Social media marketing is not always as simple as it seems, and inevitably you’re going to run into some issues along the way. Nonetheless, these problems have easy fixes, and it’s important that you know these problems ahead of time so you know how to avoid them.

Problem: Fitting in
One of the best benefits of social media marketing is the ability to assimilate with younger generations on their own turf, but often it’s hard for businesses to find a comfy spot in the lives of today’s youth. There’s that classic cliché that the older generations can’t keep up with teens these days, and part of the reason for that is because teens are constantly creating new acronyms, lingo and trends. Half the time, teens can hardly keep up with themselves. Especially with social media, terms like “yolo” and “bae” fall out of use as quickly as they gained popularity, which can make it hard to keep up with the current lingo and acronyms.

Solution: Avoid entirely
Overall, you want your business to be professional (hopefully) so while correct incorporation of a relevant meme might work once or twice, you’re far better off sticking to what you know. Using lingo that is no longer used will more than likely turn people away faster than it will gain you acceptance. As a general rule of thumb, if you can’t use the word in a sentence without looking it up on Urban Dictionary, don’t use it at all.

Problem: Unoriginality
Certain platforms are designed to stick you in their perfect little box (literally). Only recently on Instagram have users been able to post photos in a rectangular format, and even then the options are limited. Users can post photos, videos and knock off gifs made with boomerang, but in general, it’s hard to be original on a platform that has less wiggle room for creativity.

Solution: Explore or bail
First off, there are plenty of ways to bend the rules of the platform and make it your own. Let’s not forget there’s an app for anything; if you want to make a collage with both photos and videos in the same post, no one is stopping you. If Twitter’s character limit doesn’t get your message across, create an image with the full message you want to post. And of course if nothing seems to be working for you on one particular platform, never be afraid to switch to another. Realistically, you really should be on more than one platform anyway, so always be open to trying all the networks until you’ve found one that works best for you.

Problem: Data distraction
This is an obstacle in various facets of marketing, and social media is no exception. The data is obviously important or we wouldn’t use it at all, but any good marketer knows not to get so caught up with the numbers that all else is forgotten.

Solution: Know your audience
Perhaps the numbers are telling you that the best time to post is at 5pm on a Wednesday because that’s when Instagram’s users are most active. While this is helpful information, it doesn’t tell you much about your particular community and target audience. Focusing on the research that shows that photos with faces get the most hits could prevent you from posting varied content. Don’t fixate on the statistics; use them to your advantage, but don’t forget to listen to your gut.

Problem: Being technologically challenged
Perhaps the most daunting of all the problems is unfamiliarity with the platform or social media in general. Especially with seemingly constant updates and additions to these platforms, it can certainly be a tricky task trying to keep up or even get started, but having a shaky relationship with technology is no reason your business should suffer by not being on social media.
As mentioned above, sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with all the new updates these platforms roll out. If you can afford the extra help, outsource your social media accounts to another team member who is better with the digital world. However, if you’re a one man show, one of the best ways to learn is simply by doing. If you go this route, try creating a couple accounts under pseudonyms so you can first get a feel for the site and its functions before you attach your brand to it. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it in no time and once you do, you’ll be glad you did.

About The Author

Bola Olonisakin

Bola Olonisakin

Bola is the founder and principal at GTECH Designs, a digital creative agency that helps small and mid-sized businesses launch, grow and succeed. Her research and work in web design, social media and strategic communication have been published in numerous books and articles, and she’s regularly seen on stage at events around the country. She’s responsible for teaching GTECH clients how to blend strategic goal-setting with great design to create effective online marketing strategies. You can reach her at [email protected]