Everything Marketers Want To Know About Social Media Marketing But Are Too Afraid To Ask
Contributor Sahil Jain shares the top questions asked by marketers at a recent social media event, along with the expert panelists' answers.
More often than not, marketers and the companies they work for have limited resources. Unless you have an infinite amount of time or money, driving success on every single social channel is simply unrealistic.
So, what should you focus on as a marketer? Today, I’m addressing real business questions that every marketer should consider.
I was recently on a panel with speakers from LinkedIn and Facebook where we discussed social channels available to businesses and how to optimize your presence on them.
Over 1,000 marketing professionals attended the event, and there were hundreds of great questions. I’ve compiled a list of the the top questions that every marketer wants to know but is too afraid to ask — these are the actual questions (and paraphrased answers), simply stripped of any personal information (name, company name, etc).
Q: What Are The Two Social Media Platforms I Should Be On?
A: It really depends on what type of business you are and your objectives for the campaign. If you are selling to other businesses (i.e. you are B2B), then LinkedIn is an absolute must, and I’d couple that with Facebook or Twitter in conjunction with a Google AdWords campaign.
You should always have Google AdWords or Bing Ads running alongside your social efforts. Similar to display, social can generate awareness, while Google/Bing will help you capture intent.
Q: I Would Love To Use Social Media, But I’m Worried About Negative Feedback. What’s The Best Way To Get Around This?
A: Be engaged with your audience. Address all feedback diplomatically. When running social ad campaigns on Twitter, for example, you can actually filter out negative sentiment as part of campaign setup.
See this example of how Chipotle handled negative feedback.
Q: Should I Invest In LinkedIn Or Facebook? How Will I Know Which Platform Is Better Or A More Productive Use Of Time?
A: There are great reasons and use cases to invest in both. LinkedIn is highly accurate and where most individuals keep their professional profiles up to date. Many do not keep their personal information as up to date on Facebook.
If you are targeting B2B or business professionals, while LinkedIn may be more expensive (for pay-per-click advertising), it is the route to go from what we’ve seen. B2B on Facebook should not be written off, as it does work — but your approach from a targeting perspective may be different.
On Facebook, using the standard job title or job function targeting isn’t necessarily ideal. Be creative using custom audiences, lookalikes and overlap targeting. Keep in mind that Facebook is where most people are keeping in touch with their friends and family. Leverage that mindset in your creative or targeting (i.e. interest targeting).
Q: What Advantages Does Pinterest Have Over Facebook?
A: Pinterest is very new, so it is hard to know from a paid perspective. That said, here is additional information on Pinterest Promoted Pins.
Keep in mind that Pinterest is a highly visual network. It is great for retailers, makers, etc. Leverage attractive creatives on Pinterest that people are likely to re-pin to their pages; that is how you’ll get inherent virality.
Q: Will Facebook Or LinkedIn Provide Services To Help Launch My Digital Campaigns?
A: Unfortunately, at lower budgets, Facebook and LinkedIn do not have account managers who are going to build your campaigns for you or manage them.
That said, both companies are great in terms of documentation, tutorials, onboarding webinars and account managers who will help you with advice and early strategy.
Q: What’s The Best Solution For Small Companies That Go Global? Should They Have One Facebook Page For All Markets Or Separate Pages With Targeted Content?
A: That’s a great question. It depends on if you plan to promote in different languages or really appeal to those different international cultures with your content. It would be recommended to do both of these, in which case, a separate page per major international presence is not a bad idea at all and likely preferred.
That said, if you are stretched thin, a single page is fine. Just be mindful to target your paid channels/ads to the audience that will appreciate the content the most.
Q: I Am Looking To Build Our Profile And Followers / Fan Base. Any Suggestions?
A: Be sure to start by creating a Twitter handle, Facebook Page and perhaps LinkedIn Company Page for your organization. (Below is what AdStage’s social media presences look like.)
From there, create content your audience will engage with and begin building up a presence. Once you have started creating a reasonable treasure trove of content, start promoting that content using paid ads so that you can target new followers who may be interested in your brand.
