Social media has played a central role in people’s lives for many, many years now. It changed the way people acquire information and shook the world of marketing to its core. Yet many business owners and sceptical marketers are only starting to catch up. Better late than even later. Admittedly, though, there is a good reason for doubting Social Media Marketing: it brings many questions with it.
Here I have gathered the most common questions about social media and did my best to answer them all in the most comprehensive way.
#1. What is Social Media and why this blog?
Social media is the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration.
Websites and applications dedicated to forums, microblogging, social networking, social bookmarking, social curation and wikis are among types of Social Media. Prominent examples are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Instagram to mention a few.
Each offers unique opportunities to advertise and target specific audiences for each brand or company out there.
Having developed CFM Group and being invited to speak to conferences and Social Media events around the UK, I found the urge to share my knowledge. Social media after all is about networking and co-operating and I see this as the core to anyone seeking success in this industry. Be open, sharing and more importantly helpful.
#2. Do I really need Social Media?
The answer is definitely YES. Let me explain some of the reasons below.
– Just because you do not take an interest in Social Media doesn’t mean Social Media won’t take an interest in you. There are people leaving reviews of your products, complaining, asking questions. You might not see all that but your potential customers and your potential employees will. That’s because they will Google your company (or the product category) before buying or going for an interview. Research shows that 80% of people do that.
– Social media is where your target audience is. Apart from maybe a couple of rare exceptions, people of all ages, interests, and socio-economic statuses are on social media. Every popular Social Media platform has a bigger reach than all TV channels combined so why not take advantage of it?
– The slow and painful death of traditional advertising. No doubt, TV, radio, and billboards were powerful once. However, at some point, there was so much advertising that people became immune to it. Our minds learned to filter out anything that looks like an ad. And, pay attention, Social Media Marketing doesn’t look like an ad. The whole idea of Social Media is to be an informational and entertaining channel as opposed to a promotional one. And this way it still works for, surprisingly, promotion.
– If done correctly, Social Media marketing creates trust and loyalty by destroying a harming to businesses feeling that they are a “corporation”, a “system” that is made to only suck the money out of the customers. Social Media shows that there are real people working for the company.
– Social media facilitates word-of-mouth marketing. People don’t listen to companies, people listen to friends. So when they see a friend on Facebook “liking” a company page, they are more inclined to believe that they truly sell good products.
I can really think of many more reasons here but feel free to email me your product or service and I will be happy to steer you in the right way.
#3. How to measure ROI in Social Media?
Measuring social media ROI is one of the biggest frustrations of business owners and one of the most frequently asked questions about social media. I frequently hear businesses in events and conferences noting that they struggle to measure the return on their social media efforts. That said, they abandon their efforts and return to conventional marketing.
In all honesty, Social Media Marketing (And subsequently campaigns) can have a direct and indirect effect on your business which are not always measurable..but then again most other PR and conventional marketing efforts are also not always perfectly measurable.
While you can’t measure all SMM effects, you should still measure the ones you can.
1. Start with setting your conversion goals
2. Begin to Track conversions
3. Assign monetary value to each conversion by estimating a Lifetime Value of a Customer
4. Collect incoming traffic and conversion numbers using Google Analytics. Compare with monetary value of those conversions
5. Determine cost per channel by adding labour and other costs
6. Use information from steps 4 and 5 to calculate the ROI per social media channel
#4. Do I need an SMM manager?
Many business owners are lost between believing they need an SMM specialist and not wanting to pay someone to “just go on Facebook”. So first, let’s write down what should Social Media Marketer actually do:
Manage a publishing calendar
Monitor brand mentions and keywords
Engage with customers and partners
Review analytics and determine next steps
Follow up with connections and on projects
Run experiments to optimize social media posts.
questions about social media
So do you need to hire a specialist?
That depends mainly on your budget. It’s possible to handle social media marketing yourself if you use the right tools (Social Media Management and Social Media Monitoring) and if you keep it simple. While on-going customer service is still essential, everything else is optional. You can limit your posts to once a day and cover only a couple of major platforms. If however you do not have the time or skills and are looking to get a return from your social media pages then I would strongly advise employing a specialist !
#5. What should you post?
You should post relevant content that is interesting and/or entertaining to your potential customers. Sounds hard? It really isn’t, if you know your target audience.
If you are stuck for ideas, you can always ask customers directly what they would like to read about. You can also follow influencers in the niche to get inspired and to share their valuable content. Truth is, the more you write, the more you discover unexplored topics or topics that can be looked at from a different angle.
#6. Which social media platforms should my business have a presence on?
It is common advice to be on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, and any popular local social network.Snapchat is also quite prominent nowadays but is mainly targeted to a younger audience so it always will depend on your target audience.
If your product is visually appealing, consider Instagram and Pinterest.
For a more comprehensive guide, read about the difference between social media platforms and its meaning for your business.
#7. How often should I post?
Buffer conducted a study that answered this question very precisely:
Twitter – 3 times per day. Engagement decreases slightly after the third tweet.
Facebook – 2 times per day, at most. 2x per day is the level before likes & comments begin to drop off dramatically.
LinkedIn – 1 time per day. 20 posts per month (1x per weekday) allows you to reach 60 percent of your audience.
Google+ – 3 times per day and the more often you post, the more activity you’ll get. There is a positive correlation between frequency and engagement. When posting frequency decreases, the traffic may drop to up to 50%.
Pinterest – 5x per day, or more. For Pinterest, the more you post the higher the growth is.
Instagram – 1.5 times per day, or more. Major brands post an average of 1.5 times per day to Instagram. However, there’s no drop-off in engagement for posting more, if you can do it.
Blog – 2x per week. Companies that increase blogging from 3-5X/month to 6-8X/month almost double their leads.
#8. What time should I post?
A study by our partners Hootsuite found that:
The best time to post on Twitter is at 3 p.m. Monday to Friday.
The best time to post on Facebook is between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday – And on Saturday and Sunday between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.
The best time to post on Instagram is from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday
LinkedIn 7-8:30am and 5-6pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday;
Tumblr 7-10pm weekdays and 4pm on Fridays
Keep in mind that times to post depend on your target audience, so do test instead of blindly following the suggestions above.
#9. Can I repost the same content to different social media networks?
Yes! Users would rarely follow the same brand on a number of networks. By reposting the same content, you reach more people. Besides, it leads to network integration: users might find your content on Twitter and later post it on their Reddit/Tumblr/etc page. Moreover, you can post the same content on the same network multiple times, just in case your followers haven’t seen it the first time. A life of a Tweet, for example, is only about 5 minutes. So only by posting it 3 or 4 times (on different days and different hours) you can be sure that most of your audience have seen it.
#10. How to handle negative comments on social media?
Do not delete negative comments.
Keep it cool.
Check your head.
Respond to each complaint in the public stream.
You set the tone.
Consider another avenue for complaints.
Do you have questions about social media that are not answered here? Is there any questions you believe I have omitted? Comment below and we’ll include it in the FAQ Section.