I was reading through the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, from the Social Media Examiner,and there was a section that was just begging to become my first blog series called Learn Social Media. The section of the report is called Top 10 Social Media Questions Marketers Want Answered, and today I will be introducing the questions. And on Wednesdays, for the next few weeks, I will be answering some (or maybe all) of the questions for you business owners. Because we all know that social media is a great way to market your local business and to generate leads online, but it can involve a huge learning curve to learn social media marketing.
Learn Social Media – The Top 10 Questions
1. How do I measure the effect of social media marketing on my business?
In other words, how can I tell if social media is working? I know business owners who spend a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, only to be left wondering if it has done them any good. For some businesses it is easy. They can simply put a coupon on Facebook, and if customers bring in the coupon, you know that social media is working. But what about businesses that coupons don’t make as much sense? How can we measure it’s effectiveness? And what about the all important ROI? How is it calculated with something like social media?
2. How do I find my target audience with social media?
You know that everyone is using social media, but where is your target audience, and how are they using social media? Are you looking for a certain geographic area, a specific industry, or an age group? How do you find them, and more importantly, how do you make your business stand out to them? It is definitely not one size fits all, and you need to think about your target audience as you are planning your social media campaign.
3. What are the best ways to engage my audience?
When you set out to learn social media, this is one of the hardest, and most important, questions to answer. What kind of content will attract followers? How do you get visitors to interact with your content? This is the goal of social media to provide content that attracts followers and then gets them to interact with your business.
4. How do I sell with social media?
This is a particularly hard one, especially when you consider that you are trying to build followers and engage them in a conversation. How do you do this and try to sell your product or service?
5. How should I best use my time to maximize my social media results?
This is a huge problem because social media can become a time dump. Log onto Facebook to update your business status and you can end up reading about old friends, playing Farmville, or chatting. How do you use social media effectively so that it takes less time and generates results?
6. How do I create a social media strategy?
I am a huge believer in being intentional in everything. Like the cliche goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The same goes with social media (and I think this is even more important for social media than many other parts of business). But what does a social media strategy look like? Who implements it? How does it lead to my business growing?
7. What social media tactics are the most effective?
Everyone wants to do what works and skip what doesn’t. How do you find out what exactly will work for your business and where you should commit your time and resources. How do you learn what will not work and where to steer clear?
8. What are the best social media management tools?
Tools make everything easier right? What social media tools will save you time? Which ones are not worth it? Do you need to pay for effective tools? Will using tools kill the effectiveness of social media?
9. How do I use the different social media platforms?
With all of the different social media platforms, how do you learn how to use all of them? Which ones will be best for your business? Should you use Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Foursquare, etc., etc. etc.?
10. How do I select the right social platform for my business?
There are so many platforms and so little time. Depending on the size of your business, you may need to choose where you will get the biggest bang for your buck. So how do you know which platform to choose? Which ones will be around tomorrow, and which ones are a flash in the pan?
Learn Social Media – The Series
As you can see, these are all very important questions. Over the coming weeks, each Wednesday will bring the next installment. I’ll start next Wednesday, May 2nd, with question number 1 – How do I measure the effect of social media marketing on my business? From there, I will move down the list. Some of the questions will get their own post, while others will be combined, but I will do my best to cover all of them before the series is over. Because I know that one way that your business can have develop better relationships with customers, and in turn have more loyal customers, is to learn social media and use it effectively.