The Big Problem with Social Media Marketing

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Business and brands have realized that they need to do social and do it well. So they create a social media marketing strategy and then they start implementing the tactics to achieve the goals.The Big problem with Social Media Marketing

It all looks rosy at the start, everyone is excited. The staff are singing Kumbaya, the angels are dancing and everyone can’t wait to play with the shiny social media toys.

Social media is the new saviour.

Then the reality sets in.

It takes a lot of resources. That means time, money and people. It needs creativity and inspiration. It requires a long term commitment.

Succeeding with social media is not a get rich quick scheme. Creating quality content takes skill, experience and expertise. Building tribes, followers and fans takes focused attention and engagement.

Obtaining 10,000 Twitter followers or 20,000 Facebook likes requires serious investment.

How do you glue it together?

All these social networks have popped up and are screaming for attention.

Social media marketing requires some of these key activities and doing it well.

  • Designing and developing the social platforms such as blogs and branded social network accounts
  • Optimizing those social networks and digital assets
  • Constant content creation, curating and sourcing
  • Updating multiple networks daily with fresh content
  • Monitoring and managing the engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+….and we are only just starting!!. There is also Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

There was never a grand plan. Social networks are a global social and connected consciousness powered by technology that is evolving before our eyes.

It’s fun, it’s crazy and it’s chaos.

Marketing used to be easy..sort of!!

It was one channel. Television or radio. Magazine or newspapers. Direct mail or telemarketing

You planned and set up your marketing campaigns for the year. They started and finished. You moved onto the next one. That was it. They worked or didn’t work.

Social media marketing is a consistent and continual treadmill. Creating content needs to be done every day. It then needs to be published. Then monitoring the engagement and responding to Facebook comments and Twitter streams needs to be attended to. Making sure that the person responsible for responding to social platform feedback does it with the right tone and voice is never ending. Often outsourcing it or asking the intern to take it on is not just going to cut it.

The reality is that marketing is moving from “campaign marketing” to “continuous marketing“.

Marketing has now become a big daily commitment.

That is a problem. because to do it properly and efficiently, you need the technology and tools to do it at scale.

The Problem: Social at Scale

In 2013 you will see the maturing of technology that will make it easier to to do social at scale. Currently there are tools that do monitoring. Other technologies do custom tab Facebook apps well. Some platforms are better for Twitter monitoring, management and publishing.

In the main the tools are separate and disconnected.

Some have been free and have been built on the freemium model. Basic features for free and the more complex functionality commands a monthly or annual subscription.

So what will a perfect social media at scale technology start to look like?

  • It will have one repository and database for all the content, including video
  • It will plug seamlessly into cloud based video serving platforms such as Wistia, Amazon or Brightcove that provide reliable and fast delivery of online video content
  • It will enable you to post multi-media content from one dashboard to multiple social networks
  • It will have inbuilt templates so that landing pages on websites and blogs can be set up easily and quickly
  • It will provide  tools that allow you to do custom Facebook tabs
  • It will integrate into existing CRM and ERP systems.
  • It will interface to other marketing channels such as email
  • It will allow you to optimize platforms and content for search engines
  • It will cater for paid social media advertising and organic social media marketing
  • It will allow multiple user access and editing controls for teams to manage social at scale

Larger businesses and organisations will be able to either develop this capability in house or be able to pay for these tools and technologies that are being developed by Enterprise class software companies.

What will you see in the future?

So expect to see in 2013 and over the next 2-3 years technology platforms that will make it easier for the chief marketing officer and social media mangers to create, publish, promote and manage a continual social media marketing commitment.

The big end of town will get it first but also expect to see the small to medium enterprises receive the benefit of this technology over time that is affordable and efficient.

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  • Ryan Biddulph

    Social media takes work. Really smart, persistent work. Important reminder Jeff!

    I tell people to visualize themselves opening a corner store before starting a social media or online gig. You devote as many if not more hours to running a business online than offline because the learning curve is sharp.

