16 Common Social Media Questions & Answers
Here at C4B Media, we often get questions from businesses about online marketing. It’s an area where, regardless of whether you’re testing the waters or have already dived in, there’s always something new to learn.
Finding the answers to these questions can help improve your chances of social media success, so we thought it might be helpful to put together a blog post answering some of the most common ones we get asked.
Here are the answers to 16 social media marketing we hear most often, hope they help!
1. Does my business really need to be on social media?
With roughly 2 billion people using social networks (that’s nearly a quarter of the world’s population), it should be clear to see why having a social media presence for your business is important.
With any marketing activity, the goal is to reach your target audience where they’re paying the most attention. For more than a decade now that’s been social media. In fact, being on social media is so considered ‘the norm’ nowadays, that not having a social presence can potentially harm your business.
2. Ok, convince me! What are the benefits of social media marketing for my company?
As we said in our ‘The Future of Digital Marketing 2017’ post, social media marketing is vital for businesses. A survey from socialmediatoday.com showed that over 70% of marketers believed Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to be essential for advertising.
Not convinced? Here are some stats:
- A study by The Social Habit showed 53 percent of Americans who follow brands on social media are more loyal to those brands.
- In the State of Social Selling in 2015, nearly 75 percent of companies that engaged in selling on social media reported an increase in sales in 12 months.
- Over 67 percent of consumers now go to social media for customer service. They expect fast response times and 24/7 support — and the companies that deliver win out.
- A study by Aberdeen Group shows that companies engaging in social customer service see much bigger annual financial gains (7.5 percent YOY growth) vs. those without (2.9 percent).
3. What do you mean when you say ‘social media platforms / channels’?
There are literally hundreds of social media channels, with new ones popping up, and old ones closing, all the time. When we talk about social media channels and platforms for marketing, we’re talking about our ‘supreme six’.
While many digital marketers talk about the Big Three (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), we find this limiting as it misses out the more visual sites which many brands have shown to be hugely beneficial.
Launched in February 2004, Facebook is the largest social network. More than 1.3 billion users and generates up to 645 million local business page views per week.
Facebook has an extremely diverse demographic making it a great starting point for most businesses. It’s worth noting that some B2B (business to business) companies have struggled to get engagement on the platform.
Perhaps, more than lead generation, Twitter excels at developing brand loyalty and advocates for your company. 85% of Twitter users “feel more connected” to a business after they follow them on Twitter. Providing a great way to connect with your customers and an ideal opportunity to shine at customer service.
LinkedIn was created in the same year as Facebook; it currently has 433 million members and is often called the world’s largest professional network. (It’s worth noting that only 25% of their users use it monthly.)
As a business orientated network, LinkedIn is THE platform when it comes to B2B marketing (and is less effective for B2C – business to consumer).
Pinterest is much newer to the social party. It launched in March 2010, and grew from 5 thousand to 17 million users in just 20 months. In September 2015 the company confirmed they had more than one hundred million monthly active users.
Business wise, 93% of pinners have made an online purchase in the last six months and two-thirds of the content that people Pin comes from business’ websites.
2010 was clearly the year for visual social media, with Instagram launching 7 months after Pinterest. This platform, unlike the others, is almost entirely mobile and posts will work best if loaded through a mobile rather than a PC.
In April 2012 Facebook shocked many by acquiring Instagram for $1 billion, five years on and the platform now has more than 400 million monthly active accounts.
YouTube is the most popular video site and has an estimate of over 1 billion unique visitors every month, with over 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute.
If your business can visually show how your services, products and employees are different (think ‘how to’ tutorials, cooking lessons, life hacks etc.) then YouTube is for you.
For more on each of these channels and how best to use them, read ‘Which Social Media Channels Should You Use For Your Business’.
7. Do we have to be on ALL the social media channels?
No. It can be tempting to think that starting on every social network is the best way to see which one works for your business. However, spreading yourself too thin can mean you’re not putting in your best efforts. Do some research to see where your customers are and try starting there. If you see success, and have time to expand, then slowly try adding other networks.
8. So how do we choose which social media platforms our business should have a presence on?
The first stumbling block people come to when dipping their toes into the social media pool is deciding which social media channels are right for your business. This can be confusing, particularly with the frequent new platform launches.
The simple answer to this is to ask yourself ‘where’s my audience’s attention?’ and then go there.
The more complex (and complete) answer is a blog article in itself – luckily, we’ve already written it! For an in-depth guide on choosing which platforms you should be on, read ‘Which Social Media Channels Should You Use For Your Business?’
