The short answer: “Social media,” as a whole, refers to the full breadth of applications, networks, and websites that enable large user groups to share content with each other or otherwise interact virtually. We often refer to one of these mediums as a “platform.”
This is the most common question we get about organic social media, and truly, the answer is: it depends. It depends on the platforms you’re using, your goals, and the content at your disposal. We’re happy to walk you through this as we evaluate your social media needs. Maybe links to your interesting blog would perform well if you have a captive Facebook audience. Or, if you are an interior decorator, perhaps you’d be much better off focusing on photos on Instagram. There is no one-size-fits-all answer for content, except a philosophical one: You should post content that is relevant to your brand and in line with your goals.
Once again, this answer depends on who you are and what platform you’re using. Social media should augment your marketing, not replace it. That means a little can go a long way, if it’s effective. Some businesses might find it useful to do a handful of posts across four different platforms every month. Other large content-heavy organizations might benefit from more frequent posting. Generally, you want to remind your audiences that you’re there and ready to engage, but without overwhelming their feeds.
Not every company needs every social media platform, and not every platform is good for every company. Your needs and goals will dictate where your social media energies should go. That said, every reputable brand should have a Facebook business page, and most will benefit from Instagram.
Think of social media as an extension of your customer service. Is there ever a time where you would simply ignore a client’s question or comment? Of course not. The same rules apply on social media: Questions and comments deserve your attention and your response, whether they’re positive or negative. This often is frustrating for business owners, who struggle to find time to moderate their online comments, but it’s crucial nonetheless for providing a comfortable, positive online experience for your audience. If your brand gets big enough that every single post you create garners thousands of comments, you can scale back some. But until then, you should keep a close eye on those questions, comments, and messages.
It can sometimes seem like you can “just tell” that you’ve done a good post–it’s getting a lot of comments and reactions, and a few folks have shared it. Even better, maybe you’ve had people tell you in person about an Instagram post you did that they really liked. That’s not nothing, but it also doesn’t say much about how well your larger strategy works. We track several important metrics for social media posts, all of which are informed by the strategic plan we set up for you. Using Facebook as an example, typically we will evaluate three primary metrics over time: organic reach, which is how many real people are organically seeing your post, conversions and leads, and engagement rate. The latter is the percentage of people that saw your post who engaged with it in some way–reacted, commented, or shared. Think of engagement rate as a number value for how much people care about what you have to say. If your posts’ engagement rate is on the rise over time, your plan is working. If it’s declining, there are several factors that bear investigating.
Yes. Organic social media is much more about engagement and connection with audiences that likely already know you and have an affinity for or interest in you. Paid social media should be thought of as advertising to new audiences. The message crafting for these different types of social media is quite different–though they often complement each other.
Remember that social media is a conversation–a negative review or comment is an opportunity to be a part of that conversation. In almost all cases, it is important to remain professional, patient, courteous, and kind, even if the comment is completely off-base or out of line. Remember that by responding publicly, your comment is visible to everyone. In instances where someone is leaving a negative review, we recommend attempting to reach out to that individual to continue the conversation privately and extend customer service. Of course, if someone crosses a line–if they post something that clearly violates your community’s values–you can always block that person from following you, hide their comment, or mute them, depending on the platform. There is a line between negative and abusive. Sometimes, it can be an emotional process to read a mean comment, and your impulses might lead you to write something you’ll regret later. Having a professional social media marketer in your corner is invaluable in situations like this!