    If you are hungry you can succeed mightily over the long haul but you must be willing to spend time and energy building your campaign day after day for an extended period.

    Of course it is fun and prospering too 😉 Just work and you reap the rewards.


  • Bruce Mubayiwa

    Thank you Jeff for a brilliant article. I enjoyed the article so much I read it twice. Indeed after the honeymoon period of acquiring lots of fans and followers across the various social media platforms, some brands have been quick to discover that all is not well in paradise.

    Social media presence and activity should be firmly backed up and supported by excellent service. Some brands with millions of fans have had their worst nightmares with social media as disenchanted and keypad customers are quick to vent about poor experiences with the brand. The brands is now in the hands of the customers! This is something some overlooked with the sprint and dash into social media.

    Having read and researched about the various digital marketing trends for 2013, I have not come across Social at Scale but you make a compelling case for it. The current social media tools and systems beg for deeper and more meaningful integration. Thanks again for a great article. I cannot wait to download your book.

  • Mikhaila Stettler

    Sigh…. so true.

  • Jeff Bullas

    There are free tools to do some of the individual tasks. If you want more features you have to pay.

  • Jeff Bullas

    Transparency upfront with your customer on the time and effort required over a long time is vital.

  • Jeff Bullas

    Strategies are just a plan and and a road map. It is indeed dynamic and you will then need to also experiment, test.etc.
    So starting the journey with a high level strategy will at least give you a direction..

    I love this quote by Steve Jobs.
    “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Steve Jobs.

  • margaret pincus

    So true Jeff. And if social media done badly without resources it can be such a disaster for any brand.

  • Michal Smetana

    Thanks Jeff Bullas for this brilliant article. I really love the heading of the second part – “Marketing used to be easy..sort of!!” This is just so much true. As you correctly write, there was only one channel. Television or radio. Magazine or newspapers. Direct mail or telemarketing. You just planned and set up the campaigns for the year to come – they started and finished. You moved onto the next one. That was it. They worked or didn’t work. I found this part of the article really well-written. Good job.

    • Jeff Bullas

      Marketing is moving to a continuum which is not just driven by social but the need to maintain search rankings. Stop publishing content and it impacts your SEO!!

      • Sanket Patel

        I am confusing about your statement, that ” stop publishing content and it impacts your SEO” , Can you please give me idea about it ?

        • Jeff Bullas

          Google and other search engines are after recent published content if a website or blog is publishing often it impacts your SEO. Recency of content is important part of the search engine algorithm in calculating the value of content.

  • paul macfarlane

    REALLY good article. BUT you missed or de-emphasised the REAL point of social media–to be SOCIAL which means to be human. To have a real human VOICE on social media. Most brands miss this. Brands used to balk at spending more for the right TV director, location they balk at hiring and paying enough to get quality social interaction from their own staff first, then they go to some outside firm who is not THEM in the first place. Human interaction. Learn it, re-learn it, be it. Face it, every Facebook or Twitter feed can’t engage everybody in the world 24/7 it’s NOT going to happen… just like if every page is SEO’d. then what? Oh yeah, humanity…ideas and emotion. Coupon offers are not usually human or emotional. Learn. Now. Re-Learn what makes us human now.

  • twitter followers

    It’s a brilliant message posted here which is very informative. Thanks Jeff Bullas for this great article. I’ve been using socialbakers, hootsuite and socialkik to increase my
    followers and fans.

  • Wade Harman

    Social media is going to be the new SEO for bloggers in the future. More and more people are coming into social media. It’s easier to get noticed, and easier to drive traffic. Bringing quality to users on social media is a great thing to do, but in order to actually drive an interested user to your site, there are still strategies that you have to implement to get them there. Creating great content is great, but if no one is noticing then its irrelevant.

  • Social Media Marketing

    The problem faced by many companies is that they begin to use social media with a lot of good intentions, such as those who make new year’s resolution to exercise every day. But then they do not focus on social media.