Q: How Do You Manage Content On Multiple Channels Like Facebook And LinkedIn?
A: There are tools available to help you manage your campaigns on multiple networks including LinkedIn and Facebook.
That said, from a strategic standpoint, keep in mind what each network caters to. LinkedIn is more focused on B2B professionals whereas Facebook is where you mingle with your friends and family. Thus, your content should adapt to the different environments.
Q: How Often Is Too Often To Post? And, What Time Of Day And What Day Of The Week Do You Recommend?
A: It depends on the type of content and what network you are posting to. At AdStage, we post a few times per day on the hour. Our content is all help/how-to content that our followers learn from.
If you are posting promotional content, I’d recommend a slower cadence.
Q: What Types Of Posts Work Best? I Was Told A Picture With Words Performs Better Than An Ordinary Picture.
A: What I can tell you are types that don’t work well: random stock photos or photos of your logo.
Focus on something engaging, with minimal text, that shows the value they’ll get from the product/service/content. Here are some examples.
Q: I Have Read That Content Should Be 20% Product Related And 80% “You” Related — Do You Agree?
A: I do agree — though I would always recommend to be as much “you” related as possible. By this I mean that it should speak to the users and their needs rather than just extol your product.
Help your readers become better at their trade and get value, they’ll then respect the brand that created the content.
Q: If I Use My Facebook Page To Post Offers, I’m Wondering What I Should Be Doing Next To Get The Most Out Of It?
A: Facebook has “Offer Ads” that you can explore using. This way, you can extend offers to users who are not just following your page.
The reason you want to use paid is that at some point, your organic reach will be maximized. Paid allows you to target and capture net-new audiences.
Q: Can Social Media Be Used As A Tool To Ask For Feedback Rather Than Using A Survey Tool Or Our Website?
A: Absolutely. Some of the largest brands tend to post questions to drum up user engagement on the given post.
You can see this use case often on Twitter. Many brands even promote the organic post to reach a much broader audience and entice them to answer the question or join the conversation(s).
Q: How Do I Get People To Engage With Something That Isn’t Inherently “Sexy”?
A: Imagery can make a big difference, and that’s the first thing that comes to mind.
Also, people are fascinated with gaining knowledge. Why not create content that peels back the curtains on the science, process and technique behind the trade? Then, target audiences that tend to have an overlapping fascination.
Q: What Metrics Should I Consider For A “Successful” Post? Does Number Of Likes Matter?
A: The answer totally depends on your goals. I don’t think Facebook would recommend just going for post engagement necessarily (likes, comments, etc.). Your piece of content should have a material goal.
Some other metrics to consider are conversion rate, time spent on the article, sign ups, email captures, and purchases. A successful post is one that leads to the achievement of your overall business goal.
Q: What Is The Maximum Or Minimum Audience Size That We Should Target Per Ad?
A: Your goal should be to maximize your target audience. Don’t go too broad where you start targeting people who are not in your intended target audience.
Q: How Do I Target People From Our Database On Social Media?
A: If you have an email, phone number or Facebook/Twitter ID for the people in your database, then you can use Facebook Custom Audiences and Twitter Tailored Audiences to target these users.
Q: When Should We Use Retargeting?
A: We strongly recommend you are always running retargeting campaigns alongside your native PPC campaigns.
Retargeting is limited as it only runs off of your website or mobile app visitors / traffic. So, your inherent reach will be limited.
Use PPC to bring new visitors into the funnel who will then be retargeted. PPC on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, etc. should be used, at a basic level, to “fill the funnel,” and then retargeting is used to “nurture” that funnel of users you’ve brought in.
Q: What Do You See As The Next Big Platform In Social? What Will It Do Differently?
A: We aren’t yet sure which new social platform will emerge for the masses. Some are speculating Pinterest will do well, while others are focusing on more niche networks that cater to much larger brands like Snapchat. I think exciting platforms to keep an eye on right now are: Pinterest, Amazon and Apple.