Social marketing has become one of the most effective and frustratingchannels for marketers and growth people. There are almost infinite people, communities, and content across all of the platforms. This leads to the potential for high-level and mass targeting. On the other hand, though, the vastness itself, makes it feel complex and scary.
Understand why social marketing feels overwhelming to you. Getting over those initial bumps will help you craft a more effective and powerful social strategy. Here are four primary overwhelming reasons that you can come to recognize and learn from:
1.There are so many channels.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, to name a few. Unless you have a massive team — managing all of the different accounts feels scary. Each requires a different approach, a different way to target and a different way to keep track of data. This nuance creates significant complexity.
Looking at all the channels together creates a sense of impossibility. Instead, look at one channel at a time. Each provides a unique opportunity to meaningfully engage with potential (or current) customers.
Some channels will not make sense for your business, especially when considering your timeline in business. How long you’ve been in business can make the vast number of channels feel scary. It will get less so.
When you are a small team, you can also focus on the social accounts that have the highest leverage. Just because your competitors or others in similar industries have all of these accounts does not mean that you need to do the same. Especially at first.
2. Coming up with a plan is daunting.
When picking any specific channel, coming up with a plan is scary. It is hard to know where to start. What content should be promoted? What should the goals be? Who should you be trying to reach?
When looking from this outside-in perspective, it is intimidating. Especially when you do not have much past experience. The beauty, though, is the data that social media platforms offer to brands and advertisers. You do not need to come up with a six-month plan from day one. You can test different things, one-by-one, to get a sense of what works and what does not. Plus, there are best practices that you can take advantage of to prevent starting from square one.
Once you begin to get an understanding, you can turn a lot of the processes on autopilot. There is post scheduling, you can pull data into a singular dashboard, and you can make changes as you see fit.
Once you notice progress, it also becomes more fun. You begin to see the tangible impact that your efforts are having on your business. Making an effort to create communities, hitting follower milestones (like 1K, 5K, 10K, 50K, 100K, etc.) is uplifting.
3. Endless competition.
Another difficult aspect is the competition and non-stop nature and changes of social media. There are always people tweeting, posting, and capitalizing on audiences. It is easy to look at competitors or others in the same industry and feel inadequate. That said, there is always going to be an account or a team that has more followers than you.
Instead, looking at social marketing through an independent lens will allow you to improve relative to yourself. You can equate your social media presence to being a runner. There is always going to be someone that is faster (has more followers/presence) than you.
Looking at those “sprinters” can be a source of motivation. Letting someone faster discourage you will not accomplish anything. The goal of a runner is to improve his or her time each run — against themselves.
In social media — same thing — your goal should be to continue to improve your following and reach. Aligning this way will make the rest of the realm less scary and allow you to celebrate your accomplishments relative to where you were before.
4. There is endless advice and content.
Yes, there are best practices to help navigate posting and reaching your audience. That said, it can be overwhelming because of the endless “best practices” that exist.
There are more “social media gurus” and companies popping up each day. Each one claiming to have the secret sauce to improving your social media following and reach. All of this content can be draining. Especially when people give differing advice.
It doesn’t have to feel endless, though. You can, instead, find a few companies or people that you look up to or believe in for thought leadership. Ask around to find what content the best social marketing people are consuming and follow their footsteps.
The endless amount of online help can be scary, but it is definitely better than if there were no guidance. Capitalize on the fact that these people are willing to share their secrets and best practices with the outside world.
All of this advice makes starting from scratch significantly less worrisome. You do not have to navigate the entire process yourself. You can learn from those that have failed before you and improve much more rapidly.
This article first appeared in www.forbes.com
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