Social media has been hailed as one of the more powerful communication tools the world has ever seen, and evidence of this assertion can be found in virtually every region today. The birth of wide-reaching citizen journalism, the connection between individuals who would have known about one another only 15 years ago, and the seamlessness of collaboration among groups of people and organizations are further testaments to social media’s capabilities.
However, when looking into the marketing arena, the verbiage will begin to quickly transform, becoming less promising and celebratory given the massive struggles so many businesses have faced when trying to monetize social media programs. Still, because of the inherent value of social media involving the ability to form closer, more profitable relationships with individuals in a wide range of locations, balking on participating would be ill-advised to say the least.
Luckily, researchers, experts and professionals in the marketing field have focused on uncovering the ways in which social media can be used most effectively in brand management strategies today. These types of insights can go a long way toward saving business leaders time, money and frustration when they are working to craft and execute a financially sound social media marketing program.
Popular social media setbacks
The Guardian recently listed several missteps businesses will often take in their social media ventures, affirming that the No. 1 issue will often tie into the initial strategic planning involved. For example, the source stated that if the objectives of social media are not tightly characterized and closely attached to underlying goals of the business itself, it will not be likely to succeed.
This is somewhat of a general problem that many marketers will face, in that they will try to walk before they run. Strategies need to be clear and guided enough to function properly over time and, while flexibility needs to be a priority to adapt to changing landscapes, this does not mean that simply writing random posts and sending them will work to anyone’s advantage.
According to The Guardian, too few companies are assigning social media marketing responsibilities to specific employees, which can significantly hinder the overall impact of these endeavors. If tasks are not handled in a consistent fashion, the chances of having a strong brand image in the eyes of the social audience will be inherently lower.
Furthermore, the news provider argued that when marketers do not really understand the general behavioral themes of social media users – or those of their specific target audience for that matter – it will be impossible to capitalize. There is plenty of research out there on consumer behaviors in the broad sense, which should be the first topic to be investigated. Then, businesses ought to be working to identify the unique demands and behaviors of their audience through more targeted research.
Value of the right social media manager
Honing in on the pain point listed above regarding the assignment of social media marketing management, many small business owners will do well to get an expert involved. Because social media advertising and general business use do indeed demand skill, experience and time commitment, many entrepreneurs will choose to outsource the tasks.
Small Business Trends recently listed a few key points of reference for entrepreneurs going down this particular path. According to the news provider, understanding the lead time necessary to get the project up and running, as well as the ways in which performance will be measured and tracked, can help to ensure that the right provider is chosen.
Social media is an important part of any marketing strategy, and starting to implement these strategies today can position small businesses to excel in the near future.