Top social media marketing challenges

Before attending a conference, it is wise to have clear goals in mind. We have borrowed some interesting insights from the social media examiner to guide our goals ahead of Social Media Marketing World 2018 (SMMW18).

According to the social media examiner*, the top issues social media marketers are facing today are: tactics, engagement, measurement, paid social and audience selection. A goal for Shakr at SMMW will therefore be to educate ourselves on how to successfully overcome these five challenges. After the conference, we will tackle each of these issues in seperate posts.

Top social media marketing challenges


What social tactics are most effective? The number-one question marketers want answered (93%) is which tactics work best. This isn’t a surprise, given the constant changes taking place across many social networks.*

When choosing the right social media tactics, it is a good idea to do thorough background work. You may find it helpful to work on the four remaining issues before picking the right tactics for you.

Issues #2 engagement and #4 paid social will in many cases be at the core of your tactics. And a tactic should have a clear audience in mind, which is issue #5. In addition, issue # 3 measurement, should be covered in order to validate the success of a tactic. If you get a good hold of issues #2 – # 4, you are pretty well prepared for finding the right tactics for your business.

At social media marketing world you will find the tracks: Social Tactics: Facebook, Social Tactics: Instagram, Social Tactics: LinkedIn, Social Tactics: Twitter, Social Tactics: Pinterest and Social Tactics: Snapchat.

In the Social Tactics: Facebook track, Rick Mulready has a session titled: How to Use Facebook Custom Audiences to Get Better Ad Results and Lower Your Costs. It is a Facebook tactics session. But pulling the title apart, you can see that it is about audiences, paid ads, results and costs, the two last ones have to be measured. So you can see how important the remaining issues are for your tactics.


What are the best ways to engage my audience with social media? Figuring out how to best connect with people remains high on the list of questions marketers want answered (91%). Engaging with customers is becoming a unique competitive advantage.*

Many marketers have a dream about going viral. Creating content so unique and engaging that people just have to share it with everyone they know. Unfortunately, this is just an utopian dream for most of us. However, there are lots of things we can do to make highly engaging content for our core audience. At Social Media Marketing World we get the chance to learn from the best of breed in the field of social media engagement.

3 engagement related sessions to watch at SMMW:

  1. Creative Techniques for Engaging Your Audience With Instagram Stories
    By Sue B. Zimmerman
  2. Tips and Tools for Visual Storytelling on Instagram
    By Donna Moritz
  3. “Sexy” Content: How to Create Content That Moves the Sales Needle
    By Marcus Sheridan


How do I measure the return on my social media marketing? A significant 89% of marketers want to know how to measure their return on investment for social media activities.*

No matter how good you are at engaging your audience on social media, it is of no use if it doesn’t lead to increased revenue (if you are a for profit business). What if a person likes your posts, read your blog once in a while, watch your videos on facebook and later makes a purchase on your website, all in a time span of six months. Can you measure it?

Creating content and running both organic and paid efforts in social media is costly, and you have to prove that it works.

3 measurement related sessions to watch at SMMW:

  1. How to Prove Social Media Works to Skeptical Managers
    By Jay Baer with LaSandra Brill (NVidia), Caitlin Angeloff (DocuSign) and Kelley O’Brien (Krispy Kreme)
  2. How to Best Attribute the Results of Your Social Media Efforts
    By Dennis Yu and Michael Melaro (Ashley HomeStore)
  3. Tipping Through the Tulips of Social Reporting in Google Analytics
    By Annie Cushing

#4: PAID:

What are the best ways to use paid social media? Determining how to use social media ads is a big question for marketers (88%). Figuring out how to use various social platforms for more paid exposure and customer acquisition is important.*

In a perfect world of inbound marketing. You create great content, people find you in organic search or organic social posts, sign up to your newsletter, eagerly opens and reads your emails and happily purchase your product or service.

However, with the new Facebook algorithm and decreased CTR on organic search resultsyou can not sit around and wait for people to find your content, unless you have an SEO wizard on your team or an extremely engaging Facebook page. You might have to pay to spread the word, there is no point with good content if no one sees it.

It might seem weird to pay for people to see your blog post or download your ebook. But if you have a good understanding of your buyer’s journey and believe that your content is a crucial part of that journey, then it should be a pretty good idea. If the content doesn’t assist in the path to purchase, why did you create it at all? I am not saying that you should run ads for every piece of content you create, but it is should be so good that you would want to push it out to your audience with paid ads.

And of course, not every ad you run should be to promote content. Lower down your funnel you might want to push for a sale. It all comes down to knowing your buyers journey.

3 paid media sessions to watch at SMMW:

  1. Five Advanced Facebook Advertising Techniques You Can Use Right Now
    By Jon Loomer
  2. How to Turn Attention Into Revenue With a Facebook Ads Autopilot Strategy
    By Amanda Bond
  3. Four Steps to Optimize Your Facebook Ads for Better Results
    By Azriel Ratz


How do I find my target audience with social media? Locating ideal customers and prospects is a big concern for marketers (87%). Marketers are looking for guidance on sifting through enormous social networks and connecting with the right people.*

Luckily for marketers, social media platforms are gathering enormous amounts of data from their users that we can apply when targeting the right audience. Unfortunately, it is still extremely difficult to optimize for the right message to the right audience at the right time. We have to find the ideal buyer personas, know where in the funnel they are and how to engage that type of persona in the right part of the funnel. Making sense of it all requires a deep understanding of your best customers.

As an established company you have historical data that can greatly assist you in better and more granular segmentation and personalised messaging. As a start-up you have to test your way forward and gradually build up a better understanding of your best prospects.

3 audience related sessions to watch at SMMW:

  1. How to Build an Audience of Buyers With Facebook Ads
    By Zach Spuckler
  2. How to Use Facebook Custom Audiences to Get Better Ad Results and Lower Your Costs
    By Rick Mulready
  3. How to Build a Massive and Engaged Audience on YouTube and Beyond
    By Derral Eves

Final words

We will try to share the most helpful insights from social media marketing world with our readers. And the five challenges mentioned in this post will be at the core of some of our upcoming blog articles.

And remember that marketing is both an art and a science. We can use all the modern marketing technology out there to measure and optimize our efforts as best we can in a data-driven and scientific way. However, if you look at some of the most successful people and companies in social media, it is the touch of art and creativity that sets them apart. The technology is just there to guide our decisions around which art that works and what doesn’t.

If you are able to successfully face the five issues mentioned above, you are actively applying both an artistic and scientific approach to social media marketing.

Take a look at the full agenda of all three days at SMMW, where you can check out the detailed session information.


Head of Marketing at Shakr. From Norway, ended up in South-Korea after a lifelong detour through Qatar, South-Africa, China and Poland.

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