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Nearly nine in 10 US companies with at least 100 employees will use social media for marketing purposes this year, eMarketer estimates, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. December 2014 polling by Ascend2 found that marketing professionals worldwide still faced many obstacles to achieving social media marketing success.
The main issues with social media were related to employee skills, measurement and strategy. Fully 43% of marketers said that a lack of in-house resources and skills was an obstacle to achieving social media marketing success. In the numbers world, inability to measure return on investment was the second-biggest obstacle, at 42% of respondents, followed by lack of an effective strategy (39%).
With calendars already packed, employees may just not have enough time to take on social media. In July 2014 polling by EXHIBITOR Media Group, 58% of US marketers said they spent 5 hours or less managing—strategizing, executing and monitoring—their social media presence weekly. As a result, outsourcing is becoming more common: Ascend2 found that 53% of respondents outsourced all or part of their social media marketing.
Other sources have found challenges with social media beyond the human factor, too. In October 2014 polling by Harris Poll for Hootsuite, 67% and 62% of social media professionals worldwide said their companies had faced challenges with assessing the effectiveness of social activities and designing a social strategy, respectively.
Social media is the second most popular marketing tactic on which business execs worldwide plan to increase spending in 2015, behind email, according to December 2014 research by StrongView, in conjunction with SENSORPRO. The study found that nearly half (48.9%) of respondents planned to up investments in the channel next year. Hopefully those extra dollars will help knock down social media barriers.
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