Marketers view social content as their best bet to get visitors and turn them into leads. Without a doubt, social content makes content marketing more effective, but harnessing it can be a major challenge.
But first, what is social content? In the broadest sense, social content is any content that is shared on social channels. In a more specific sense, however, social content is onsite content, optimized for better social visibility.
When creating social content, the savvy marketer aims to distribute it across multiple social platforms. If Pinterest is among those platforms, then you’d make sure that his page includes plenty of compelling images. For Twitter, you might want to make the headline hashtag-friendly.
You may also include actionable advice in the content. Unfortunately, only a modest percentage of social media interactions produce conversions, and call-to-action (CTA) statements in content aimed at social audiences can help increase that percentage.
There are, however, several factors that can make social content less scalable and less impactful. The below discussion will show you that these bottlenecks come in many shapes and sizes. Some make it difficult to create social content, while others reduce its effectiveness. Read on to discover what these bottlenecks are. Knowing your challenges is the first step to overcoming them.
Publicly posted negative feedback
No matter how big a brand is or how well it treats its customers, there will always be people who are pissed off – and vocally so. Reputation management problems arise when these people post negative feedback in public spaces because anyone can view the feedback and form an impression about your brand based on these posts.
Thought leaders have written a bit about how to deal with your detractors. Amazingly, by engaging with sour audience members, it’s possible to turn them into your brand’s most vehement supporters, which is why smarter marketers know to view these people as major opportunities. Another key way to combat bad word-of-mouth on social media is to encourage positive word-of-mouth on social media.
For example, Honest Tea’s wisely conceived #RefreshinglyHonest campaign was highly effective at drawing audience participation. Sure, people could post negative feedback about the brand with this hashtag, but the hashtag was more about customers and less about the brand. The campaign called upon consumers to donate $1 after taking a drink from an Honest Store. Based on the donations collected, they built the National Honesty Index.
Social and newsletter integration
Integrating a social media fan page with a newsletter is easy, right?
It’s easy in the technical sense. But not in the implementation level.
Social media marketing can be extremely effective at driving email opt-ins for list building and nurturing over time. But to do this right, marketers need to overcome any number of challenges, including:
- Apathy from users: Social media users and brand audience members often resist signing up for newsletters. Brands need to offer incentives, so they feel motivated to subscribe. Tools like Swell Rewards allow you to integrate your reward programs with your email subscription mechanisms.
- Terms and conditions: People often sign up without reading the terms and conditions. If someone ignores an important clause, then problems may arise later. One solid solution is a post-signup welcome message informing them of all the basic terms. Using an automation platform like GetResponse, it’s easy to set up autoresponders.
- Opt-in offer blindness: People are always being asked to subscribe to more email lists, and as a result, it’s getting harder and harder to convince audience members to give up their email addresses. That’s why solutions like popups and “welcome mats” are all the rage nowadays. One way you can stand out from the noise is to share the web versions of your newsletter archives on an “also recommends” badge floating on top of all third-party social content you share. Tools like Start A Fire let you do this on an automated basis for free.
In addition, brands need to promote their newsletters on their various social presences. However, you should be careful with the promotion. If there’s a lack of promotion, users might think signing up for newsletters is not that important. Excessive promotion, on the other hand, can irk people. Newsletters shouldn’t be drafted in the same ways that you’d handle follow-up sales emails. Instead, write your newsletter as informative messages that expand the audience’s skills.
Multichannel customer service
The latest techniques in content marketing often aim to make customer service more productive. Today, social content is increasingly a matter of one-to-one communication, as customer service can become more effective when it takes social media opportunities into account.
When content marketing aligns with social customer service, both marketers and customers win. Brands can have active presences across multiple channels, lending them the ability to engage with audience members wherever these people are – which is great for making a positive impression. What’s more, customers don’t have to call annoying service phone lines every time they have an issue.
Facebook and Twitter are two channels used especially extensively for connecting with customers. Brands can and should leverage other channels as well. Challenges for multi-channel customer service include:
- Some brands may need to employ individual team members for handling each social network. Managing and coordinating between them can often be difficult.
- Ideally, brands should adopt different strategies and modes of communication for different channels. Not all networks are suitable for all types of discussion and content.
- Customer service reps have been known to interact solely with scripted responses. Social media-based support is an entirely different type of interaction.
The best way to overcome these challenges is to train content marketing executives, so they can handle customer service duties while managing audience engagement.
Lack of UGC-accommodation technology
On social media, people often rate and review brands and products, making social content one of the most powerful types of user-generated content (UGC).
UGC is a double-edged sword. It can make or break a business. The benefit of UGC is that it’s created by users/customers, so brands don’t have to spend money or time to develop it. However, many brands don’t follow updated practices to leverage UGC and fail to make the most of today’s UGC tools.
Today it’s easier than ever to encourage audience members, on an automated basis, to contribute content that helps with product marketing. The best platforms offer the following features:
- Review generation and aggregation. Through email and social content, verified customers are requested to submit reviews. Those reviews are moderated and set to aggregate on the brand’s website and/or social media channels.
- The tools not only increase the number of positive reviews but make the feedback loop more efficient. Brands can reply to the feedback. Both the positive review and the feedback are viewed by non-customers. They may feel inclined to buy from the brand.
- Big data analytics connect reviews to the AoV (average order value) and size of the brand.
Before making purchases, shoppers like to read at least six reviews. Here lies the importance of UGC. And writing a review is easier for handheld users than desktop users.
Be it positive or negative. User-generated content circulates across social media, which makes it social content. The growth of the mobile customer base necessitates UGC marketing for brands.
The discussion above brings some crucial social content bottlenecks to notice. Luckily, brands can overcome these bottlenecks, if they tune their marketing strategy in the right way and follow the tips shared here.