Social media marketing isn't new, but it's still a growing tool for online brands and marketers. At a time when hundreds of companies a day are wading into the social media waters, many of the professionals behind viral statuses and smart online campaigns are beginning to hate their jobs.
Social Media Is Not a Cure-All
One reason social media marketers hate their work is because of the pressure that comes with it. CEOs and others who read online marketing advice have been told of this awesome power—this magical marketing potion that has something to do with likes and retweets and organic links. While social media is powerful, it's not a cure-all. There's a man behind the curtain—the social media marketer—but he's not a wizard with a fast track ticket to the Emerald City of online conversions. Instead, he's an overworked marketing pro with great ideas, too many channels to keep track of, and a lot of input to integrate into 140-character chunks of what you hope are marketing gold.
Help your social media marketers love their job again by dialling down the heat and working as a team. Social media is just one ingredient in the online marketing cake—rely on it too heavily, and your entire dish will fall flat.
Metrics are a Major Headache
Online metrics are notoriously hard to capture, manage, and understand—despite the ease of setting up an initial Google Analytics account. Social media metrics are among the hardest to capture and analyze, and individuals with little statistical analysis background take a stab at it all the time. When that happens, companies usually develop reactionary marketing strategies, constantly changing what they want to do through social media based on audience feedback from the day or week before. Constantly changing focus means your social media marketer never has time to build a solid audience or make a real difference for your organization.
Equip your marketers with technology tools that make analyzing social media impacts easier, and give them time to make an impact before you measure and evaluate it.
Social Media Isn't Free
Almost everyone in the field will point out that social media marketing can provide big ROI at relatively lower costs. The key word in that phrase is relatively—social media marketing can impact bigger audiences at lower costs than television might, for example. But it's not free and it's not cheap. It takes time and expertise.
Recognize your social media marketers for the knowledge and experience they bring to your brand. Avoid belittling their efforts by treating social media marketing as a side-lined skill or something anyone with a keyboard can do.
Social Media Marketers Are the New Used Car Salesmen
Twitter statistics indicate that almost all Tweets on the network are created by approximately 5 percent of accounts. With a small number of social media accounts doing much of the communicating, social media marketers can easily become overbearing. They might begin to feel sleazy, as if the rest of the online world sees them as pushy used car salesmen. Help your social media marketers avoid feeling this way by providing them with valuable or interesting information to share. Marketers that are engaged with and believe in the brand they work for are more likely to form relationships with consumers and less likely to feel like virtual door-to-door salespeople.
People Become Numbers
For the social media marketer, people often become numbers. The marketer worries about how many followers or likes he has garnered that day; is the number more than the competitions? While metrics are important, the number of likes isn't always the telling number for an organization. Avoid turning your social media experts into bean counters—instead, help them concentrate on engagement. Counting people is a quick way to hate your job; communicating, coordinating, and celebrating with people is often a way to love it.