Why I Think Social Media Marketing Campaigns Fail

by Nitin Aggarwal March 25th, 2011 

traffic

Everyone seems to have joined the social media bandwagon " individuals, friends, foes and businesses. Each one of them has a personal agenda. Some want to simply keep in touch, others want to catch up with a bit of gossip.  Most Facebook and Twitter users are looking for some fun time. Now where does this leave serious business and power users?

In terms of traffic, Facebook has sped past other sites. But truthfully, does traffic alone justify Facebook as a marketing platform? The highway next to my house gets humungous traffic all through the day, with cars whizzing past like no ones business. But it does little for my grocery shop.

Does it mean serious marketers cannot find buyers on social media sites?

Somehow no one takes it kindly when people try to sell something on Facebook. If I see someone selling stuff on any of my favorite forums, I am immediately put off. I am sure no one has yet sold anything directly on any social media site. I dont think you should attempt such a thing at all.

I think social media sites are great for providing information. Creating awareness, generating leads and eliciting interest are things you can do effectively. But everything you do must be subtle " never give the impression that you are selling. Once people smell a sales pitch, they get put off immediately.

Traffic doesnt translate into sales as far as social media sites are concerned.  Creating a buzz is a one thing but in-your-face marketing is a huge no-no. You can influence people and generate interest in your product or service but for selling you may have to use some other platform.

Nitin Aggarwal

Nitin Aggarwal is the founder of the virtual assistant service Offshore Ally. He is a passionate blogger and an Internet marketing enthusiast.

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11 Responses to “Why I Think Social Media Marketing Campaigns Fail”

  1. [...] Why I Think Social Media Marketing Campaigns Fail, Search Engine People [...]

  2. The closest thing I've had to success with social media marketing involves high PR social news sites that don't use across-the-board nofollow. Some even allowed the users to develop very powerful profile pages, but there are far fewed sites of that nature around today than there was two and a half years ago. I don't think those that remain will be around for much longer.

  3. Erwin Miradi says:

    I agree with it. Facebook is simply not a place to sell anything. Any marketing campaigns going on in there have the lowest percentage of success. Believe me, because I've tried.

  4. Fazal Mayar says:

    Good post Nitin. I think you are right as I dont use social media to make conversions or try to create campaigns that will make me money but I just try to advertise my business and this is when social media becomes useful!

  5. Paul Hines says:

    I tend to agree with you totally because in my early days of Social Media I learned this the hard way. What I do now is inform and may throw some news in there along with a few of my blog posts, that seems to work a whole lot better than just staying in sales mode. Great post, thanks.

  6. Jan Willis says:

    A thought provoking post Nitin – thanks for sharing :-)

    No one could disagree with your main argument – i.e. that in your face selling not only doesn't work on social media platforms but actually alienates the very people you want to do business with. Spot on.

    However, I'm afraid I have to take issue with you on a few points:

    1. Your article somehow seems to imply that selling and marketing are synonymous when of course they are two entirely different things. All the things you can do so powerfully using social media – making connections, building relationships, giving valuable information, distributing content (your own and others') are all integral to building a brand, which is marketing in its purest form.

    2. There are already people who are very successfully selling directly on Facebook. I think we are going to see a lot more of this in the future.
    As we have seen with Amazon, the ability to access your customers' and fans' personal data (such as friends' likes and birthdays) is very powerful indeed, allowing you to put personalised offers and recommendations directly in front of your customers and prospects. The back end technology may not be fully evolved yet but it will be here sooner than you think allowing companies to fully integrate their website functionality with Facebook. And when they can transact directly with you there and are happy to do so why bother going to all the effort of driving traffic to your website?

    3. I don't think people compartmentalise their lives quite as much as you suggest and we are all becoming very adept at using media in lots of different ways (often at the same time!) Yes, I may primarily use Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc. for social and entertainment purposes but shopping IS fun for most people and let's face it, people are always in the market for an incredible product or an amazing offer. Works for B2B marketing too – as a business owner I'm never off-duty and if a relevant piece of content or an offer catches my eye I will check it out.

    Like it or not, the fact of the matter is social media has now permeated all aspects of business and commerce (and vice versa) and you ignore it at your peril. The trick is to do it well – with subtelty and a lightness of touch. For those who manage to pull it off the potential rewards are enormous.