Social media has created a marketing resource for businesses to connect with their audience. Digitally, a business must now build a brand and ultimately increase sales through leveraging different digital media and online advertising. Although there are major opportunities to be found in other areas, social media marketing has proven to be the number one way that businesses can reach a new audience. Social media marketing also comes with some inherent obstacles.
Here are four of the biggest challenges that social media marketers face in 2015.
1. Developing an Effective Strategy
With numerous networks catering to different demographics, it can seem overwhelming when first starting out with social media marketing. Even those who have been in the game for awhile can have trouble with strategizing. Without a tangible game plan in place, it’s all too easy to flounder around and see only marginal results.
To develop a sound strategy, it’s important to start by identifying specific goals that are both realistic and measurable. Typically, it’s best to start with no more than three goals because it’s easy to spread yourself too thin when breaking down strategies for multiple goals. For instance, you might want to get over 1,000 Twitter followers or double the amount of engagement on your Facebook page. These are simple goals that break down in many ways, which will require time and planning to fully develop.
In terms of measuring results, some are simple to track such as monitoring your number of followers. For others, marketing teams need to utilize the right platforms to monitor and measure. Some simple tools to start out with are Google Analytics or HootSuite. These display a wide variety of metrics that can show you everything from who your biggest fans are to which networks are bringing in the lion’s share of traffic.
2. Keeping Up-to-date on Evolving Social Networks
Social media is constantly changing, and new trends emerge all the time. As a result, many marketers find it difficult to stay on top and may miss out on key opportunities. To solve this dilemma, there are two main options.
First, you could hire a professional agency to handle your social media marketing campaigns. These companies eat, sleep and breathe social media and usually have a pulse on what’s working and what’s outdated. They can take the guesswork out of running your campaign, and you won’t have to keep tabs on the latest trends.
The second option is to put in the research to stay in the know. This is obviously more time-consuming but can be very beneficial in the long run. Some great sources for staying updated include sites like:
3. Measuring Return on Investment
Knowing your ROI is critical for ensuring that the time and money you’re putting into your campaign is paying off. The only problem with social media marketing is that it’s not always easy to measure ROI. At the most basic level, you can assess your ROI by first taking notice of a few metrics including the traffic you receive from social networks, your number of followers, your number of social shares, etc.
However, for a more comprehensive understanding, you’ll need to utilize an analytics platform. As mentioned earlier, HootSuite and Google Analytics are effective. You may also want to consider software such as SalesForce because it can provide in-depth insights into your ROI.
From there, you need to assign a monetary value to goals met through social media marketing. For example, if it typically costs 25 cents to acquire a single Facebook follower through paid advertising, then gaining 100 fans organically would be worth $25. This same concept applies to any other goal you may have.
4. Finding Time to Manage a Campaign
Another problem that many marketers run into is simply not having enough to spend on their campaign. This is especially true for busy business owners who are already swamped with a myriad of other tasks each day. They just don’t enough time to devote to social media.
Fortunately, there are several tools available to streamline a campaign and get a lot done in a minimal amount of time. One of the best is auto-scheduling posts where they are posted at key times. This way you could create multiple posts in one sitting to cover you throughout the week.
Another idea is to curate content from other sites or accounts that your audience will find useful. For instance, you could share a great Facebook post that’s relevant to your industry. Striking a nice balance between original content and curated content is also helpful for building your brand and shows that you’re not selfish by only posting your own content.
Although you’re bound to face challenges with social media marketing, there’s always a solution. By following these guidelines, you can optimize your campaign and increase your exposure.