Challenges in Maintaining Social Media Engagement


Strong social media engagement brings advantage to a business. But to maintain engagement level is not a simple task. 

No brand should underestimate the importance of social media. Its impact on businesses today is growing more significant. Research by Jay Baer may serve as a guideline; when a brand is capable and successful in handling complaints on social media, its level of consumer advocacy increases by 25%. Meanwhile a study by Sprout Social acts as a warning. They find that 30% of consumers that feel ignored on social media by a certain brand will choose to convert to a competitor brand.

These findings highlight the pros and cons of social media to a brand. As such, it is highly important to maintain consumer satisfaction on social media. To strive towards satisfaction, brands can begin by building strong social media engagement. But in order to achieve this, there are challenges to overcome – such as the points below.

1. Challenge in initiating and keeping relevant conversations

To stay continuously relevant in social media conversation is the main challenge in maintaining engagement. In the midst of content overload and various competitors, finding the trick to stay relevant and likable by netizens at all times is no easy feat.

Research findings by Sprout Social in 2016 highlights this challenge. The study notes that brands have been trying very hard to satisfy the audience by sharing content. However, this has proven less than efficient. Out of 100% promotional content that a brand launches, only 4% receives netizens’ responses. The remaining stays ignored and does not achieve any meaningful engagement.

How does this happen? Irrelevant content is the foremost cause. Netizens are uninterested and feel like they do not need those contents. This results in low social media engagement. Buzzsumo researches 880 million Facebook uploads in 2017 and their findings become a valid warning. They find a trend of consistently declining social media engagement. This indicates a substantial problem that needs to be addressed by businesses: how to create relevant, up-to-date content that interests its audience.

2. Challenge in maintaining consistent voice and tone

Another challenge in maintaining social media engagement levels is keeping a consistent voice and tone in communicating to the audience. Oftentimes, brands do have a live social media account. Its number of followers and the parties it interacts with increase as the account grows.

This growing interaction may be a positive thing. However, as time goes by, a brand’s voice and way of communicating may see changes. Various factors may cause this; change of personnel that handle the account, quantity of messages that need to be replied to, the type of content that is shared.

All these changes may cause a shift of communication tone on a brand’s social media. The impact can be either positive or negative. If the change of tone is deemed better by the audience, then conversation levels may see a spike. On the other hand, there is a risk that netizens will not like the new tone.

In the latter case, the decline in social media engagement is unavoidable. No brand would wish this. As such, a strategy is needed to keep the voice and tone of communication in check – so that it aligns with preferences and tastes of the target audience.

3. Challenge of inaccuracy in measuring results

A brand’s social media activities are executed with certain purposes. To evaluate if the current social media practice has reached its goals and targets, a valid measure of results is needed.

But here lies the problem: businesses do not yet know how to measure social media activities in the most valid and reliable way. Measuring social media results differs from calculating advertisement or e-mail promotion results. A more careful and thorough approach is needed in finding the correct measurements.

Findings by Buffer states that what needs to be measured are customer support impact and brand impact. The first covers the quantity of responded messages, the decline rate of email complaints, and levels of consumer satisfaction towards a brand’s customer services. Meanwhile, brand impact refers to the impact social media activities have on brand perception. Inaccuracy in measurement can be fatal to a brand’s social media engagement. Brands will have no reliable way of measuring their social media activities; whether they are effective or instead damaging to the brand.

Failing to address the above challenges can lead to declining social media engagement. As such, businesses need to plan and anticipate specific strategies in order to maintain consumer’s social media engagement with the brand.



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