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.
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 .
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?