Survey: “You spend all day on Facebook, right?” – Challenges of a Digital Professional (+ Infographic)
What’s the future of social? Will you still be doing the job you’re doing now in five years? How will the role of social media change within companies? These are just a few of the questions we asked you during our survey. Our intent was to find out what you – social media and community managers, market researchers, PR executives, digital marketers and many more – see as the upcoming trends in social media and which challenges you face in your everyday work.
Last time, we looked at the different stages digital professionals go through during the course of their career – from “innocent” beginners to “enlightened” experts. In this part, we take a closer look at the expectations people in the digital industry have for the development of their jobs and the biggest challenges they face in their work every day.
Dealing with stereotypes: The idea of “You’re on Facebook all day, right?”
Job-wise, engagement rates and content virality are causing the most headaches for digital professionals. 76% say ensuring virality is the toughest aspect of their job and the only thing that is even more challenging is convincing people to engage with your postings with 80% saying they find this an especially difficult task.
Job-wise, engagement rates and content virality are causing the most headaches for digital professionals.
It is often claimed that with the advent of work-from-home solutions and constant availability through mobile Internet connections, employees – especially in the digital industry – have lost the ability to distance themselves from their jobs when they aren't working. However, only 45% of respondents overall said that they consider this a particular difficult aspect of their job.
One interesting fact here: just about a third of industry beginners (31%) say it’s a challenge for them to keep their distance, compared to 49% of more experienced professionals. A possible reason: young professionals are likely to move on to lower-level management jobs during this period and often feel the need to prove their commitment. But being focused at work 24/7 is impossible to do forever, which explains why after 5+ years, digital professionals are more likely to want to take a break from time to time.
Third place in the overall “job challenges” category: making the rest of the company understand the relevance of a digital professional’s job. 70% say it’s difficult for them to explain their tasks to their colleagues. Changes in social media and the digital industry in general happen every day. For more “traditional” colleagues, it can be hard to keep up with the development – which would also explain the low budget allocated to social media. English-speaking countries seem to be significantly ahead of others when it comes to job relevance: while two thirds of people from both the United States and Great Britain say it’s difficult for them to explain the significance of their job, 78% of the people in Germany/Austria/Switzerland (D/A/CH) say they face this issue.
For UK professionals, good content is the biggest challenge, while North Americans struggle with engagement rates and D/A/CH with content virality.
The biggest challenge for digital professionals in the UK is the creation of high-quality content (82%) and promoting said content into virality. In contrast, only half of the German-speaking professionals see content creation as a challenge – the biggest issues here are virality (86%) and ensuring engagement (83%). Keeping engagement rates up is also the most difficult aspect for North Americans (80%), followed by content virality.
Fighting for attention & struggling with the ROI
Aside from the challenges digital professionals face in their day-to-day work, there are also the bigger issues that concern the industry as a whole. Topping the list: the fight for the audience’s attention. With the number of companies present on social media increasing continuously and the audience being easily distracted by new content, 80% of digital professionals say it’s hard to get people to listen to what they have to say.
Audience attention and ROI are the big challenges in the digital