Social Media can be frustrating. However with proper planning and a successful execution, social media marketing can be very effective for almost any business.
But still, there are a handful of dark secrets about social media that no marketer really wants to admit and that many that aren’t in the industry don’t understand. Here’s just a few:
Social media marketing isn’t free
Lot’s of time when you hear about social media marketing you hear that it is free. That might be true to a point. Of course it won’t cost you anything to claim your business’ social media profiles, set them up on your own and of course to post on a regular basis on them. However most business owners quickly find out that they either don’t have the time to keep things consistent or realize that they need to spend money to fund a full marketing strategy and of course no one tells you that you will spend lots of time creating images, writing text and scheduling posts.
In all honesty it takes hours of work to build out strong social media profiles, and event more hours a week to even maintain a basic active social media presence. If you add those hours up and see the actual amount of time that social media marketing does take the actual "cost" will become clear.
Plus if you’re not somewhat experienced, you might find that you just aren’t able to keep up with the ever changing landscape of social media.
You can’t predict pattern of success
Everyone thinks that they know the “secret” for a business' social media success. Here’s the thing there’s no verifiable or consistent way to guarantee success for this type of task. Why? Well honestly every business is unique, with a unique target demographic, history, growth, and competitive landscape. No two businesses are going to experience the same results.
There’s also no way any single strategy could possibly apply to everyone that wants or tries to use it. Compound that with the fact that social media is always evolving (very rapidly) and other randomness that could interfere with your results, and the predictability of success gets even lower.
This is one of the reasons why good social media managers will show you how to measure your success.
Want success? Get followers before social media marketing starts to pay off
The bottom line for any social media, is your total ROI, or return on investment. You should, over an extended period of time and if you execute your social media strategy is created correctly, you might see growth. But your initial ROI will probably be terrible. You’ll pay more or put in more than you get out for a while.
Let’s say that it takes you about 15 minutes to write a post, and you then post that to your 15 followers. Now, imagine you create the same post, but this time for 15,000 followers. Which one do you think will have a higher return for your investment (assuming those followers are all genuinely interested in your brand)? It takes a long time for social media to start paying off.
Social platforms restrict your reach (Really they do!)
Social media platforms have a vested interest in getting you as a business to pay for their advertising. It’s just a simple truth. Pay to play.
One way they manipulate this is they often restrict the amount of reach you’re able to get through organic or unpaid posts. So you might have 500 followers, but that doesn’t mean that every single post you make is going to reach 500 people. You likely will reach 1%-2% of them.
Keep this in mind when considering the sheer potential of social media -- it’s probably far, far less than you think it is in the beginning. If you have dreams of going viral or having 10,000 fans in 30 days, just know that rarely happens.
Data will not tell you everything
When properly understanding social media you quickly understand that you have access to huge volumes of data. You can look deeply into user behavior, patterns of interaction, demographic information and more. But data can’t tell you everything you honestly need to know.
Adapting is important but time consuming and exhausting
Social media changes often. By this we mean sometimes weekly. There are new platforms cropping up, new trends coming and changes to things like algorithms that can be hard to follow.
If you want to be successful, plain and simple you have to try to keep up. However it is exhausting. Even the most savvy, passionate, and totally dedicated marketer will tell you this.
Most of the people love the comfort of getting into a routine, but with social media marketing, you never get to do that.
You’ll be shaking your head a lot
There’s some annoying and often frustrating social media related things that happen- even if they are on a minor level. You’ll end up making a typo or other mistakes on occasion and you’ll kick yourself when you forget something or make one of these mistakes. You’ll miss a great opportunity for a post or jumping on a hashtag that’s hot. Competitor’s posts will come up and you’ll kick yourself and wish you’d thought of it first. If you have a hard time with not being perfect, you’re going to be beating yourself up...a lot.
Although it is frustrating, it’s a part of doing business today. If you’re not up for the challenge, it’s always best to hire someone who is. This way, you can focus on your business and leave the social networking to someone who is ready to take on the tasks.