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Why your social media campaign is not working

Social media is often thought of as a type of one to many communication. One to many means that one person is imparting information simultaneously to a group of other people. This is best illustrated by events such as webinars and seminars, where one person lectures, and the rest listen.

Social media may work this way for large well-known brands like Coca-Cola. For the rest of the world things are a little different. Social media platforms such as a Facebook business page should be thought of as a way for you to communicate one-on-one with a single user. If the information you give is valuable or the interaction is otherwise beneficial, that user can be expected to pass your information along to their friends, eventually resulting in more fans for your page, and more customers for your business. There’s a big difference between one to one communications that expands to one to many, and communicating from one to many in the first place. Let me give you an illustration from the off-line world.

Two weeks ago, I went to dance at the casino in Gulf Port, Florida. As I left the dance hall, I noticed someone had placed a flyer on the windshield of my car. It was an advertisement for a new dance.The promoters of the new dance had thought that by paying kids to place flyers on the windshields of every car in the parking lot of the casino, that they would attract patrons from their competitors. In essence, they were attempting to make sales by using a form of one to many communication.

They will probably not get many customers from that type of marketing. Some people will be offended, thinking they are trying to steal customers using an unfair method. Others will just ignore their ad, because they don’t know anything about the promoters.

A much better approach would have been for them to actually attend the dance at the casino, to dance with as many people as they could, and to casually mention that they were starting a new dance, along with the time and place it would take place.

If they were clever, they would’ve especially sought out the more outgoing members of the dance community, the social leaders and the dancers that people admired, and tried to get those people to attend their events. If they were successful at interesting these social leaders in their dance,then these people would’ve spread the word amongst the rest of the dance community, and the promoters could have expected good attendance at their event.

That type of communication is one to one with self propagation or a sharing kicker, if you want. For most small companies, this is the way social media should be used. If your social media programs have not been working, it may be because you are trying to communicate one to many in one step, instead of one to one with the hope that your one to one communication will later go viral through sharing.

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