September 18, 2018

Challenges That Social Media Marketers Must Overcome

Aside from the obvious challenge of getting votes, social media presents marketers with other obstacles, including:

1. Being Unique

The most successful submissions will be one-of-a-kind. Yes, it is possible to duplicate and idea or build on an already successful idea, but generally speaking uniqueness is a must for building traffic with social media. In order to draw votes from users there must be something about your content or your website that stands out to them.

2. Idea Generation

In order to be unique you’ll have to be able to develop new ideas. The idea is usually the hard part. Once you have a great idea creating the content may be much easier. With all of the content that is published every day and the hundreds of social media sites out there, developing a new and interesting idea can be a real challenge. The most successful marketers and content developers have established a strategy and process for coming up with ideas. Personally, I would be lost without my notepad of ideas that have been jotted down.

3. Consistency

Getting huge amounts of traffic from social media is very attainable. What is much harder is maintaining some sort of consistency with that traffic. Of course, it is not possible to get thousands of visitors everyday from social media, but it is possible to minimize the time when social media traffic is non-existent. For more on this topic, see Building Consistent Traffic With Social Media .

4. Hosting

If you’re successful with social media (especially Digg), hosting could be a challenge. Most shared hosting services can’t hold up to the demands of this type of traffic. So many visitors can come to the site so quickly that the server will crash, and depending on the host it may be down for a while. If you plan to market with social media you have a few options. You can get a dedicated server through just about any hosting company, or you can go with a high quality service like Media Temple’s grid servers.

5. Converting Traffic Into Something Meaningful

Exploding traffic stats are nice, but what do they really accomplish? Unless you’re selling ads on a CPM basis, probably nothing. In order to really benefit from social media marketing you’ll need to create some lasting results. A few examples are inbound links, product sales, new subscribers, and improved branding. Keep these things in mind and set out to accomplish something specific with your next campaign.

6. Building a Network of “Friends”

Most social sites favor users that have a lot of friends. In most cases the profile of the person making the submission will have some impact on how many others see the content. Being a successful social media marketer requires building profiles and networking with other users. This isn’t really difficult, but it does take time.

7. Targeting Social Media Users Without Alienating Subscribers

Creating content specifically intended for social media users is usually necessary to get the best results. At times, what your subscribers and regular readers want may not match up with the interests of the social media crowd that you’re targeting. This can be a difficult situation since turning off your loyal readers is not a good practice. To avoid this, keep all of your content focused and on-topic. Don’t stray too far off topic just for some social media love. If you have a great idea that you don’t think your subscribers would appreciate, consider Maki’s mullet strategy of using a blog page instead of a post.

8. Making It Relevant

In order to create the lasting effects that you’re after, your content that is created for social media will need to be as relevant as possible to your website or business. Staying relevant will help for branding, attracting targeted visitors, and gaining more subscribers.

9. Appealing to Multiple Audiences

Each social media site has its own unique audience. Creating content that will appeal to various audiences isn’t always easy. In addition, the content should also appeal to others that come to your site as a result of links, search engines or any other source.

10. Getting Visitors Involved

One of the hardest things to do with social media is to get visitors involved. Whether you are looking for comments, sales, or subscriptions, the nature of a social media user is to do none of these things. Social media traffic tends to stay on the page a relatively short period of time before leaving to visit the next site.

As a social media marketer, what other challenges do you face, or which ones are the hardest for you to overcome?

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About Steven Snell

Steven is a web designer, blogger, and freelance writer.


  1. Well, considering that Google is virtually writing off social media as being monetizible, I don’t think pursuing social media traffic is very cost effective use of your time. Trying to pursue it reminds me of the nonsense we saw in 1999-2000 in the dotcom boom and we know what happened there.

  2. Hi Frank,
    Thanks for your feedback. If you are trying to directly monetize traffic, I would agree that social media is not very effective. On the other hand, it’s one of the easiest ways to quickly get exposure to thousands of people. I certainly don’t see it as a waste of time, especially since it doesn’t take that much time at all.

  3. My biggest challenge with social media is the time it takes to keep it all up. Therefore I have minimized my presence to mainly SU, LinkedIn and BloggingZoom.

    Trying to peddle in everything that launches is simply too hard and doesn’t make sense in financial terms because of the time investment.


    BTW: nice new blog Steven, love your header image and the colors.

  4. I totally agree with the admin on this one.

    Social Media Marketing isn’t about monetizing social media users.

    It’s about connecting with people in a far more intimate and relevant way, so that they can see what lies above, underneath and behind a brand, and invest more of themselves in it.

  5. As a friend of mine in a great, but obscure, rock band says, “You can die from exposure in less than a day.” I guess that could be your point #4. The problem is that if you aren’t effectively monetizing, which you won’t be with a lot of social media traffic, you had better have deep pockets.

  6. Badger,

    I have some Webvan stock I’d like to sell you.

    But, seriously, the last time I heard something like what you posted was from a dotcom company executive in late 2000. In January 2002, he fired me and 50 other programmers, DBAs and other techies. That’s why my warning alarms go off when I hear that kind of talk.

  7. Frank,
    I don’t spend any money on social media marketing, I don’t think most bloggers do either. I think you have a different opinion of the goals for social media traffic than some of the rest of us.

  8. Hi Steven,

    If one is seeking a degree of fame, aka self-marketing, on the Internet then social media is the way to go. That’s fine. What I’m warning about is to not to expect to develop a steady income from this activity. In fact, you’re likely to lose money doing it.

  9. Frank,
    Sounds like we agree. That’s all I attempt to use if for is exposure to new people, and hopefully some link building.

  10. Hi ther friends,

    Google will not change it’s algorithmic based model to a user relevancy based one, because it supports their business model of advertisement which is worth billions of dollars a year.

    Microsoft will want to adopt a user relevancy because of it’s interest in FaceBook and to topple Google’s.

    There is already a shifting towards users trusting others they know in the social networks for advise, and then merely Googling the search engine to locate that item or service at best prices and convenience.

    You can easily see an emerging trend towards social networks being combined with the internet marketing because user relevancy is synonomous with trust and word of mouth marketing.

    As an internet marketer, you can provide tremendous value to others in social networks while earning their their trust, respect and “word of mouth”, user relevancy recommendation.

    This is more real world than a synthetic recommendation any day.

    Blessings Sean

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