The biggest social media challenge PR pros face is finding time

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Recently, I led a discussion on social media monitoring and engagement as part of Cision Canada‘s Deconstructing Social Media event in Toronto. We surveyed the attendees, public relations professionals in areas ranging from government to non-profit, corporate and agency, and asked “What is the biggest challenge you face in engaging in social media?” The answers echoed obstacles we’ve heard from professional communicators in the U.S., U.K. and elsewhere.

“What is the biggest challenge you face in engaging in social media?”

Source: Cision; percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding

 The most common responses, by a wide margin, described time management issues. “The time that has to be spent to make it good” isn’t available, one attendee wrote. Simply not knowing where to start was another common answer. One respondent called social media outreach programs, “so time-consuming to get started.” Yet few of our attendees said they felt most constrained by legal or regulatory concerns (5%), and fewer still reported resistance from IT departments citing security issues.

Cision offers a variety of free resources for PR pros addressing these challenges, ranging from this blog to our webinars, white papers, case studies, tip sheets, and expert articles on the Cision Navigator. I thought I’d also offer a link to one excellent blog post describing strategies for each of the 10 major obstacles.

 1. “Don’t have time”

 “Making Time for Evolution” by Amber Naslund,

2. “Don’t know where to start” 

“10 Ways to Jump Start Your Social Media Thinking” by Jason Falls,

3. “Feeling overwhelmed”

“5 Social Media Strategy Tips for Avoiding a Panic” by Patrick Curl

4. “Don’t know where to find influencers”

“Finding Influencers in Social Media” by Brian Solis

5. “Management doesn’t buy in”

“Twelve ways to sell social media to your boss” by Chris Brogan

6. “Just haven’t tried yet”

Four (okay twelve) Reasons to Build a Social Media Strategy by Jennifer Laycock, SearchEngineGuide

7. “Clients don’t buy in”

“How Do You Convince Executives that Social Media Marketing, Blogging and SEO are Important?” by Pete Caputa, Hubspot

8. “Legal concerns”

“How to Develop a Content Strategy Process (for your blog)” by Valeria Maltoni, Conversation Agent

9. “Trouble proving return on investment”

“ROI for Social Media Marketing: It’s Complicated” by Todd Defren, PR Squared

10. “IT blocks social sites”

“Is Social Media Too Distracting?” by Roderick Ioerger, Marketing Pilgrim

If you have more resources for these challenges, please share them in the comments.

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