The Five Dysfunctions of Social Media Marketing

Posted on by Dana VanDen Heuvel
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Image by the tartanpodcast via Flickr

With a tip of the hat to Patrick Lencioni, author of “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, the following are the five dysfunctions that keep organizations from reaching their peak potential with social media.

1. Absence of Trust

The first dysfunction is the absence of trust in social media as a concept, mistrust of employees, a mistrust of customers and an all around feeling of invulnerability, when, in fact, it is this very absence of trust that makes organizations more vulnerable than ever.

Lead by example, start the conversation and invite all comers. Trust that your customers want the best for you and for them and engage with them on the social web.

2. Fear of Negative Comments

Everyone gets a good or bad review at some point. Embrace it — and in the case of a bad review, don’t sweat it. Look at every comment as an opportunity to have a conversation.

You can’t control the conversation, but social media gives you the opportunity to re-frame the conversation and influence the outcome of the situation.

3. Lack of Capacity and Commitment

Organizations “bolt-on” social media as if it were just another marketing outlet like a billboard. It’s not, and your commitment and personnel capacity devoted to social media needs to reflect the commitment you have to customer intimacy. Make it a priority to devote your most passionate team members to engaging with customers in social media.

4. Avoidance of Metrics

Social media may not be about hard ROI metrics, but rather may be a key influencer of brand reputation. Most companies actually use a mix of hard and soft metrics to calculate the effectiveness of their social media marketing programs.

5. Inattention to the Audience

Marketers that get caught up in the ‘bright shiny object syndrome’ of social media often neglect to ask their customers how they’d like to engage in social media. Do everyone a favor and ask the question before jumping into social media. Relevance is king.

 The Five Dysfunctions of Social Media Marketing
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  • Paul McKeon

    Dana, you post is timely since I just blogged today on a related topic. I’m specifically interested in your dysfunction #5: knowing how prospects use social media, especially when it comes to making a buying decision.

    “Bright shiny object syndrome” is a real concern. Marketers appear to be so eager to use social media–and now Demand Generation providers are eager to automate it–that it’s easy to forget that what makes social media different is not that it’s another channel to push the message through–it’s a conversation.

    Without relevance to the market, it isn’t sensible to apply familiar tools to new channels:

    Your recent posts are excellent guidance for an intelligent social media strategy.