When it comes to digital marketing, or in fact any marketing, there’s very rarely an absolute right or wrong answer or a perfect way to do things. By the very nature of digital marketing, it can be changed or even deleted in some cases, if it doesn’t work the way you’d hoped. It gives you great opportunities for trying out new ideas and going through processes of trial and error. Sometimes, by doing this, you can find what works for you, but in many cases, thing change and evolve so quickly that the conclusions you drew are already fading and losing their relevance by the time you take further action.
This is certainly the case for social media marketing – with the individual platforms playing havoc with our audience engagement through changes to their algorithms, formats and features. Just as we think we are getting to grips with changes and new posting practices, it all changes again and we can ultimately find ourselves “chasing” the algorithms.
Instead, my advice to my clients is to create great content – focus on adding value, follow best practice guidance as best you can and think long term. Although content may struggle to be seen by the masses in the short term, over time, engagement will grow – so be patient and keep going!
To help with some of the digital marketing challenges you face, here are a few of the questions I frequently get asked, along with my answers to them. They may assist you and help you realise that you're not alone.
What is the best social media scheduling tool?
This depends on a few things:
Which platforms you’re posting on
Number of social accounts you’re managing
Your personal style/preference
Some of the tools offer great functionality for free, but usually only for a limited number of social accounts. What you get from paid versions varies massively between the tools, so my advice is to do some research to decide what would work best for you. Personally, I use Hootsuite for most of my social media management. It’s not the cheapest, but it allows me to share realistic drafts of the posts with my clients and it is a very reliable platform. However, the way it handles Instagram is clunky and often frustrating. For that reason, I sometimes use Later.com to plan and schedule Instagram posts.
How many times a week should I post?
I have read evidence that posting at least 3 times per week helps with engagement on social media, which I am hesitant to believe so readily, but I do usually recommend 3 posts per week to my clients, as I think it is a realistic and achievable goal and 3 varied posts per week, for any follower, is probably a good frequency – not too much, but enough to keep engaged. Sometimes, it can feel like you’re posting “for the sake of it”, but the idea is that you are posting to find ways to engage with your customers and potential customers. You have to keep it creative and sometimes stretch beyond your usual parameters.
Do I need to post on all social media platforms?
Not necessarily. Once you understand who your target audience is, focus your efforts there. If they hang out on Instagram, that is where you should spend your time and money, but if they don’t, then you’re investment in that platform could be completely wasted. For my own business, I do the majority of my lead generation through LinkedIn, but decision makers within many of my clients’ businesses also use Facebook and Instagram for personal use. These days, there is a huge culture of blurring the lines between business and personal social media activity, so I need to show up on all platforms to ensure the people that I want to see me, can do so.
How can we measure our success on social media?
This is where having a clear marketing strategy, plan and goals mapped out is vital. From business to business, objectives vary – lead generation, brand awareness, customer service. Depending on your objectives, there are tools available that can help you to measure achievements on social media to differing levels of success. Each of the social media platforms have their own, in-app analytics and insights. Using these, you can view metrics including engagement, specific actions taken and following. Beyond this, most scheduling tools also have their own version of reporting, which can often be automated to save time. Social listening is also included in many tools, which is the ability to “listen in” on what is being said about your brand/business across social media. You can identify positive, negative and neutral sentiment and identify situations before they escalate or acknowledge positive feedback.
How much time should I spend creating content?
This is one of those questions where there is no definitive answer. My advice is to be smart with your content creation. Don’t just think about what you could create but think about how it could be used and re-purposed again and again. For example, once you have created a blog post, you could then create a social media campaign from it. You could use it for email content and later re-use it as a website download. There are certainly ways to be efficient in your content creation, but ultimately, the amount of time spent creating it, is up to you.
I hope some of the questions that I have answered here have helped you, but if you would like more advice, get in touch