Social Media Challenges Faced by Small Business Owners

Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of any country’s economic development as it is almost impossible to achieve sustained economic growth without the thriving presence of SMEs.

Once thought of as just a passing fad, social media has had a tremendous impact on business over the past decade. Social platforms like Twitter and Facebook have transformed how people communicate and, in the process, have changed how businesses interact with customers.

Social media is no longer a luxury; it has now become a necessity for businesses.

A stat on Social Media Usage by Hootsuite

The challenges small businesses face is inevitable. As a social media consultant, I dare to say that there will be challenges in social media, especially in two phrases; 

  • entry level and
  • sustaining a marketing strategy to be able to compete with competitors

In this piece, I will be highlighting some of the common social media challenges small business owners face.

No Formal Social Media Strategy

Nearly one-quarter of companies (24%) struggle to refine social media efforts into a formal strategy. If you want great results on social media, you need to have a real strategy.

Some businesses believe social media doesn’t need to be taken seriously. But, in reality, you should have a formal strategy that includes:

  • Business goals
  • Audience and competitors
  • Social media channels
  • Content
  • Resources
  • Metrics for tracking success

Choosing The Right Social Media Platform

How do you know which social media platform is the right one to reach your specific audience? On which social networks do your target audience spend their time? 

It’s not enough to know where they are; you also need to know where they’re most active and when they’re active. Is Twitter the best for your brand or Facebook?

Maintaining a Consistent Brand Voice 

Your brand voice sets the personality of your brand, and it also establishes your brand presence on Social Media in the mind of prospective clients. It needs to be engaging, and it should reflect in all your content. The lack of long-term content planning is what brings about inconsistency in your brand voice. Being unable to convey your voice through all your content hampers engagement and in the long run, it affects how many clients you’re able to pull-in via your social media accounts.

Building a Community of Followers

It is challenging for companies to build followers because social media platforms are filled with other businesses in the same industry.  A business must be unique on social media to stand out, which can, in turn, grow more followers. What are you doing differently? Is it the tone of communication or the type of content you put out? There needs to be a differentiating factor.

Tracking Results

The fourth biggest social media challenge businesses face is tracking results, and 17% of companies say this is their biggest challenge. Tracking social media results can be a challenge because an impression may not lead to an immediate sale. Many businesses think of social media as a quick and easy way to gain sales because ‘everyone is on social.’

Sometimes, seeing something on social media can lead to a sale a few months later. Social media is a long game that involves investment in customer relationships. It may take time to gain conversions, but companies can build relationships with potential customers on social media over time.  Focus on long-term success. Success on social media isn’t always immediate.

Having a Humanistic Relationship With Your Audience

Social media is a great way to build awareness and attract new customers, but you have to think about what you’ll do to retain them.  While 86% of social media users follow a brand, almost 60% of them are annoyed with too many promotions. You can’t always be selling.

Many small businesses find this somewhat challenging; imagine coming up with a reward system to increase brand loyalty when you aren’t even making as much as you had hoped.

Pushing Your Content to the Next Level

People only retain about 10% of the information they hear, but when paired with a relevant image, that number jumps to 65%. You want your message to stick with people, trust me. 

Visual content has taken over almost every major social network, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. In fact, content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without them.

Coming up with original visual content for every social media post you publish can be difficult. Videos get you even much better stats, so if you haven’t already included that in your content strategy, you better do now. 

 Is Paid Advert Worth it?

With proper strategy, you can literally turn a one-time visit from Facebook into a loyal customer through advertising. Sure, paid social media advertising is optional, and you can still survive without it — but life can get frustrating without it.

Fatigue

The hours, the work, and the constant pressure to perform wear on even the most passionate individuals. Many business owners—even successful ones—get stuck working much longer hours than their employees. Moreover, they fear their business will stall in their absence, so they avoid taking any time away from work to recharge.

Fatigue can lead to rash decisions about the business, including the desire to abandon it altogether. Finding a pace that keeps the business humming without grinding down the owner is a challenge that comes early (and often) in a small business’s evolution.

Balancing Quality and Growth

Even when a business is not founder-dependent, there comes a time when the issues from growth seem to match or even outweigh the benefits. Whether a service or a product, at some point, a business must sacrifice to scale up. This may mean not being able to personally manage every client relationship or not inspecting every widget.

Unfortunately, it is usually that level of personal engagement and attention to detail that makes a business successful.

Conclusion

If you are struggling with social media, don’t worry; you’re not alone. I started my own business and got right into the social media mess. But trust me, the challenges small businesses face in social media is quickly resolved with some strategies I have set in advance.

In my next blog post, I will be sharing some guides that have helped me come out of these challenges, so stay tuned!

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