Every business wants to extract maximum benefit from the social web but it’s easier said than done. When you have multiple Twitter accounts to manage while keeping track of your Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google Plus pages, there’s often a mismatch between expectations and actual results. We brainstormed over the most challenging aspects of social media management, and came up with the top five pain points.
#1 : Racing against time to accomodate different platforms
One of the biggest difficulties social media managers face is restructuring time when new platforms are added to the social media mix. Implementing a bigger set of daily social activities optimized to each platform naturally requires more time. To keep up, you may need more hands on deck, or have to adjust your work schedule to manage social media responsibilities with aplomb. The time constraint that creeps in is often the most challenging aspect, one that the social media manager is often expected to figure out himself/herself with little or no guidance from higher management.
#2 : Keeping content consistently engaging
When your job involves writing blogs and posting tweets all day, there is a tendency to reach a saturation point beyond which the enthusiasm to engage your audience wanes. The result is a half-hearted attempt that impacts content quality. Your audience will be quick to catch up on it, and your campaign may face a rough patch or become stagnant for a while.
The challenge of developing the best and most relevant content is a big one, involving research and a laser-beam focus on quality at all times. You must find a strategy to keep churning out fresh and engaging content. It can be a moderately or extremely challenging task, depending on your industry. One option you have is to publish non copyrighted content created by someone else (an industry authority) that your audience finds useful or intriguing.
Researching, creating posts and publishing all consume significant time. Time management solutions targeted at your specific situation, and social media goals and standards can address the problem to an extent.
#3 : Figuring out terms and conditions
Small businesses are aware that disregarding the rules enforced by a social media website can see their pages being shut down. Running contests on social platforms like Facebook, in particular, can often send you into a tizzy thanks to the confusing terms and conditions. There is also the fact that the terms are subject to modifications, which means you must keep an eye out for rule changes to avoid legal hassles. The fear of breaking rules and getting slapped with a fine keeps sole proprietors and small business owners from making the most of social media platforms.
#4 : Security issues around collaboration
The security aspect of using social CRM and collaboration tools outside of the corporate firewall often keeps enterprises and social media agencies from managing social media activities more flexibly and seamlessly. As corporate policies, which were put into place before social tools even became available, are typically hard to work around, the lack of a system for curating and sharing is often a pain point experienced by social media strategists and managers.
#5 : Measuring business value from social media efforts
ROI is a financial return. When it comes to explaining your social media returns to higher managemet, only three metrics count : cost, sales volume and revenue. Number of fans, likes, followers and retweets – commonly measured social media metrics – are not as important as understanding which retweet led to the most conversions and what social media and email marketing strategies converted soft leads into hard leads. While Google Analytics is a good tool to get the dollar returns on social media efforts, tracking and measuring the business outcomes of social media activities alongside intangible benefits like reputation enhancement, brand reinforcement and audience loyalty can often be a tough nut to crack.