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Don’t let the social part of social media fool you. It’s not just a way to share vacation photos with friends and family. It’s a way of life for today’s businesses—an opportunity to connect and communicate with customers and reach out to others in different target demographics.

Social Media Management Basics

Social media management involves creating and scheduling content as well as interacting with followers on social media platforms. These platforms range from giants like Facebook and Twitter to up-and-coming and niche sites like WhatsApp, WeChat and SnapChat. Social media managers also analyze their activities, trends and marketing performance on the different sites.

Top Challenges Facing Social Media Managers

Uploading photos, sharing tips and posting company updates isn’t all fun and games. Managing social media has its own share of challenges you have to overcome if you want to be successful at it.

  • Finding Time: It should be no surprise that managing social media accounts takes time. One of the top challenges social media managers face is finding the time to create content, engage with followers and monitor their accounts—usually on multiple platforms. Even when they find time, they often feel like they’re not doing real work or have to explain to someone why they’re being paid to scroll through an Instagram feed.
  • Measuring ROI: If you’re going to invest your time in anything, you need to know  you’re getting something in return. In traditional marketing, it’s often easier to see a direct relationship between advertisements and sales. You can ask your customers how they heard about your company or assign specific phone numbers or email accounts to different ads. Tracking conversions from your posts may not be as obvious.
  • Creating Fresh Content: The secret to expanding your number of followers and increasing engagement with them is creating content that captures their attention. It should be interesting, informative and—perhaps most of all—unique. Finding new angles on old topics so your content stands out takes time (which is already limited) and a heavy dose of creativity.
  • Knowing Which Platform to Use: Choosing the right channels is one of the most important decisions you have to make when setting up your social media strategy. It’s tempting to focus all your resources on the most popular platforms, but you may have trouble getting attention there. If you set up too many accounts across multiple platforms, you won’t have time to actively engage with your followers. All of this wastes time.
  • Dealing With the Decrease of Organic Reach: Many companies find it more difficult to stand out on the largest social media platforms. Users upload and share millions of photos, videos and comments each day. Combine that with the rise of paid advertisements, and you may wonder if it’s worth the effort to spend time and money on a social media.

Tips for Avoiding or Overcoming These Challenges

Without a doubt, the greatest challenge facing social media managers is finding and justifying the amount of time it takes to successfully manage their accounts.

  • Have a Plan: Knowing what you want social media to do for your business helps you decide which metrics to monitor and guides the type of content you post so you know where to focus your energy. For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, look for ways to boost your number of followers, shared posts and likes.
  • Create a Schedule: Let’s say that you want to see if sharing stories about how your product is changing lives will boost your number of shared posts. You may schedule one hour in the morning to work on these posts and another hour later to engage with followers. Stick with this schedule, or you may get sidetracked and lose time you don’t have to spare.
  • Produce Quality Content: The content you share can make or break your social media efforts, and creating quality content takes time. If you don’t have the time or the skill to develop the story posts, find someone who does. You should also spend some time figuring out what your followers want to see and read. Look for trending topics in their comments and note what previous posts received the greatest engagement levels.