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Why Social Media Doesn’t Work For Most Businesses

Ads for social media managers are everywhere. It amazes me the amount of money some businesses will spend on Facebook & Insta, and to get very little return.

Now as an outsourced marketing manager you might think that would make me very happy. But far from it.


Because way too much emphasis is put on social media marketing. It is ONE piece of the marketing channel, yet I see so many businesses putting 80-90% of their time and budget into a poor performing channel. Why does that happen?

  • Vanity
  • Their competitors are
  • A social media guru told them to
  • They don’t know what else to do


Why doesn’t it work for most?

Not all social is created equal

I feel very differently about LinkedIn compared to the likes of Facebook, Insta and TikTok. Firstly, LinkedIn was created for doing business and the others were not (they have just morphed into in the quest for the almighty dollar). I put more value on LinkedIn as a marketing tool every day of the week.


Focused on the wrong channels

Why are you on Instagram if your audience isn’t there? I have this conversation all the time. Trying to be on too many social channels or on the wrong ones, just dilutes your results even further.  Spending time and effort in the wrong places is just bad marketing and a waste of your money.


Expecting to sell directly from it

So you have just shared a post about your new $2000 car, why aren’t people beating down your door, it is such a great deal?? Have you ever bought a $2,000 product from Facebook from someone you have never heard of before? Most people haven’t and wont. They need to know, like and trust you before buying.


Unrealistic results

Thinking you are going to generate lots of likes, or enquiries from organic posts is like believing in the Easter bunny. Not realistic in any way! Social is good for building awareness of your brand but thinking it is going to make your fortune is just plain dumb (sorry I am just being honest)


It is the least effective marketing channel

When you look at the data on marketing tactics, it is still usually the worst performing channel in terms of ROI. Email marketing continues to outperform it, to this day. When you compare time & money invested to the results, the numbers just don’t add up for most businesses.


Too focused on vanity metrics (likes, shares and comments)

Social media has come a long way since the ‘vanity days’ – you know the days when everything was focused on how many likes or followers you had. Vanity metrics don’t put money in your bank account. Will 1000 likes pay your staff? I don’t think so…


It is not free (but you think it is)

You might think it is free to post on Facebook but when you add up the amount of time it took for you to work out what you want to share, create the content, post it and then manage comments, it could actually be costing you hundreds of dollars per post.


I am not anti-social media. It has its place and it has a small place in the marketing mix but please don’t spend thousands of dollars a month on Facebook & Insta and think you are going to transform your business because that won’t happen. Put together a wholistic marketing plan that doubles down on what works for your business.


Here’s a free download to get you started: