Ready to tackle the biggest social media challenges?
If you’ve been struggling to grow your brand’s social presence, you’re definitely not alone.
Competition is fierce across industries right now, as brands vie to capture the 71% of consumers who are spending more time on social media. Couple that with a new wave of networks and higher expectations from followers makes building your brand’s presence, while standing out from the crowd, seem even more difficult.
In this guide, we break down eight of the most common social media marketing challenges that brands are facing today. For each hurdle, we’ll hook you up with actionable next steps that can help.
1. Falling engagement rates and fewer post interactions
It’s no secret that organic engagement on social media has been on a downward trend.
More users and brands on a network means that you’re quite literally competing for the attention of customers and followers. After all, there are only so many interactions to “go around.”
And while the phenomenon of falling engagement was primarily a problem on Facebook and Twitter, the trend is impacting brands on Instagram as well.
In fact, recent research from Rival IQ notes that Instagram engagement rates have plummeted 30% YoY.
We’ll bite: overcoming algorithms is one of the toughest challenges of social media marketing. If you’re not running paid promotions alongside organic content, earning reach and interactions can be an uphill battle. That said, it’s not an impossible fight.
- Assess your top-performing posts to understand what drives the most interactions. Try to find common threads between these posts (think: timing, content themes, post types, formatting, voice).
- Focus on content that taps into your existing followers, customers and community. This might include question-based content, user-generated content campaigns and responding to shout-outs and comments.
- Consider collaborating with influencers and brands as a way to extend your reach and encourage more brand mentions.
2. Standing out against established social competitors
Feel like you don’t have much of a share of voice?
As noted earlier, most industries are crowded with competition. Look no further than the beauty space as evidence, brimming with brands and advocates eager to show off products in action.
From legacy brands to established players in your industry, staking your claim as an up-and-coming company is a tall order.
Our advice? Focus first on establishing your own identity and community versus obsessing over others’. It’s easy to get stuck comparing follower counts and engagements but it’s not doing you or your followers any favors.
Remember: a smaller, thriving community is more valuable than vanity metrics.
- Build your primary promotional strategy around engaging customers (think: user-generated content, responding to questions, comments and tagging)
- Developing a distinct brand voice—don’t discount the power of personality (think: humor, relatability) as a way to stand out.
- Activate employees to boost your brand’s content and reach beyond your own account.
3. Lost time from juggling multiple social platforms
Messages. Notifications. Content deadlines. The list goes on and on.
If you’re trying to build a presence across multiple platforms, lost productivity is probably one of your biggest social media challenges.
Having a multi-platform presence involves cross-posting and responding to comments across channels, however, doing so without a strategy in place is a recipe for burnout.
There’s only so much time in the day that’s why its crucial to allocate your time without sacrificing customer relationships or ruining your own schedule.
This is where tools like Sprout’s Smart Inbox come in handy, allowing you to consolidate and collaborate across channels in one place.
- Define your “priority” network and focus most of your efforts there. Ask yourself: where do you have the most meaningful interaction? Where are you seeing the most growth? Which platform is tied most to your business goals?
- Adopt a social media tool like Sprout to consolidate your social presence and assets. Doing so will result in less time jumping between networks and will help streamline your workflow.
- Consider outsourcing or sharing responsibilities across your marketing team as needed.
4. When key stakeholders don’t understand social media
Social media isn’t a “shiny new toy” anymore.
That said, some stakeholders or higher-ups might not see the immediate value of investing in social as a priority channel.
From lead generation to nurturing customers and beyond, the role of social in winning new business is actually well-documented. Heck, 4 of the 5 most budgeted-for marketing priorities for 2022 are related directly to social media.
Making a business case for social media is a common challenge associated with social media marketing but it shouldn’t have to be.
Although justifying social media to your boss might involve factors beyond your control (think: budget, personnel), tying your organization’s presence to business practices, the bottom line and performance should be a priority. Doing so not only helps cement the importance of your role but also helps earn future buy-in from colleagues and higher-ups.
