Why Marketers Fail at “Social”

by Jay Deragon on 02/15/2010

Leveraging social media for business purposes is centric to building trust and confidence with the markets you aim to serve.  If you haven’t noticed consumer confidence and trust in institutions, government and corporations has been failing for the last 35 years.

The word confidence reflects trust in the outcomes. The outcomes of buyers interacting with your organizations, on-line and off line, reflect whether the experience builds or tears down confidence.

Since the industrial revolution people have been considered “producers” of relevant activity that feeds a business objective. The business results have been the overriding objective regardless of consideration of confidence and trust from the people that help achieve the results. The people who help achieve a business result represent suppliers, employees and buyers. Confidence and trust must thread through all relations or results will be hampered, tampered with and temporary.

The days of managing by results are over and today unless you manage by building confidence and trust with people you will not reach optimum results.

The Social Factors

Most businesses jumping into use of social fail to consider the human factors that drive people’s interest, attention and behavior. Pushing out marketing messages without meaning, value or truths do not build confidence and trust with the market you aim to serve. Such tactics are doomed to fail because marketers primary objectives are to create business results.  The whole argument about ROI from social media has people consumed with satisfying their bosses demand for results. Such demands reflect management lacks an intent to understand how to produce results over and over.  When management tells their marketing people to get results from all this social stuff the reality is that the marketing staff tries everything they can to satisfy management demands. In other words play every trick in the book, measure anything that can point to a result and show how good we are at what we do.

From my post titled “There is No ROI from Social Media” a reader writes

It is hard to ask anybody, especially business to invest in anything without some measure of ROI. I think the key is setting goals, creating a plan, and using common sense for what makes the most logical choice for the business and customers.”

“I’ve struggled with ROI and social media, the best I came up was it has to be fairly obvious it makes sense for your time and money.”

Another reader writes “Companies can write off social media expenses for now. But they want hard bottom line results. Shareholders and lenders will hold their feet to the fire on that.”

There are thousands of others writing post, papers, studies and creating tools that are being used to justify use of social media. Have we been brainwashed into thinking that everything must show production of tangible results because of decades of thinking this way? This behavior reflects management methods that stem from the industrial era where “production” was the driver of results.  We have become so obsessed with results that we’ve failed to understand what, besides production thinking, creates results.

The failure of social is centric to not comprehending the value of intangible things that create confidence and trust with the “people” who influence the “production” of things that create results. In a world of connected relations producing confidence and trust isn’t based on measuring a result. It is about “producing the right intents“, confidence and trust with people.


Burcu Tüzün April 7, 2010 at 8:56 am

Why marketers fail at social? http://www.relationship-economy.com/?p=8852#

Maarja Kolberg February 22, 2010 at 8:17 pm

RT @smconnection: Why Marketers Fail at “Social”: In a world of connected relations producing confidence and trust… http://bit.ly/9CeDKv

Jan_B February 22, 2010 at 8:33 am

Why Marketers Fail at “Social” http://bit.ly/bURbuG interesting view #socialmedia

Jonty Fisher February 19, 2010 at 12:26 am

Why Marketers Fail at “Social”: http://bit.ly/95f3tu

C.Banks Steve Elijah February 17, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Why Marketers Fail at "Social" http://ow.ly/17z8H

David Hughan February 17, 2010 at 6:14 am

Why #marketers fail at being #social argues @JDeragon http://bit.ly/9Sas8w #socialmedia #smm #marketing

David Hughan February 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Why #marketers fail at being #social argues @JDeragon http://bit.ly/9Sas8w #socialmedia #smm #marketers

AlanRae February 16, 2010 at 9:12 am

Why Marketers Fail at "Social" http://bit.ly/cfEf2S Another gem from Jay Deragon – stop manipulating and start relating guys

SMM_News February 16, 2010 at 7:12 am

Why Marketers Fail at “Social”: http://bit.ly/bO0Vzl #social media #marketing

Kevin Richardson February 15, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Reading Why Marketers Fail at Social by @JDeragon http://ow.ly/17ERF | Interesting thought about the dangers of focusing on social media ROI

Alejandro Tortolini February 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm

RT @bkmacdaddy: Why Marketers Fail at "Social" – http://bit.ly/cVpU9F

Sophie Zollmann February 15, 2010 at 8:34 pm

RT @bkmacdaddy: Why Marketers Fail at "Social" – http://bit.ly/cVpU9F

Dee Fabian February 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm

RT @Steveology: Why Marketers Fail at "Social" | The Relationship Economy…… http://ow.ly/17xKQ

@Danny_fr February 15, 2010 at 6:04 am

I completely agree with your article.
Also good to include feedback from your commenters as a source.

To my mind, this behavior is becoming a part of a process that could make the SNS bubble explode, in a schema similar to the dot-com bubble burst of 2000.
Too many are engaged in a business that not only is based on this air, but also on the fragile balance between several entities (Facebook, Google) fighting for monopole, with the risk of collapsing all in the same time.

I’d explain everything here but that’s a lot of clutter.
If you are interested, sneek a peek there
But you’re not obliged 😀

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