ClockThat’s right. Not every organization belongs on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest and other social networks. If you recognize your company in the list below, please pause before posting or tweeting.

No buy-in from leadership
If your CEO thinks social media is a needless drain on employees’ time, either convince him otherwise or rethink your justification for using social media. Do you really want to engage in an activity that will put you at loggerheads with leadership?

No resources
Your management gives you the go-ahead to “do social media,” but doesn’t allocate people or dollars toward this activity. Instead, you’re expected to just add “social media” to your  long list of responsibilities. Oh, and you should monitor the company’s Twitter feed 24/7 too. Sleep is for sissies.

The worst offenders of all in this category? Companies that plan to use social media for customer service, but don’t assign anyone the responsibility of actually reading and responding to customer laments.

You don’t know where your audience is
If your key market lives on Pinterest, and you invest all the marbles on Facebook, you’re throwing time and money away. Be sure to do your research and know which platforms your buyers prefer.

Your website stinks
So you start posting profusely on G+, Twitter, LinkedIn and elsewhere, and you drive people to your website. What do they find there? Flash animations? A preponderance of long-winded text? If people click away in boredom or confusion, what’s the point?

No plan, no goals, no measurement
If you start using social media because everyone else is doing it, you’re unlikely to plan properly or set meaningful goals and measurements. So even if you do manage to be successful, how will you know? Start with a plan and be realistic about your goals and measures.

Let’s turn this around and focus on the positive:

  • Work on getting leadership buy-in for social media. Help management to understand social media.
  • Make a strong case for allocating resources to implement social media tactics intelligently; be sure your use of social media meshes with your overall communications or marketing strategy.
  • Know your audience and where they spend time on social media.
  • Be sure your website is ready for the attention it will receive when you build a social media presence.
  • Invest time in a plan.
  • Set up meaningful goals; monitor continually; and learn how to measure success.

Otherwise, you’re wasting your time.


  1. Here is a real situation from a website planning meeting. Client: Yes, we want to use social media but let’s do the website first and then we can deal with that.
    WRONG! The website has to support your social media activities and must be set up for that. What articles will you refer to in your posts? You may need a blog. Do you plan to post photos on Pinterest? Then you need a place for photos on your website. Do you plan to tweet specials, deals, news? Then you need to reserve a space on your website for that.
    The client will have to pocket out more money to adjust his website to fit SM needs if these things are not discussed at the beginning of the project.


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