaking, the bottom line is that social media works as a marketing, public relations and business communications tool. Don’t waste time deciding whether you should use it … just get moving.

Paul Chaney is the Internet marketing director for Bizzuka, author of “The Digital Handshake,” and a member of the SmartBrief on Social Media Advisory Board.