We have had conversations with a lot of marketers, advertisers, entrepreneurs, and company executives, and everyone just has their unique way of doing things. While most have social media accounts, some never considered having one.
For instance, young marketers will always abide by novel practices. They talk about building an online presence. They put a huge amount of time and effort on digital marketing. Anything from copywriting to influencer marketing gets covered.
It seems to us that they don’t get along well with many older marketers, those seniors who have been around selling brands to people before Internet became a thing. Is it surprising that a substantial number of people considers social media marketing as an exercise in futility? They are not entirely wrong.
It doesn’t matter how much we say that social media marketing needs proper planning and careful implementation. If you have an existing bias against it from the get go, it will be hard to convince you even if we say 96% of marketers have planned to raise or keep their budgets for it. Does it even matter that putting your brand on social media ranks third in terms of highest ROI?
Nonetheless, we can’t dispel the harsh truths about social media marketing. We want you to know them not to dissuade you, but to arm you with a realistic and balanced perspective. How can you work around a problem you don’t know existed?
One: Social media marketing entails cost
Have we said that it’s free? If in any of our posts we said that it was, please correct us in the comments!
No, it’s not free.
It may seem like it is, but when you think about all the time and energy you spent on putting up and keeping social media channels, you realize you’re using up much time as well as Internet service and electricity. All of that adds to the expense of creating Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube accounts for your business and keeping them active.
As your following grows, you’ll spend more time responding to comments and engaging with your active audience. You’re not spending money at face value, but time used up is time you could have spent doing something immediately profitable.
Two: Success is not guaranteed
We never make guarantees. We tell people to nurture social networks, write amazing blog posts, and invite potential influencers. At the end of the day it’s you who has to monitor whether your social media campaigns are inducing considerable engagement or whether your influencer marketing tactics are reaching to your target influencers.
Some of our associates tell their clients about “secrets” or “top tips.” In reality, these generic pieces of advice don’t work for everyone. There is no single strategy that fits all. You have to look at what’s going on and adapt to the uniqueness of the industry you’re in.
We always tell our clients that each business is it’s own entity. It has a specific demographic. It has a message of its own. It’s about building an identity and letting it grow. Having a distinct identity on social media is extremely important lest you blend in the background and be indiscernible in the clutter.
Another reason it’s hard to predict success on social media is because of its unpredictability as well. Owners of giant social sites may make key changes, as they did in the past, to adapt to evolving user behavior. Changes don’t have to kill your brand’s social media presence. The key is to adapt.
Three: It’s about the numbers
People measure the reputation of a page based on the number of followers and the amount of likes, comments, and shares its posts have. It’s not difficult to understand. Someone with a hundred thousand followers is probably doing something better than someone with only a thousand. Someone whose posts are getting five thousand likes, five hundred shares, and hundreds of comments is probably doing something right to get people to notice them.
The number of followers matters, and it is the quest in attracting followers and the difficulty in doing so that are major obstacles for novices in the digital marketing industry. You can write an article for half an hour and then share it with fifty followers. That’s fine until you realize no matter how good your post is, it’s not going to cut through your competition with five thousand followers. For beginners, it’s depressing and demotivating.
Four: Social sites limit “free” marketing.
There is only so much you can do on Facebook or Instagram if you don’t shell out finds to boost your posts and get more likes. In many cases, you stand no chance against your peer who has more funds to get their posts pushed on the site or to get people to advocate for their brand.
Getting organic followers is not a walk in the park. Doing influencer marketing or marketing with influencers, a strategy that is rising in popularity, is even a harder ambition.
Logically, social media sites favor those who pay for advertising. Otherwise, why would people pay to have their campaigns boosted if there was a way to actually work around the limitations?
One thing you have to keep in mind is that following isn’t everything. Of course, the more followers you have, the better. But it’s unrealistic to think all your followers see every content you post. Most of them don’t, and many of those who see your posts just ignore them.
Five: Data gets misinterpreted and misused
Even if you’re not adept in online marketing, you can look at the data from Insights, for instance, and use it to propel your Facebook or Instagram presence to the next level. Or can you? It looks like it depends on how you look at the data. Some marketers take data sacredly as if it’s the only measure that matters. Others, however, take it with a grain of salt.
Data offers quantitative assessment. Yes, it’s about the numbers. But the numbers don’t tell you everything. If you focus too much on the data, you miss the qualitative insights from your audience. You monitor likes and shares. You see engagement growing, but you’re not sure whether it’s active or passive engagement or whether it’s engagement that actually converts audiences into customers. That is unless you ask the right questions and take a closer at the feedback.
Six: Social media trends change
It changes in several unexpected ways. Site owners go bankrupt. People shift from one network to another. New apps kill old ones. Social media giants may buy a new or or merge with existing ones. All these changes create shifts on the social media marketing landscape, forcing marketers to change their strategies, sometimes abruptly.