In the meantime, you can run through these key questions to help identify which social channels to use.
1. Where do my audience hang out online?
2. Where is my audience active?
3. Where is my audience searching?
4. (If you’re already using social media) Which channels are bringing us traffic?
9. What type of content should I post?
Simply answered, you want to put out content that your customers want to read. It all comes down to knowing your ideal customer, and then tailoring your posts to cover their lifestyle, aspirations and pain points.
This can be easier said than done, so why not ask what they’d like to see? Talk to your customers in person, send out an email asking for suggestions or set up a poll on Facebook or Twitter.
Seeing what’s working for other brands in your industry can also be great for inspiration.
10. Can we post promotional content?
The reason for having a social media presence is to let people know about your business, and to do that you occasionally need to promote your products or services. The important thing to remember is ‘occasionally’.
There’s a fine line between using social media to promote your brand, and spamming. According to Sprout’s Q3 2016 Index, 46% of people will unfollow a brand if they send too many promotional messages. This makes it the most annoying action that brands can take on social media.
They recommend erring on the side of caution, and say you should aim to share much more non-promotional content than promotional.
11. How often should I post?
This depends on your resources, always think quality over quantity. Better to put out two great posts a week that get lots of engagement, then two mediocre ones every day that are adding no value to your audience.
One of the worst social media marketing mistakes is inconsistency, posting nothing for days and then a huge deluge. It’s vital to be consistent, so find a schedule that you can maintain.
Remember that you can repurpose content, this can help if you’re struggling to find enough content to publish on a regular basis. Evergreen blog posts are a great example of repurposing, simply share again using a different image or quote from the article.
12. When’s the best time to post?
There is no one size fits all when it comes to the best time to post. It depends on your audience, industry and the platform you’re using.
It really comes down to a little trial and error. Try using a social media scheduling tool (such as Buffer, Sprout or Hootsuite) to share your content at different times and days of the week. Review the analytics and insights to see when you’re getting the most engagement, adjust your schedule accordingly and repeat until you’re getting optimal results.
13. Do I need a social media strategy?
To ensure you’re giving your social media marketing the best chance at success you need to have a plan. This will:
- provide clarity on your market
- help you craft marketing messages that generate results
- provide focus and direction
- help you establish tasks and timelines
- ensure alignment
To learn more about crafting an effective marketing strategy for your business, click here.
14. How do I know if it’s working?
Don’t worry if you find measuring social media success difficult – you’re not alone. 41% of companies say they have no idea whether their social efforts are paying off.
Marketing is usually measured by return on investment (ROI), which is the amount you earn minus the amount you spend, however with social media it’s not always an obvious financial gain. Perhaps you put out a promotional post which people clicked on and made a purchase, this is easy to measure. However, maybe you put out a funny, behind the scenes video which got lots of likes and new followers. This is still valuable, as it builds brand awareness and may convert into sales later, but it’s much harder to assign a value to.
To effectively review your activities, you need to set specific goals (such as increasing your number of followers or the amount of sales you’d usually make at this time of year). To judge these results, we use a method called ‘benchmarking’ which provides a reference point for you see how well your current efforts are performing.
15. This sounds like a lot of work. How much time should social media marketing take each week?
There are lots of tools (such as Buffer, Sprout, Tweetdeck and Hootsuite) which save you time by allowing you to schedule your posts. However, you still need to keep an eye on your social media accounts throughout the day so you can respond to questions and comments.
Creating and reviewing marketing plans, crafting content and images, responding to your followers, assessing analytics and making necessary tweaks, means social media marketing can be a full-time job.
16. I’m not sure we have the resources or expertise to do this. Should we outsource our social media marketing?
Clearly, we’re a little biased here. But we’re experts at what we do and you’re experts at what you do, so combining the two has got be the perfect match!
This is what we do, day in / day out, we understand the platforms and how each can be used most effectively for different industries. And nobody understands your business better than you. That’s why we work with you to ensure the most authentic representation of your brand, helping you build visibility, authority and trust with social media.
If you’d like to have a chat about any of things mentioned in this article, or have a question that we didn’t answer, we’d love to help.
Call our friendly team for a chat on 01763 877110 or click this link.
You may also be interested in:
- Why Is Having A Marketing Strategy And Plan So Important?
- How to Master Facebook for Small Business
- Which Social Media Channels Should You Use For Your Business?