With 3 billion users on social media around the world, marketers are no longer able to ignore social media as a vital marketing channel. What’s more, creating an account on most social media platforms is free. If you are able to come up with consistent, engaging content and develop a following, you can organically grow your audience on top of paid advertising. However, there are a lot of big fish in the ocean of social media marketing, so it has its share of challenges as well.

Due to the high amount of competition, it’s become difficult for social media managers to obtain more valuable returns from marketing on platforms. Here are some of the most common social media marketing challenges in the current environment and how to overcome them.

Designing a Strategy

Social media is used by 3 billion users around the world, it’s true. However, your strategy should not be to appeal to 3 billion people. Really think about who the audience is for your product or service, and cater to them only. If your brand is aimed at younger blue-collar workers, humor may be a great strategy to implement in your campaign. If you’re trying to appeal to older, conservative households, clean-cut honesty may suit your branding ever. Either way, it’s about gaining trust. The ultimate goal is to create leads and increase engagement, but really think about what engagement is.

If you want your audience to interact with you, you need to make sure that your content is worthy of interaction. Take these into account when trying to drive engagement:

  • Establish specific goals to be more effective. Don’t just say “I want more followers” or “I want more sales.” You have to create a specific plan auto get to a specific goal. Think “I want to gain 50 followers this week from this ad campaign I’m running.”
  • Ensure all campaigns revolve around your audience. Marketing fishing rods to a vegan audience probably won’t get you very far, no matter how great your ads may look and your campaign may be. Know your audience. You can see who exactly is looking at your website by checking your Google analytics and social media (like Facebook and Twitter) analytics.
  • Monitor your competition. There’s nothing wrong with popping in and seeing what your competitors are doing. Follow them on social media, sign up for their email list, or check out their booth at trade shows and analyze what they do well and what they don’t to create a better strategy for your own business.
  • Track your metrics. If a specific ad or campaign isn’t working, cut it and start again. Variation is the only way to see what works. A/B Split Testing is ideal to see what combination of image, text, and type of ad works best for your audience.

Obtaining Followers

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges on social media for marketers is obtaining followers. Every brand is interested in increasing their follower numbers, especially since they are viewed as being possible customers. A low follower count can make the brand be viewed as unpopular or irrelevant. For your business, it means you’re not reaching enough people. Here is how this type of challenge can be overcome:

  • When you’re just starting out, hashtags can be lifesavers. On Instagram and twitter, the easiest ways to find new accounts you want to follow is using related hashtags. Websites like Hashtagify can help you pick popular, but not overcrowded hashtags so you can be found in the search functions.
  • Share content that is informative and valuable. If you’re a lawyer, share content that is relevant to the audience you’re targeting. If you sell pet supplies, pet safety and cute animal pictures are a must! Be creative. If you’re not sure, ask people you know who fit the demographic you’re aiming for what they would like to see or know from your profession.
  • When appropriate, humor is key. Humor may not be the way to go if you run a funeral home (or it may!), but if it’s appropriate for your branding! There’s a reason funny memes are such a huge part of the internet; humor is shareable, and many people use the internet to escape the stresses of their day-to-day life.
  • Engage with your audience. If someone comments, reply to their comment! If they like a post on your page, like one of theirs. Especially for small businesses, seeming personable is of vital importance because it will make you stand out from large corporate competitors.

Increasing the Engagement of the Audience

Brands are using social media more to interact with both fans as potential customers. This is a great method to connect and communicate with their audience, and you can announce new products, events, and get feedback this way. However, the increased use of social media means always coming up with ways to connect with their audience to increase overall engagement. Here’s what you can do:

  • Get to know your audience. Set up polls and ask questions, and make it a mix of business-related things and simple fun stuff to keep people engaged.
  • Take the time to share content. Images and video are generally better-received than text posts, so make them count!
  • Retweet, like, and share posts. If you see something related to your business that you like (by following similar business or accounts you like),
  • Begin conversations on social media. Ask your audience questions. This will help you get to know your audience and also help you create relevant content for them.

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