Every week, tons of questions and enquiries fill my inbox…
…and although I respond to every single one of them and direct them all to appropriate guides, blogs and external websites for more information, (even if it might take a few days to reply occasionally) sometimes I wish I had a marketing FAQ’s page.
So here we are.
I’ve trawled through months of emails to find and answer your most commonly asked social media marketing questions.
BTW: I also receive questions about ads, content marketing, funnel building and marketing in general. Check back to our blog soon to see the most common questions on these subjects answered too.
If you have unanswered questions about social media, are just starting out or would like to discover more about the (slightly) murky world of social media marketing, this is the place to be…
…and if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, send us an email and myself (or one of our team) will do our best to give you some amazing marketing advice (for free of course).
The Most Common Social Media Questions
Does my business need to be on social media?
Explanation: There are approximately 2.77 Billion people worldwide with at least one social media account (Statista, 2019) and where there are people, there is potential for leads and customers.
Marketing -in its purest form- is literally showing your product to the most likely group of people to buy it.
Whatever your business, brand or offering, whether it’s B2C or B2B, however unexciting your product might be, no matter how small your business is, regardless of how tiny your niche, you will be able to find your target market on social media.
When I receive a question like this, I usually reply with a question of my own, it goes a little like this:Look back at your last ten customers, how many of them can you find on social media?Click To Tweet
The answer is almost always 10 out of 10.
If customers aren’t coming to you, you need to go to them. Social media is the perfect place to do that, whether you’re building awareness, generating leads or aiming for more digital sales.
What is the best social network for my business?
Answer: That depends.
Explanation: This is one of the most commonly asked questions that I receive and although it’s pretty straightforward to answer when I know more about a business, it’s impossible to answer for all businesses….but that doesn’t mean I can’t give you all some solid guidance.
As a general rule, I always recommend to start out by growing your presence on 2 networks (if you have a bigger team or a dedicated social media manager, you can focus on more).
Whilst I can’t tell you the second network (because it’s completely industry and target market dependent), I do suggest that all businesses and brands use Facebook.
Of the 2.77 Billion worldwide social media users, 2.3 Billion log on to Facebook at least once a month. This huge percentage is just too big to ignore.
Remember, the success of your digital marketing campaigns and your social media efforts is completely dependent on how well you can target and reach your most appropriate market…
…and they’re almost definitely on Facebook!
BTW: Discover the right sizes for all your images on social media including LinkedIn, in our guide to Social Media Image Sizes.
The world’s biggest social network is an amazing place to grow social proof, act as a directory (many people use Facebook to research a business), build a following and promote your business (more on this later).
If you’d like to learn more about the most relevant second network for your brand, check out our Ultimate Guide to Social Networks for Businesses.
How many social networks should my business be on?
Answer: How big is your team?
Explanation: The number of networks you should use depends on the size of your team, the number of people who can contribute to your social media efforts and how much time you have to dedicate to it!
If you’re a solopreneur and don’t have many spare hours to market your business on social, I recommend starting out with 2.
Choose Facebook and one other (the network with the highest percentage of your target market).
Remember, just because there are tons of different huge social networks, that doesn’t mean you need to go after all of them. It’s much better for you to focus on a small number and achieve lots of followers and high engagement, than chase many and gain poor results.
If you have a presence on a social network that you don’t manage regularly, it can have negative effects for your business. Social media is a must, but only use (an amount of) networks that you are able to manage, strategise and optimise for your target market.
What is the best way to grow my following on social media?
Answer: Give people a reason to follow you!
Explanation: A massive social media marketing mistake (that I see all the time) is businesses that do nothing but promote themselves and their products.
Ask yourself, would you want to follow a business on social that constantly rams their products and offers down your throat?
Most people see this as annoying, spammy and a newsfeed killer. And even when these businesses are lucky enough to gain followers, most people will unfollow quickly after seeing these type of posts.
The best way to grow a following is create a profile that a specific target audience (your market) want to follow. This means posting content that appeals to them.
Your social content should educate, inform and entertain your target audience in a way that appeals to them. Think about your content medium (e.g. written, video, audio, imagery) and content style. Would you want to follow your business, if you were your target audience?
Should I advertise on social media?
Answer: If you believe in your business, products and yourself, yes!
Explanation: If you’re serious about digital marketing and growing your presence online, social media ads are well worth the investment.
As a marketer, business owner or entrepreneur, financially backing your business and products shouldn’t intimidate you, it should excite you.
Social media ads offer you the opportunity to be seen by more of your target market in a place where they hang out. They can be primed to build awareness, grow followings, engage an audience, generate leads and make sales…
…and when you know how to use them effectively, it can have massive positive implications for your business.
The social networks you should use for advertising will depend on your industry and the demographics of your target market, but Facebook (and Instagram) are the best places to start.
Facebook ads allow you to precisely target an audience by tons of different behaviours and demographics, including location, interests, likes, browsing history, age…the list goes on and on…
BTW: Facebook own Instagram, so if you’re planning on advertising on Instagram, use Facebook Business Manager and edit the placements of your ads to Instagram only.
How often should I post on social media?
Answer: Short answer, every day. Long answer, it varies from network to network.
Explanation: You should post fresh content on your social profiles every day.
Posting regularly will engage your audience, build your awareness and following, keep your brand visibility high and make your brand feel fresh and up-to-date.
When people see your brand every day, they are reminded of it when they need to make a purchase in your industry and are much more likely to become a customer.
BTW: if you’re short on time and can’t post every day, check out the question about social media tools (further down in this list).
However, some networks demand more (or less) attention than others. If you’d like to learn more about posting frequency on each network, use our Social Media Posting Planner to perfect your posting schedule.
