When it comes to social media platforms and channels, marketers are going to tell you that these platforms are a “must use” for all companies, organizations, and businesses seeking a profit. This is not only because of the potential they offer for growing and reaching your audience, but for the simple fact that they provide the highest return on investment.
Much of this is due in part to the low cost of entry, the non-existent barriers, and the mass potential for consumer outreach. Unfortunately, social media marketing can be tricky to deal with since it has become commercially saturated in recent years and it is highly competitive.
Here are some of the tough realities of social media marketing that you need to be aware of.
1. It Will Take a Lot of Time and Effort: It takes a lot of time to build up a respectable presence on social media, and it requires daily effort to keep it going. Social media is not something that you simply turn on and leave it. Not only do you need to understand your target audience and what they are seeking in their use of social media platforms, but you need to actively and consistently engage with them. Every. Single. Day.
2. You May Not See a Positive ROI at First: This is just because of the initial investment required, as it is in any other business endeavor. Over time, however, with consistent practices on your part, you will gradually see an increase in ROI.
3. Your Return on Investment Will Vary: It is tough to get an accurate count of what your ROI is because it can be based on any metric. The definition for this will change from one company to another with some companies basing their ROI on website traffic, while others prefer to track sales conversions.
4. Your ROI Will Depend on More Than One Channel: The strength of your social media campaign will be dependent on the effort invested in all platforms tied to your business. If you are visible on one channel, but not another, and another company within your industry is visible on both, it stands to reason that your overall campaign will be weaker than theirs.
5. Positive ROI May Be Hard to Achieve: This is primarily because organic reach has become so hard to achieve. Because social media platforms have decreased the visibility of most business entities as users prefer a less commercial experience when browsing through their news feeds, it may mean that you might have to resort to paid advertising to even be visible to your target audience.
The above points are not meant to discourage you from employing social media marketing but are intended to serve as guidelines on what to expect as a business when jumping onto the social media marketing train. Social media will be challenging, and you will likely experience more than one tough situation or pitfall. But, if you keep at it in a consistent manner, you will eventually see your business grow in sales, reputation, and customer engagement.