- Document how your social presence impacts business goals including brand awareness, lead generation, customer nurturing and sales by understanding important social media KPIs.
- Highlight relevant metrics that have moved the needle in the past year to help you reach those goals (think: traffic, mentions, reach, engagement).
- Conduct competitive analysis and market research to drive home the importance of having a strong social presence for your respective industry.
5. Little-to-no communication between departments
Piggybacking on the point above, the importance of buy-in across your organization is key to growing on social media.
Despite the power of collaborations between departments like PR, product or demand gen, we’ve seen firsthand how many teams sadly stay siloed. The graph below shows the teams that social marketers interact with the most.
Sharing your data and insights shouldn’t be a burden and doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. In fact, doing so is worthwhile for empowering yourself and your colleagues.
That’s because collaboration goes hand in hand with creating better campaigns and lessening second-guessing.
For example, consider how your sales team or product team sees the ongoing impact of your content marketing and social presence. With their insights, you can spend more time on activities that help your customers and win over prospects.
- Set up regular meetings and check-ins to review metrics and explore collaboration opportunities across teams.
- Consider how even using a team chat tool like Slack can provide opportunities to share insights.
- If possible, assess your CRM data to better understand how your company’s social presence impacts your marketing and sales funnel.
6. You’re out of creative content ideas
Coming up with fresh content ideas is among the most common social media challenges and perhaps the most frustrating.
That’s because your social media presence never really stops growing. Whether a campaign falls flat or earns a ton of attention from followers, you’re still expected to follow up and keep the good content flowing.
Social media success stories like Duolingo on TikTok represent a great example of how creative content can take your brand to new heights.
Again, you can’t obsess over what your competitors or legacy brands are doing. Creativity often comes in waves and the same rings true for social marketers. We recommend being proactive about coming up with ideas through strategic, ongoing brainstorming.
- Use social listening tools to uncover conversations and content that your target audience is currently buzzing about.
- Try trendspotting to get a head-start on social media movements and crazes before they blow up.
- Collaborate with creators or brand advocates who’ve succeeded in driving engagement recently. What can you learn from them?
7. Responding to call-outs and crises
Social media has become a go-to channel for customer service and support.
Likewise, it’s a popular place to keep your customers in the loop in case of a crisis or hiccup with your product or service.
However, simply pushing out announcements isn’t enough if you want to keep your customers happy.
Beyond interacting with customers and leads, speeding up your response time is a must-do for keeping customers happy. Swift responses are met positively.
In short, brands need to consider how they respond to questions, call-outs and everything in-between if they want to maintain a positive online reputation.
- Develop a specific social media crisis plan to handle events involving serious backlash without getting overwhelmed.
- Learn your customers’ most common objections, issues and concerns to anticipate them in your responses.
- Make a point to personalize your responses to customers (even when you’re using messaging templates).
8. Lack of growth, direction or strategy
Let’s say you’re stuck when it comes to what you “should” be doing on social.
Perhaps you feel like your brand is just on autopilot.
This is something that calls for an actual social media marketing strategy instead of posting “just because.” It never hurts to go back to basics to assess the big-picture purpose of your presence to guide it in the future.
- Again, discuss goals and expectations with your managers and higher-ups to make sure everyone is on the same page. Double-check that you’re focusing on the appropriate metrics and KPIs.
- Figure out a schedule and publishing frequency. Doing so helps you avoid posting at random. When in doubt, establish a schedule based on the best times to post on social media.
- Consider conducting an audit to assess what’s working and what’s not in terms of content, timing and so on. Analyze your top-performing content and engagement rates and draw conclusions from there (see below). Set performance benchmarks to ensure you’re growing.
Which social media challenges do you need the most help with?
Building an impactful social presence doesn’t happen by accident.
If you’re hitting roadblocks or don’t know what to do next, don’t panic. It happens!
What matters is that you have a proactive plan to keep your presence moving forward. Addressing the social media challenges above isn’t something you can afford to shy away from.
The good news? We have free social media templates to improve your strategy and make the struggles above a thing of the past.
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