A recent report by Hootsuite has identified what many consider the main obstacles facing social media use in business to be. The survey that took the opinions of more than 100 executives and managers discovered that the main challenges for organisations were:
- Content Creation
- Social Media Measurement
- Content distribution
Primary objectives For Social Media Use
According to those surveyed, 60% were using social media to increase brand awareness while only 13% and 12% were looking to increase brand loyalty or make sales respectively. Future use of social media also appears positive as 61% of companies are expecting to increase their presence on social media in the future.
It is rather interesting that 12% of businesses are still looking to increase sales with social media. There is some debate as to whether social media can be of use as a sales channel. According to online sales paths, social media is the referring channel in less than 1% of all online transactions. However, 84% of consumers will look for recommendations on at least one social media platform when they want a product.
At the same time, implementing social media within your online sales path, which can include up to 12 touch points, can help you increase business sales. Research published by Forbes found that those salespeople with high levels of social media use were more likely to exceed their targets.
Taking On The Challenges Of Social Media Use
There are numerous ways that you can challenge the obstacles that are preventing you from getting the best results from social media. The first stage is to ensure that you have numerous sources of content. Each of these sources of content and your social media posts should be connected in a long purchasing path that will include other marketing channels.
An example would be as follows: you publish an email that directs to a landing page on your website for a free whitepaper or ebook. You advertise the web version of your email on social media, and you attract visitors from Twitter and Facebook from there.
Your new visitors read your email, go to the landing page and then download your ebook. These people found on social media are now part of your email marketing list, and therefore, you’ve gained some leads.
Not Being Self-Centred In Your Content Approach
The next piece of advice is to ensure that you aren’t just advertising your content. We’ve experimented with third party content and found that when you include content created by other social media users, there are several benefits, as you are more likely to:
- Gain new followers and likes
- Generate engagement
- Increase traffic
During one campaign, we didn’t publish any content related to the client’s account. Despite this, traffic was still being generated by social media through their profile pages. However, the greatest benefit is when you have a mixture of your content (both sales focused and information focused) and third party content.
Finding third party content can be difficult, especially with social media channels like Twitter. Luckily, hashtags can be used to help you narrow down options to the most relevant. Alternatively, you can use automation to source and publish content for your brand. But there are still issues. We’ve highlighted previously about the misuse of hashtags, and automated systems can be more liable to mistakes than the human eye. However, with the right time investment and training, you could easily source all the content you need relatively quickly.
Businesses are using social media to help them grow brand awareness, keep customers loyal and sell online. It is easy to resolve challenges through the efficient use of hashtags, automated systems or a professional social media manager.
What are your biggest social media use challenges? What are your goals?
Let us know in the comments below.