What kind of posts should I publish?
Answer: The kind your target market will love!
Explanation: The answer to this question harks back to the earlier question about how to grow your social following.
A great social media marketer understands everything about their target market and uses this to creating a posting strategy, including the type of posts they publish.
Great posts educate, inform or entertain audiences, and as a general rule, you should always aim to tick at least one of those boxes.
BTW: the more research you perform before building out your social media marketing strategy, the easier everything else is! A great way to do this is to create a customer avatar of your ideal customer.
If you’re unsure, analyse your competitors and try to find their best performing posts. Your target market will be similar, so their posting strategy is probably worth replicating.
I’d also recommend testing with a variety of content mediums, this means writing long form content, posting links, images, videos and short post updates. See what engages your audience and optimise your publishing schedule to reflect this.
What is the best time to post on social media?
Answer: Shortly before your target audience are most likely to be online and as consistently as possible.
Explanation: Have you noticed a recurring theme to these answers yet?
Before I start telling you to find out as much as possible about your target audience…again…
….I want to talk about consistency.
The easiest thing to do is give up. If your posts aren’t gaining any engagement, your follower count isn’t budging and you’re losing the will to work on your business’ social profile, it’s easy to slip into an apathetic social media routine. Don’t let that happen.
You have to be consistent. That means never letting your posting schedule run empty. It means posting at the perfect time every single day, giving you the best chance of reaching your target audience at a time preferred by them, not you!
The network you use and the market you’re targeting will hand you the best times to post. Try to find the answers to the following questions:
- What time do your target market work?
- What are their jobs?
- Do they commute?
- When are they most likely to have some downtime to visit social media?
- What kind of posts are most relevant to them at different times of the day?
- Are your social media posts time relevant (e.g. are you calling your audience to read a long content post at a time when they can only visit social briefly?)?
- What do they use social for? How does this affect the time they login?
If you can answer these questions accurately and tie this in with your most appropriate network, you’ll quickly discover the best times to post on social media.
Should I follow a social media posting planner/calendar?
Answer: Yes! It’s better to have one and not need it, than need one and not have it!
Explanation: We follow a social media posting planner and it works for us. It keeps our schedule organised, allows us to see when we’re low on content and most importantly…
…offers us the chance to roadmap a social media strategy.
Whenever we build out a social media strategy for ourselves or our clients, we analyse our target market, pick the most appropriate channels and develop a posting strategy.
We then use this strategy to think of content and post ideas, and fill this out into a social media posting planner. By doing this, we use our research to maximum effect and never run out of posting ideas or content.
If you’re blindly posting content just for the sake of it, short on ideas when it comes to post creation or struggling to implement a social strategy, get a social media posting planner and use it! They work!
How can I measure success on social media?
Answer: This depends on your digital goals, but the most common answers are engagement level, follower count and conversions driven from social.
Explanation: When I’m asked this (which is actually a lot more than you’d think) it usually tells me that the person asking is losing patience or struggling with social media marketing.
The straight answer is, it all depends on your goals. Are you using social to build brand awareness? Grow your digital presence? Generate leads? Convert leads into customers?
For many of you, it will be all of those things, but the difficulty is splitting them into separate metrics.
These are the metrics I’d suggest using for each of those aims:
- Brand Awareness: Like, share and comment rate (and count) and follower growth
- Digital Presence: Follower, share count, website traffic driven from social
- Lead generation: Number of leads generated from social, tracked by Insights or by Conversions>Goals on Google Analytics
- Conversions: Revenue generated from social, including average order value, customer count and conversion rate. Tracked by Conversions>Goals on Google Analytics.
Divide your social media aims into separate entities and start to track their performance with the basic metric outlines (above).
What tools will help improve my social media performance?
Answer: See below
Explanation: There are a million different social media tools that can improve your performance (and for the next 3 months, I’m probably going to receive emails from all of them, asking to be added to the short list I’m about to put together).
We use lots of different tools to improve our performance, here are a few of my favourites described very briefly (because I could probably create an entire post about this subject).
-Hootsuite: This is our preferred social media posting scheduler (although we use several). Load up your planner with posts and Hootsuite will automatically publish them on your chosen day, time and network. This saves you from having to manage and post on your profiles every day (although you should be checking regularly for comments!).
-Buzzsumo: This tool displays the most shared content on social for any given keyword. This is useful when you’re coming up with ideas around a subject that you know your target market enjoy. Use Buzzsumo’s most shared social content as a guideline for your content ideas.
–Canva: We have in-house designers, but whenever we’re short on designs or somebody needs something knocked up quickly, Canva is the place we go first. It’s full of templates, tons of different designs and elements and is incredibly versatile. If you’re in a small team without designers, Canva should already be on your radar.
-Analytics: Almost every social network has their own ‘Analytics’ section built in for business pages. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all have their own analytics (or ‘Insights’) section to help businesses. Use the data here to help you optimise your social performance.
–All-Hashtag: There are loads of hashtag generation tools, but this is our most trusted. All-hashtag allows users to find the ‘Top’, ‘Live’ or ‘Random’ hashtags around their chosen keyword. Use this tool to help increase your reach on social.
–Google Analytics: The uses of Google Analytics are endless and that includes helping you improve your social media performance. The key to optimisation is analysis, and GA’s incredible array of data tracking tools will highlight the strengths or weaknesses in your social media performance.
Those are the most commonly asked social media questions as asked by you.
Hopefully the answers in this social media FAQ’s page have been of some help, or directed you to a page where you can get a more detailed insight.
If you’re still stuck, feel free to reach out to either myself or a member of our team. We’re always happy to help! Just remember that we receive lots of questions and although we promise to reply to every question, sometimes it might take a day or two!