Social media is constantly evolving and there is always something new to learn. Whether you're new to the game or an experienced online marketer, asking the right questions will help position your business in the best possible way. Here is a list of answers to some of the more common social media questions:
1. How Many Social Media Networks Should I Join? The most important factor here is determining where your audience is. There is no point in joining a network if your target audience isn't spending a lot of time there. Taking a look at your competitors social media profiles is a good way to determine where your niche is active. Look around at all of their profiles and see where they are getting the most engagement, and focus your attention there. Also think about your objectives. If visual content isn't something you produce a lot of, Pinterest and Instagram probably don't make sense for your business. If you're marketing to businesses, LinkedIn should be a focus for you and so on.
2. How Often Should I Post On Social Media? There is no set answer to this, but your focus should always be on quality over quantity. Posting for the sake of posting will ultimately hurt your business, especially if you're sharing subpar content. If you're wanting a general guideline to follow (Keep in mind this is just a guideline. If you only have the means to knock out content your followers will love a few times a week, there is nothing wrong with that.), Dow Social put this infographic together:
3. What Kind Of Content Should I Be Sharing? Simple...the kind of content your followers want to see. While idea generation can be difficult, you can overcome your writer's block by simply talking to your followers and asking them what they want to see. Sharing 3rd party content is a simple form of content curation and shows your followers you are there to provide valuable information to them, and not just share promotional content all of the time.
According to ShoutMeLoud, there are certain types of content people love on social media, including interviews with a-listers in your niche, helpful tutorials, freebies, such as ebooks or reports, and blog series. A blog should be non-negotiable for your business, not only as a way to provide fresh content for search engines, but to help demonstrate your business is an industry expert and because blogs are some of the most effective content to share on social media and are proven to encourage engagement.
4. Should I Follow Everyone Who Follows Me? Absolutely not! Why? Because you're trying to curate a network and your network says a lot about your business. If someone follows you on Twitter and that user very rarely posts and has next to no followers, that user probably isn't someone you want to follow back as you don't want to associate your brand with spammers. You also probably don't want to follow a bunch of users associated with your competition. Something many businesses don't realize is who they follow can say a lot about their brand. So you want to be intelligent when following someone back on Twitter or Instagram or accepting requests on LinkedIn and put a priority on users who actually want to hear what you have to say.
5. How Do I Get More Followers? People need a reason to follow you. It all comes back to quality over quantity. Post quality content and you'll attract more followers. Some businesses think by buying followers they are doing a good thing, but besides violating the terms of service of pretty much every social media network, all they're doing is getting followers who will never engage with them. Having followers who engage with you is critical to attracting new followers. Inc. has some other great ideas for attracting more followers, including:
- Reaching out to industry influencers
- Putting social share buttons on your blog posts
- Posting viral content
- Guest blogging on popular niche websites
- Being a consistent source of trending content and breaking news
6. Should I Use The Same Username On All Social Media Networks? Absolutely! Consistency is key. Building brand recognition includes using your actual company name as your username on all social media networks you join. You want to make it easy for your followers to seek you out. This isn't the time to get creative by adding numbers, keywords, etc. to your username. You can use a site like KnowEm to search hundreds of social media networks to check the availability of a potential username. If the username matching your business is already taken, you can add something like "get" to the beginning or "HQ" to the end, just make sure you do the same for all social media networks you join.
7. Is It Important To Maintain A Content Calendar? Yes! Pushing out a consistent message across all of the social media networks you've joined is important and that's hard to do when you aren't planning ahead with a content calendar. Looking at your calendar on a week-by-week basis and a monthly basis enables you to take your time in researching and crafting the content your followers will like, versus being rushed each day to come up with fresh content. A content calendar also makes it easy for you to plan your content in conjunction with any sales, promotions, events, or contests you may be running. Here is a helpful blog post we wrote on reasons to use a content calendar as well - http://www.socialreport.com/insights/article/115000597306-Reasons-For-Using-A-Social-Media-Content-Calendar.
8. Do I Need To Have A Content Recycling Program? Absolutely! If you're taking the time to research and craft content your followers are going to love, then you need to ensure it's being seen by as many of them as possible! When you post content just once, you are leaving an incredible amount of engagement on the table. If you post the content in the morning, but some of your followers are in different time zones or aren't checking their social media feeds until the evening, chances are they will never see the content. It's a common misconception among businesses that followers are checking their profile page throughout the day.
Instead people rely on their news feeds and very rely go directly to a businesses profile page, and with the never sleeping world of social media, your content will get pushed so far down their news feed that a good chunk of your followers will never see your content until you are recycling it and posting it multiple times. Here is a blog post we wrote with additional benefits of content recycling as well - http://www.socialreport.com/insights/article/115000666846-The-Benefits-Of-Recycling-Content-On-Social-Media.
9. How Does Social Media Impact SEO? Social media can have an impact on SEO, although not directly. Google has stated in the past that it does not include social shares in the algorithm used to determine ranking. The reason behind this is Google just doesn't have confidence in the reliability of social shares as they can be manipulated and are constantly changing. The best way to use social media to indirectly impact your SEO is to network and build relationships with social influencers in your niche, such as bloggers, journalists, podcasters, academic researchers, and event producers. By doing so and sharing valuable content with them, they may in turn link back to your website in the content they are producing, which then has an impact on your SEO.
10. Should I Use Social Media For Customer Service? Of course! Customers love to receive immediate responses to their questions, concerns, and issues and social media is the ideal place to make that happen. Not only that, but the feedback gained from listening and talking to your customers can be translated into valuable content, such as tutorials and FAQs, which is perfect for your content recycling program. Handling negative comments on social media can sometimes be tricky due to the public nature of the comments, but Web Marketing Pros offer some valuable tips, including:
- Don't be so fast to delete negative comments, unless they are offensive, as doing so can be counterproductive as deleting legitimate concerns will likely only lead to that customer becoming even more aggravated and potentially taking the concerns to other avenues.
- Respond as quickly as possible (and always within 24 hours) to show the customer you care.
- Respond publicly, at least to acknowledge the issue, but move the conversation offline to reduce the negative impact of having a back and forth conversation public for all to see.