Marketing Madness

80% of Social Media Will Fail

In most cases, the majority of what you will find on the web regarding digital marketing news will contain tips, data, and good recommendations for marketers that have just begun or for those with years of experience. However, as we have all learned by now from a life of learning the news; not all news is good news. Today, Gartner has released some information based on predictions of their own that says that marketers may be in trouble when it comes to their social efforts. It seems that, from Gartner’s point of view, the social efforts that marketers and businesses are putting forth are not going to work quite so well in the near future.

The Gartner results, as they have been reported by, businesses should prepare for some issues if social efforts continue in the fashion that we see today. The company says that social media adoption by businesses for marketing will of course continue for some time, and that they will become even more of a widely used digital marketing tool than they are today. As far as marketing on the web goes, social media will eventually become the number one choice among most marketers, which has already started to occur in large numbers.

So what’s the issue here? Well, Gartner believes that in the next few years as the amount of focus on social media rises, success with social media will decrease. The company estimated that through the year 2015, about 80% of all business efforts on social media will not succeed in gaining the “intended benefits.” They say that this will be due to an overemphasis on today’s technology as well as neglectful leadership of social marketing efforts. This is an understandable prediction, because when anything gets too large, it becomes incredibly difficult to properly maintain.

The article quotes Carol Rozwell, the VP at Gartner in stating;

Businesses need to realize that social initiatives are different from previous technology deployments. Traditional technology rollouts, such as ERP or CRM, followed a ‘push’ paradigm.

Workers were trained on an app and were then expected to use it. In contrast, social initiatives require a ‘pull’ approach, one that engages workers and offers them a significantly better way to work. In most cases, they can’t be forced to use social apps, they must opt-in.

There is too much focus on content and technology, and not enough focus on leadership and relationships. Leaders need to develop a social business strategy that makes sense for the organization and tackle the tough organizational change work head on and early on. Successful social business initiatives require leadership and behavioral changes.

If we can really expect the success of social media to decrease so much in such a short amount of time seems a bit to determine. With the success that social media brings in today, it is hard to see such a decline within a few short years. Either way, here are a few other key highlights from Gartner’s predictions.

  • By 2016, 50% of large organizations will have internal Facebook-like social networks, and that 30% of these will be considered as essential as email and telephones are today.
  • In 2017, the majority of all new user-facing applications will exhibit gamified-social-mobile fusion.
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Michael Levanduski

Michael Levanduski is the assistant editor of Performance Marketing Insider, and an experienced freelance writer. He writes content for a wide range of sites in virtually every niche, though he specializes in technical writing as well as creating content for the performance and internet marketing industry. Michael was born in Grand Rapids, MI where he still lives with his wife and three children.

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  1. That makes sense, if now there is a boom of social networks, and as the practice shows nothing is forever, then there is a big chance that only giants will stay inviolable.

  2. Valid points but close to 80% of “regular” marketing fails too so I’m not sure it’s social media to blame, rather bad marketing management overall.

  3. I think a lot of it has to do with the wrong KPIs, as well. Many brands aren’t measuring their activities toward the appropriate outcomes. They think that the only metric by which to judge social is sales. They forget reduced costs, enhanced customer service, positive brand sentiment, new ideas/innovations, etc…

    Social media is generally not a sales channels, so measuring the effort put in vs. the sales resulted will lead to a high level of failure.

    The key is going to be to look for the right metrics.



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