What will social media marketeers need to solve in 2020?

Every year LinkedIn becomes awash with predictions for marketing trends that we’ll all need to get to grips with over the next 12 months. And when it comes to social media trends, the list is always exhaustive.

Thought leaders and experts are all creating content on what we *should* be looking to adopt into our marketing strategies to stay ahead of the game. While it’s always a valuable starting point, Maybe* wanted to approach the task a little differently. We’ve taken a look at the top pain points the social media marketing community has ahead of them.

Customer expectations
Social media is a customer centric communication tool. Creating content to demonstrate you’ve covered off your internal marketing priorities does not matter to the customer. Customer service is the minimum expectation of the customer, and they expect a response fast. Most large businesses will have a separate customer service team owning the feedback and complaints that flow from social media, but for an SME, it's likely to be one person. With multiple active accounts, comes the expectation that you will be actively responding in multiple places and at multiple times.

Remembering simple things like to pause scheduled content when you’re in the middle of a crisis or deluge of urgent customer conversations. This demonstrates prioritising customers over what you have to say. State the times you’re operating online to manage expectations around response times, and be honest about how long it’s likely to take you to resolve issues.

And if you’ve got a bigger team, use a tool that allows you to manage all your social media conversations and assign them to the relevant person who can resolve the issue the best.

Transparency
Whether its agencies and ad spend or influencers and their reach, the last two years have seen the pressure mount on any third party to be clear about where the pounds are being spent and the results that are delivered.

News that Instagram will be launching their own influencer platform to match brands and ‘grammers hit the social media headlines last year. And while many big businesses will still enlist an agency to spend their cash wisely for them, growing SMEs and start ups will be one man banding and using social media platforms’ self serve ad buys. As more and more know how is created to deploy campaigns, so too does the need for visibility of ad performance and influencer capability.

Accessibility
A social media manager wears many hats - part creative, part customer service, part performance analyst. We find that just as customers shop and use your services on many devices, social media managers will be creating content, tracking results, managing ads and responding on the go. Utilising tools that keep everything in one place or apps that offer the best UX experience to get whatever element of the job done is needed. And for an SME, the price point is always sensitive. Nobody wants ten tools doing ten jobs with results sat in ten different places at a cost of ten times the budget.

Proving ROI
We know that over the last 15 years, social media has fundamentally changed the way organisations connect with customers. Yet in many organisations social media managers are constantly challenged to prove the ROI through the direct uplift in sales, traffic driven, or the number of followers amassed. But the ROI of social can also be found in the time saved to serve or respond to a customer, its a cost or time saving on the delivery of a customer survey, its found in improving the relevance of your communication strategy by listening to customers and pivoting your approach to their needs and passion points. All these things are measurable.

Doing more with less
This one is not a new one. Marketing budgets are slimmer every year. The message is clear. Do more with less. Get on the newest platform, invest in the latest martech, get on Tik Tok, deliver a Snap Chat campaign, get the swipe up on your insta stories, get influencers to talk about you or create content on your behalf, and try and get it all done fast, for free but to a professional standard. Instead Maybe* thinks it's simply time to do it more efficiently. Find out what works for your customers and drives value for you, then do more of that. Knowing your customers - where they want to be served, what they want to be served, and how that’s driven results for you - should be a short story to tell.

Building an ecosystem
Social media has multiple user cases within a business. In the case of an SME, knowing where social media fits into your organisation and how it can help you drive more value may go beyond transactions and follower count. Maybe* wants to help as many people as possible find this value.

In a large enterprise a marketing team may be accountable for Facebook and Instagram content creation but an HR team for LinkedIn. Customer service may sit in an entirely different building and data analysts may not even be aware of the qualitative and quantitative insight on customer behaviour, a social media manager is sat on. So it requires many people to be collaborative and open with their tools and knowledge. The customer doesn’t care who ‘owns’ social media.

Treat social media as a means to an end rather than the end in itself, remove it from the siloed corner it often sits in, and integrate it within your business.

Maybe* allows you to benchmark your results across social media and beyond. Log into the Maybe* platform to look past follower count and get to the really juicy stuff like engagement and social media sentiment. Identify, engage and manage the conversations the most relevant to you and your customers. Upload your sales, footfall and business data to measure what matters most. Manage your ads, try a chat bot and create custom reports all in one place. Get started for free.

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