45 signs you need to get a grip on social media

Not sure exactly how online networking can help your organization or brand? You’re in plentiful company, but it’s time to get moving.


You’re not alone if you feel that your social media program has gotten out of control.

Do you have nightmares about a PR crisis or about waking up to see a picture of you passed out at your desk posted on the cover of your Facebook timeline as a joke by your social media team?

If these sound familiar, it’s OK. The first step is acknowledging them. The next steps are taming that wild social media beast and learning how to get a grip.

Here are signs that it’s time to get a grip:

1. You are already wondering how many of these signs are going to hit home for you. Your blood pressure may have even jumped a few points.

2. You have already printed or planned to share this post with your CEO, partner, or boss.

3. You wish this post had more on how to “get a grip on social media” instead of telling you what you already know.

4. Your social media plan fits into one of the following categories:

a. It was implemented with a template you found through a Google search by an unknown author.

b. It was implemented with a template that came in a direct-mail piece you received in the mail last year.

c. You developed the social media plan on a two-hour plane ride to visit your grandma in Kentucky.

d. Your social media intern developed the plan based on the template their communications professor gave them in community college.

e. You do not have a social media plan.

f. You are thinking, “Why would I need a social media plan? I don’t have a business or marketing plan. We don’t do ‘plans’ around this place.”

g. All of the above.

5. Your CEO or the owner of your organization does not know you have invested any resources in social media. If they find out, they will likely kill the project and fire you.

6. If I gave you 60 seconds to name every social media network you are on, it would either take you two seconds because there are none, or you couldn’t answer because you don’t know.

7. If there was an emergency, PR crisis, or urgent need of any sort you have no idea where to find the log-ons and passwords to your social media accounts.

8. Social media policy? What’s that? We have good employees; we don’t need policies.

9. Your social media policy reads: “Don’t Do Stupid Stuff.”

10. You receive 10 employee resignations the day the social media policy is distributed for employee signatures.

11. The newly hired marketing manager’s face turned bright red when she was asked to engage with real clients and partners on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

12. Your social media team consists of you and your social media intern, who has no business experience.

13. Your social media consultant consists of your dog, your husband, and your 7-year-old son, who knows more about Foursquare and Twitter than your CEO.

14. Your 7-year-old son knows better than your social media team and CEO that it is stupid to buy Twitter followers and Facebook “likes” if you want real business results.

15. You have been executing social media for a year but couldn’t articulate your objectives and results even if it came with a “get out of no ‘likes’ Facebook jail free” card.

16 . Random acts of social media and marketing are your way of life. Your boss has earned the “RAMs RAWK” T-shirt.

17. Nobody in your organization has been properly trained on how to use social media for real results.

18. When I talk about “integrating social media into the DNA of your business,” it gives you nightmares.

19. When I write, “You need goals and objectives,” in every post I publish, you want to throw a tomato or other rotten produce at me. However, you know I am right, and that is why you still read my posts.

20. Your social media team and other departments still work as silos. They spend half their time competing, debating, and arguing about the best way to implement social media. Hello—this is where a plan will help get everyone marching to the beat of the same drummer.

21. Your social media priorities are driven by your CEO or board of directors and whatever class they most recently attended. If it was a Pinterest class, then Pinterest becomes the priority of the week or month.

22. You are the only one who executes social media at your organization. The primary reasons are you have no plan and it’s easier just to do yourself.

23. Your CEO is counting on social media to save his or her broken business.

24. Your CEO told you to stop wasting time on investing in the people in your social network communities. His/her last directive to you was: “It’s all about the bottom line; get out there, and get some ‘likes.'”

25. Your management team decided to put social media on hold for three months. They think it’s OK to quit posting to Facebook for a few months and that you can always come back to it when you have some good coupon offers in the new year.

26. You have no content plan. You post content and status updates to your business social media platforms based on your mood.

27. You spent thousands of dollars on a website with social media buttons. You thought you were getting a social website. You didn’t realize it took more than a Twitter button to see results with social media.

28. The Web developer or social media agency that built your website is now out of business.

29. You didn’t worry about a plan when you purchased your website, because that same developer or agency told you plans were a waste of time and you just needed to “be social.”

30. Your top goal for social media this year is to “be social.”

31. You have never thought about the term “relevancy” with regard to social media. You think, “Hmmmm, posting relevant information might actually get people to read it and become interested in my business.” Yes, keep up with those thoughts; we are making progress.

32. You have no idea what it means to do research on where your target markets are online or how they are engaging on the social platforms.

33. Sentiment? Sounds cool, but you don’t know what it means or how to measure it when it comes to social media.

34. Social listening? Your idea of social listening is heading to the nearest bar and gossiping with other “social media gurus” about your assumed competition. Unfortunately for you, your competition has done its homework and already knows what sentiment, ROI, and social business integration mean and how to implement and measure them.

35. Social business? Isn’t that a business that has a website with those Twitter and Facebook buttons?

36. You know more about what your competitors are doing on Twitter and Facebook than you do about your own customers.

37. You can’t remember the last time you emailed your subscribers with anything other than spam trying to sell them something.

38. ROI = return on investment. You sure would like some when it comes to social media marketing.

39. Your social media efforts are not funded. You have resorted to an online yard sale and an employee kitty to obtain enough funds for a new intern and designer for the new Facebook page.

40. You have nightmares about your website and the multiple teams working on content. You know your brand is being diluted, and you have no idea how to fix it. Reminder, this is where the plan becomes useful again. Go ahead, throw a tomato at me; I’m used to it.

41. You are confident you are losing touch with your audiences, including clients, colleagues, partners, and associations.

42. You really do want to stop begging for Facebook “likes.”

43. You are not dealing with any of these issues head on. You are ignoring them, and up to now you were hoping, wishing, and praying they would go away.

44. This post makes you want to finally “Get a Grip on Social Media!

45. You are going to read this list again and count the number that hit home for you. Don’t do it. Your time is better spent working on your plan inclusive of business goals and objectives. Get to work, my friend. If you need help, call me.

Pam Moore is CEO and founder of Marketing Nutz. A version of this article first appeared on PamMarketingNut.com.

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