Social Media and Social Networking

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Why Marketers Get Scared of Social Media Marketing

Posted by Vaibhav Kalamdani on February 27, 2009

The growing prominence of social media is a topic of debate across the world today. Since the past couple of years, social media has turned into a great phenomenon and is continuously gaining attention from businesses from various industries. Today, you will come across a host of brands being promoted through social media channels such as media sharing sites, social networking portals, online forums, corporate blogs, social bookmarks, etc.

However, critics point out that social media is not as effective when it comes to earning return on investment. Especially when it comes to social networks, users are not too keen to engage into trade as they use these sites purely for communication purposes. On the contrary, social media experts believe that social media is still underrated, and businesses will soon realize the tremendous potential that lies in using it as a marketing tool.

So, what are the factors that prevent marketers from investing in social media? There is not one, but quite a few reasons why marketers are reluctant to adopt social media marketing:

• Lack of Knowledge: Social media has become popular, but to many it is still just a term that is yet to be understood in totality. Social media is different from social networking, but many people consider both as a synonym to each other. The fact is that social networking is just one of the aspects of social media. Secondly, the concept needs to be understood comprehensively and the learning process will take some time. Investing in social media just because your competitors are doing the same will not yield the desired results for your business.

• Issues in Measuring ROI: Investments lead to returns, but measuring them is an issue as far as social media marketing is concerned for some marketers. As there is no clear and definite way of measuring ROI through social media, certain companies become reluctant and therefore avoid investing their monies in social media.

• Unproven Record: Not exposed to enough of its proven records or success stories, marketers fail to understand the importance of social media. It is true that the concept is still at a testing phase, but it is certainly not true that no company has benefited from it. Today, the success ratio may not be as high as other tools of marketing, but social media marketing is certainly catching up and promises to deliver value, if carried out thoroughly.

• Where to Begin With: Since social media involves lots of online activities, marketers often get baffled where to begin with. There are several social media applications to choose from, and sometimes it becomes difficult to gauge the appropriate ones to carry out one’s marketing campaign. This is probably one of the main reasons why some marketers are so hesitant to go about with social media.

• A Temporary Phase: Considering social media marketing as a hype, some people believe that social media is a temporary phase, and would soon fade away in the future. Thinking this, who would want to invest in social media marketing after all?

From all the above mentioned reasons, it seems that social media’s potential has not been identified as yet by several businesses even today. The capability of social media is still doubted and there may be a fear of failure within certain marketers’ and enterprises’ mind. However, the challenge is to adopt an integrated marketing approach, considering social media as an option to meet the company’s marketing goals.

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