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social media marketing
27 Oct 2016

5 Social Media Marketing Challenges That Graduates Face

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Social media marketing is a must-have component for any business that is interested in reaching their target audience. It’s not only something that is a nice-to-have on a job description today; it is an essential skill that businesses look for. Even more than that, many businesses will assume that because you have grown up with social media – you will naturally be a competent social-media marketing professional. Dare I say guru.

Clearly this is not true. And like most graduates you won’t have drafted a social media strategy for a business, neither will you have weighed up the benefits of organic social media versus paid social media advertising; and it’s unlikely that you have created a Facebook ad campaign – yet. But you can put some of your talents and some of what you know already to good use.

You already know how the various platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, LinkedIn and others work. You probably use three of them on a daily basis to communicate with your friends. So you are certainly somewhat ahead of the game.

To really impress a future boss, however, you need to harness your social media prowess and show how you can use your knowledge to help overcome the social media marketing challenges their business faces. From the best way to establish an authentic connection to finding new ways to encourage post sharing, there are several social media marketing challenges that you will undoubtedly be able to help businesses overcome (without even realising it yet!)

How To Overcome 5 Common Social Media Marketing Challenges

Growing a following, increasing shares and likes, promoting positive word-of-mouth, generating a positive Return On Investment (ROI) are some of the business goals that a social media marketing campaign will be designed to achieve.

1. Establishing An Authentic Connection With Your Audience.

Over the past couple of years, social media has seen a sharp shift away from mass marketing tactics to establishing a personal and authentic connection with users on an individual level. This is something you do every day when you chat to your connections via social media. The challenge for a business however is keeping up with the large volume of chatter in a positive, friendly and individual way. That’s where brand monitoring tools and social media management tools come in handy. We use Hootsuite. These tools are designed to effectively monitor all social media channels so that you can organise the incoming messages and respond to each person’s comment in an authentic and personal way.

2. Overcoming A Reduction In Organic Reach.

Just in case you don’t yet understand the difference between organic (or natural) and paid reach or traffic, I will explain. Organic activities are those that are not paid for. So in social media terms it’s the regular posting of blog content, responding to messages from your audience, crafting interesting text, image and video content and posting it free on any or all social media channels.

Overcoming a reduction in organic reach is a common problem for many businesses. They hit a point where no matter what they do, they simply can’t grow their following anymore (without paying to do so). The various combinations of strategies, tactics and platforms that worked once before slow down or worst case stop working altogether. If growing your organic reach on a platform isn’t working, then it might be time to approach the challenge from a different perspective. For example, a decline in organic reach might be present an opportunity in paid social media advertising. You know that your audience is there, but the current organic tactics are not allowing you to reach the volume of people that you want to reach.

Using Facebook and Twitter Audience Insights you can work out how many relevant people there are in your target audience and start to develop a social media ad campaign to make-up for your drop in organic reach.

3. Balancing Content Quality vs. Quantity.

The balance of quality vs. quantity is a challenge for any brand. Some brands ignore this delicate balance by simply posting more content, more frequently. It’s true that frequent posting is important, however, if you’re posting irrelevant, or poor content this will irritate your followers and do more harm than good. Instead, you should treat every piece of social media content as the chance to “wow”. Posting relevant content, with an authentic voice, that people are interested in will win every time.

4. Encouraging Users To Share Content On Social Media.

All social media marketing campaigns have one goal in common – they want their audience to share their content. However, most social media marketing campaigns also share the same challenge – they are yet to discover the “secret ingredient” that propels their content around the internet virally.

It’s less about encouraging users to share, or even remembering to ask them to share. Everyone knows how to do that. It’s about creating stuff the audience wants to share. And to do that you need to get inside the mind of your audience. You need to ensure that each post is something that your audience (not you) would want to share, like, read, or otherwise comment on. If the post doesn’t meet this criteria, then try again until it does.

If you give your readers what they want, you will simultaneously improve the rate at which they share your social media content.

5. Developing An Effective Social Media Content Strategy.

Every business that runs social campaigns will usually have a blog, or a video library or some sort of content repository. For the content to be a hit with the audience, as we’ve said before it should be relevant, written using an authentic voice and in some way sufficiently entertaining and inspiring so that users are compelled to share it.

A successful social media content strategy will have the answers to these three questions at its heart:

  1. Why are you using social media to promote your business?
  2. What does success look like/ what are your business goals?
  3. How will you measure that success?

These are questions that your line manager or the business owner should be able to answer, and they are questions that you should ask and fully understand and agree with before you embark on any social media activity. You may be asked to create a social media marketing campaign as part of your interview. If that’s the case, make sure you use these questions to frame the plan you put together -either by asking the interviewer to provide answers and if that’s not feasible, by coming up with your own answers to shape your social media plan.

The Bottom Line

If you get a job in digital marketing, either as a social media manager or as a digital marketing exec with social included in the role, overcoming social media marketing challenges will be a very real part of your working life. You will be required to know your audience, social channels, and your market intimately. It’s this knowledge that will make you successful and will help you to make strategic decisions that help you deliver on the business goals. By focusing on what matters most, (the user!) you can and will overcome your social media marketing challenges and successfully connect with your audience in abundance.

And obviously if you see any merit in this post at all please do like, share, pin or poke us. You know the drill. And yes this is us asking…