I think social media is still a rocket science for many businesses in Malaysia and some other countries in Asia. Setting up a right budget, finding an effective ROI, set up measurable goals and a list of achievable KPIs to hunt for is still complex math for them. Why? From my personal observation, this is happening because of these very reasons. One, the top management of the company either isn’t well aware of the effectiveness of social media, not convinced or not quite sure how it works, actually. Two, many businesses prefer to chase for likes, shares or comments which is actually irrelevant towards your long-term values. And three, they don’t put together or rather don’t have the right resource or team members to manage their digital marketing initiatives.
Today I will share with you the real-life common challenges businesses are facing in the area of social media marketing and possible solutions to them.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. This is the biggest challenge right now for many businesses in Malaysia. While many are very active on social media, the actual fact is they are solely active on Facebook. Just imagine one day when you wake up in the morning and see that Facebook just shut your account down for good. Will you go panic? What you would do? All your marketing efforts were undone within a split second! So alongside Facebook as a marketer, I feel you should be active on other social media platforms too. Did you know that Instagram and LinkedIn are getting extremely popular and significant too within the last 2 years? Even their respective growths are as good as Facebook. And don’t discount the importance of AdWords and YouTube as well.
Stop chasing vanity metrics. This is such a cliche. The second biggest challenge I feel many businesses need to overcome is to stop chasing the social media’s vanity metrics. In other words, stop hunting for a maximum number of Likes, comments and shares unless you are focusing on social proof marketing. Why? Here’s a simple explanation to help you understand better. Right now based on Facebook’s new algorithm, every post you’ll be getting approximately between 0.5% to 1% organic reach, nothing more. Vanity metrics include data such as social media followers, page views, subscribers, and other flashy analytics that will satisfy your eyeball on paper, but in reality, those numbers aren’t moving the needle to get you nearer towards the business goals – revenues and profits. These metrics do offer positive reporting, but no context for future marketing decisions — unlike actionable metrics are doing such as the number of clicks on your CTA button, the number of sign-ups or number of incoming leads.
Impatience and judging the outcome too early. This is the third biggest challenge I personally notice and experience. The management team or business owner simply does not have the patience for results. Wanting to have a significant result immediately after the social media or digital ads campaign is impossible. How can you see anything after just 1-7 days? This is not as easy as you think, there are a lot of things need to be done behind the scene to ensure your campaign is effective in getting conversions.
How to do it then? Build and follow a funnel to help you convert better. The funnel should start with Awareness. That means you need to make people aware of your brand and what you’re selling before you go all the way with your ads to sell your stuff online. It is like dating a person. You don’t say I Love You on your first date, do you? In a nutshell, when you are running digital ads, be patience and make sure you are following the process. Build up the pace at the same time, then only the result will come.
You are not sure about your ROI. Last but not least, it’s a big mistake for businesses if you’re not having a clear idea of the ROI you intend to have at the end of your digital ads spending. It sounds awkward I know, but this is a reality. Many businesses, when they are hiring agencies for their digital marketing campaign, it’s the agencies who decide on the ROI and not the clients. Come on people, it has to be another way around. As a business, you need to know your marketing goal and objective. You need to know what you want. And the agency will assist you to achieve your goal and guide you on the how-to.
These are the common challenges and mistakes I personally see in the industry. It may look harmless in the short run yet it might make you suffer in the long run if you are in the dark of what’s going on in your own social media marketing strategy. It’s very hard to keep up with the changes that happen in social media and digital marketing vertical. It changes almost every single day. So what can you do as a business owner?
Keep on learning.