5 Harsh Realities of Social Media Marketing

When social media started to become a thing, it was the trendsetter for global communication by having people message, share photos, music, videos and other content both locally and internationally. Seeing most of the world turning their gaze towards social networks instead of televisions and radio stations prompted various business organizations from around the world to give their marketing strategies a digital makeover.

Once companies embraced the inevitable paradigm shift that is social media marketing, it presented them with a slew of advantages and conveniences that traditional marketing lacked in. Some of these benefits include:

  • Low Cost
  • Real-time results
  • Easy to share
  • Precise consumer targeting
  • Global exposure
  • Higher engagement

Social media gives businesses of all shapes and sizes an equal opportunity to capture their target audience’s attention and stand out from their more established competition. This is something that small businesses, who once struggled to get any traction with traditional methods, used to deal with.

But despite the potentials of high ROI and conversions, rookie businesses are going to find it a lot harder to stand out in 2018. That’s because competition has become fierce and as such, there are some hard truths that upcoming entrepreneurs must factor in before getting their business going:


  1. Success Depends on Time and Effort

You can’t just establish a well-articulated website or a social media channel with a distinct layout or design and expect to generate quality leads and revenue on the fly. Building a successful and powerful social media presence takes considerable time and effort. It involves knowing your target audience’s needs, establishing your brand message and goals, timing your online posts, being consistently active and keeping audience engaged.

You’re not going to see any returns in the first month because it usually takes about a couple of months or sometimes even years before you garner a decent online following. You’ll also make plenty of mistakes in the process, but that’s to be expected.


  1. You Won’t Always Get a Positive ROI

Even though 77% of marketers use at least one social media platform for brand promotion, only 48% of marketers report that social media gives them any return on investment. This means that many organizations are failing to engage their customers with the right platforms or are not effectively measuring their social impact.

In order to improve your ROI, you have to do a better job at monitoring your social media activity, create better engagement opportunities and measure the impact of your success with tools such as Sprout Social, Snaplytics or Iconosquare.


  1. Other Marketing Channels Help Boost ROI

While it’s fine that you can use other social media channels to promote your business, digital marketing shouldn’t be your one-size-fits-all solution. But there is a less expensive route you can take to go about this.

Let’s say there are two companies in which Company A spends over $100 on social media advertising and Company B spends the same amount on traditional advertising. After a couple of months, Company A made some progress but at the expense of breaking even their social media spending. Company B on the other hand, already has a great customer base and decides to start their social media presence.

By the end of the month, both companies have over 1000 followers, except Company A invested over $1000 for their campaign whereas Company B only spent $100 and still managed to acquire the same reach.


  1. You Need Ad Budget to Get Social Traction

Strong and potential customers are going to think less of a company if it doesn’t have a powerful social media presence. But due to the constant changes in the algorithms of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, it is becoming more challenging for businesses to put up organic content for their audience.

In other words, organic reach is witnessing a decline.

The only way to post the right content for your viewers in their newsfeeds is to establish an ad budget, which can eventually boost your conversions. You may also want to pay for banner ad space as well to keep the conversion rate consistent.


  1. Viral Content Exposure Depends on Luck

Viral content is a once in a blue moon kind of trick. Most of the time it just happens out of sheer luck and the author of that content have no control over it whatsoever. This is the point where no amount of research or techniques and ingredients can give you the right kind of results that you need. It’s all about timing and how many times it is likely to get shared.

This insight isn’t meant to discourage you in any way, but rather give you a realistic take on how the digital world really operates. Simply put, don’t take a chance on something that is out of your hand and has a rare chance of ever coming true.