Your Social Media Questions Answered
Social media marketing is quite a broad topic and I often get asked a lot of questions about it. So I asked people to put forward their burning questions and here are my answers. I hope it’s helpful!
How often should I post?
The most important thing about social media activity is that you’re engaging. As with anything in life, if you’re talking just for the sake of it and you don’t actually have anything to say, people will switch off. You have to decide what you want to get out of your social media posting and take it from there. Are you doing it for brand awareness, to generate leads, to educate your audience or to interact with customers, for example? The best advice I can give is decide what your purpose is and then create a content plan. If you have loads to say, posting a few times a week is great. If you can’t think of much to say, maybe once a week is enough. Posting multiple times a day is where you need to be cautious. Unless you’re very interesting and engaging, you can quickly become white noise and then you’ve lost your audience for good. But never, ever post just because you feel you have to. Always have a purpose.
What is a good social media strategy?
If you’re using social media as part of your marketing, then you should never have an independent social media strategy. You should have a marketing strategy with social media activity worked into that. You should know overall what you’re trying to achieve, what your messaging is, who you’re targeting and what you’re targeting them with. Then look at all the different channels available and decide how you’re going to use them together to reach your audience. Whatever you do on social media shouldn’t be different to what is on your website, what is mentioned in PR, what you do in advertising, what your direct mailers say etc. If you want your marketing to be successful, you need a joined up thinking approach where social media works as part of an overarching strategy. If you immediately think, “I need to do marketing, what can I do on social media?” you’re already causing yourself difficulties.
What platforms are best?
I was once at a digital marketing seminar and the speaker looked at us all and said, “If your customers aren’t on Twitter, then why are you?” It seemed to me to be the most logical thing in the world. Don’t waste your time posting content to reach an audience that is simply never going to see it. Before you start anything, think about who you’re trying to target and work out which platforms are going to be the best to use. Marketing isn’t about doing lots of activities, it’s about doing the right activities that are going to reach and resonate with your customers. Nothing else matters.
Should I run Facebook ads?
One of the great things about social media is that much of it is free. However, there is a huge potential to reach a much larger and targeted audience through using paid advertising. Whilst it can really work, it should never be done without proper thought put into it. Firstly, make sure your advertising works as part of a larger strategy. Don’t just run random Facebook ads. They need to connect with other areas of your marketing, giving you that holistic approach. Secondly, make sure you know who you’re targeting and you’ve thought carefully about your message. There are different levels of advertising. Some are just for brand awareness, others are there to generate leads. Know what you want to achieve and keep everything focused. Just like every other area of marketing, do it because you’ve identified it as the best channel to use for your business, not because other people have done it.
Should I use TikTok?
As a new and growing social media platform, it can be hard to know whether it’s right for you. TikTok is doing great things at the moment in growing its audience and encouraging advertisers. However, it goes back to that idea of strategy again. Who are you targeting and what is your message? Will TikTok help you reach your goals or are you doing it because you think you should? TikTok typically has a younger audience, although it is marketing itself to gain broader reach. So keep an eye on things. If you work all your marketing from a well thought through position, you’ll have your answer. If you know what you want to achieve, you’ll see very clearly how to achieve it.
Should I start a Facebook Group?
Facebook Groups can be a great way to showcase your company and what you do. Although they’re not selling platforms, they can give you access to a relevant audience that will, as a bi-product of joining the group, learn about you and what you do. This means it won’t work if you want to sell through it. You need to offer it as a place for support, discussions, guidance, education, whatever it might be. It will be a lot of work to maintain it, as you’ll need to keep regular, interesting content running through it. Whilst it could be a huge benefit if your brand is there to support and offer guidance, you need to make sure you’ve got enough ideas to keep the group alive and enough time to run it properly, at least initially while your audience picks up. So this can be advantageous, but think carefully.
Should I like and share other peoples’ posts?
Yes, absolutely. Interaction on social media is vital. You need to take part and be ‘social’. Not only is this good for how other people view you, but the platforms in themselves like active users. However, don’t just like and share stuff for the sake of it. In the same way you shouldn’t post any old content just to be on there, you shouldn’t share or like it either. Think about your brand, your reason for being on there, and interact with relevant material. Be canny about who you interact with, as well as what you interact with.
Time and Effort
To get it right, social media marketing can be quite involved. You need to have an active presence, not just dipping in and out, and not just posting things that you hope people might see. That’s why it’s so important for you to understand why your brand is on there and what you want to get out of it. I have plenty of clients where we’ve identified in the planning phase that social media just won’t generate business for them. This isn’t a bad thing. It means we have to put our efforts elsewhere. It’s vital to establish what will work for you, amongst the dozens of marketing channels that are out there. Don’t think because it’s widely used, social media will have all the answers. It might be perfect for you, but it equally might be a lot of wasted effort. Therefore, take a step back before you do anything and consider what’s right.
If you'd like any help with your social media marketing, please do get in touch.