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Social media plays a vitally important role in any company’s marketing campaign, but some companies are unable to harness the power of this constantly growing communication channel.  There are a variety of reasons why social media marketing campaigns fail, but these are five of the most common issues I read about on social media marketing websites.

1. You are not considering social media as a two-way communication system.
Some companies make the mistake of just releasing a deluge of information to customers, and disregarding whatever the replied communication is.  Social media has brought us up-to-the-second in our ability to retrieve the information we’re looking for.

Travelers are able to contact you at the push of a button, and you are able to respond in kind.  However, travelers are looking for a rapid response.  If you are not responding within their expected timeframe, the unhappy customer will voice their displeasure about the process, potentially causing you to lose their business, and the support of their friends and family.

Make sure you are responding to comments within an appropriate amount of time, and try to encourage feedback from travelers who have stayed at your property, or are looking to do so in the future.

2. You are doing too much product pushing and/or excessive advertising.
Everybody likes a bargain.  In fact, this is the reason why some social media users like or follow specific companies on a given channel.  They are looking for great deals and packages, breaking news on the newest product releases, and the opportunity to find the best deals available.

Just remember that the first part of social media is SOCIAL.  If you are only advertising and pushing products on your followers, and not giving them unique content to read, or views of your newest renovations, you are going to lose followers.  Social media is about developing relationships with travelers, not just selling your products.

I don’t think there are many travelers who are basing their travel plans on how many Twitter followers a property has, or how many people like it on Facebook.  However, having a higher number of followers increases the likelihood of discussion about your property on these channels.

3. You are making assumptions about social media culture.
This mainly has to do with matching the correct message to the correct social media channel ensuring that the message is delivered successfully.  For example, Twitter is a real-time, 24-hour news center, instant news social media channel.  With only 160 characters, you are not able to tell travelers about the history of your property in an efficient way.  Twitter should be used to relay quick messages, to display attention-grabbing headlines, or just to make quick contact when a traveler has a question.

If you are attempting to share photos, consider using social media channels like Pinterest and Instagram.  These channels allow you to highlight the great features your room’s offer, the views guests will enjoy while they stay at your property, and what currently travelers are doing at your property right now.


4.  You hired a recent college graduate who you figured knew more about social media than you do.
Just because millennials grew up with a growing prevalence of social media in their lives does not mean that they know how to manage your social media campaign effectively.  Managing the profile of a company, big or small, takes not only a knowledge of the social media channels, but a knowledge of how to create a positive buzz about a given property or product.

If you are hiring someone directly out of college, let them work their way up the social media marketing ladder.  Allowing a recent graduate to start on as an intern, or on a part-time basis, gives them the opportunity to learn the system you are currently using, and make changes or improvements when necessary.

Dropping someone into a situation like that blind will have negative consequences for your online reputation.  Imagine making someone the voice of your property through social media who really has no background in the travel industry, and does not know what direction you are looking to take your company.  There is nothing about that scenario that seems appealing.

5.  You have not defined any goals that you would like to meet through social media marketing.
A social media marketing campaign must have a definite goal.  Ideally, it will provide some return on investment (ROI) for your property.  Just gaining followers on Twitter and likes on Facebook is not a tangible goal.  Instead, you should attempt to emphasize goals such as connecting with industry analysts, product reviews, journalists, and other who will help spread your brand name.

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