If you’re planning to better your Internet marketing techniques, specifically through social media, it’s not always so easy. There are challenges for marketing teams to consistently excel with social media such as time constraints, too many responsibilities, budget, etc. However, there are ways to overcome five of the biggest barriers to social media marketing success, and we offer you some solutions so you don’t lose time muddling through them much further.
Barrier #1: Not Enough Time
One of the most common reasons for a mediocre social media presence is simply due to a lack of time. With everything else on your plate, at the end of the day, you just don’t have the time to put more effort into social media. Here are a few solutions:
- Hire someone — Maybe your company is unable to afford to hire a full-time marketing manager, but being able to hire professional sources is a great asset to enhance you social media presence.
- Dedicate one solid hour to social media per day — If you’re not in the position to hire someone, then dedicate a manageable block of time to social media on a daily basis (besides checking your own personal social media pages!). Start with just one hour, and schedule it for the same time each day. If you’re unable to respond to all of your social media mentions and comments as well as create content for the day after that hour, then it really is time to bring in professional sources.
Barrier #2: You Don’t Know What Kind of Content to Post
Another common problem with social media marketing is not always knowing what kind of content to post. This usually happens for a few reasons such as:
- You don’t maintain a blog, so you think you don’t have anything to share on social media — Many think that if their company doesn’t create its own content, like on a blog, then they won’t have much to say on social media… This isn’t true! There are many ways to have a great social media presence without a content marketing machine behind you. You can become a content curator by sharing other industry relevant content.
- You think your business doesn’t have enough appeal to your audience — Some companies feel stumped by what to publish on social media sites because their industry is what one would typically consider dull (e.g. construction, concrete production, plumbing) and so on. But with a little imagination and out-of-the-box thinking, it’s possible to create captivating content for pretty much any industry–if you have customers, you have an audience.
Barrier #3: You Don’t Understand What My Customers Want to See From Me On Social Media
Similar to Barrier #2, not fully knowing what your audience actually wants you to talk about can keep your brand from shining on social media. If your content consistently fails to generate interaction, you’ll likely become frustrated and feel as though you’re just treading water.
Here are some ways to figure out what type of content your customers want:
- Simply Ask — Yes, it’s that simple! Create a Facebook poll, tweet a few questions about potential topics to your followers or use something like progressive profiling on your forms to ask recurring site visitors what topics they want to know more about.
- Identify what your competitors are talking about, and what they’re forgetting to talk about — Do an audit of your competition’s presence in social media. Identify what kind of content they post, and make a list of industry-related topics that they are not talking about. Then, fill in the gaps for your target audience by creating content about things your competition has neglected to address.
- Test and measure — Use every piece of content you publish on social media as an opportunity to test how your audience responds to topics. For example, find out when the best time to post a status or tweet with various times in the day, and see how it affects the performance and reach of your posts.
Barrier #4: You Haven’t Defined How Social Media Fits Into Your Overall Marketing Strategy
Perhaps your social media strategy might feel unfocused and random because you haven’t taken the time to concretely explain how social media fits into your overall marketing strategy, and how it’s going to help your company reach its business goals.
If this barrier is holding you back from social media greatness, start by getting a copy of your company’s strategic goals for the year. Identify which of these goals on social media can contribute to, and how. Review your overall marketing goals, and identify how social media fits in.
Barrier #5: Your Boss Doesn’t Think Social Media is Important
It may be the case that not everyone at your company is as excited as you are about social media. If your coworkers or boss don’t believe that social media is worth spending time on, excelling with this type of online marketing will definitely be a challenge.
However, if you’ve successfully applied the solution to Barrier #4 by defining exactly how social media fits into your overall marketing strategy, then proving the value of social media to others will be easy.
Make sure you are tracking meaningful metrics that you’re able to point to when anyone challenges the validity of spending time on social media. This means that you can look at metrics that show the impact of social media in key areas such as site traffic, blog traffic, new leads and sales. This can be made possible with Google Analytics.
Being successful and great at social media is difficult. It takes time, creativity, imagination, and great communication skills. These five solutions should help you to diminish these typical barriers to social media greatness so that you’re able to focus on developing the skills that really count.