How to Successfully Run Social Media Marketing
John: Hey everybody! Welcome back to Life is Digital. I’ m your host John Bianchi. Get ready to learn about digital marketing as we share our knowledge and perspectives on current trends, best practices, and actionable tips to help you grow your business in the digital age.
John: I am so excited to be here today. I am back with Elysia, who is on our team. She is our Director of Client Services, and also with Anthony, on our team, who is our Social Media Manager. Hey guys! It is so great to be with you both today.
Anthony: Awesome. I am very excited to be here today. Thank you for having me.
John: Of course! We love your insight, and what you do for our clients. I thought that based on mine and Elysia’s conversation last week, we had an amazing conversation about social media, influencers, how to grow your channel, what is organic content?
Industry Facts About Social Media Marketing
John: I thought this was where we should bring in the expert with someone who deals with the trenches of social media every single day. I thought that’s where we can kind of expand this conversation. So, Anthony, I am excited for you to be here with us today, so you can share some of your industry knowledge, specifically when it comes to these social media accounts. So, I know we were speaking before we hopped on that, you had some insights around Facebook as a platform. Do you have an industry fact or an interesting point you can share with the audience that might be helpful for business owners to understand when it comes to social media marketing?
Anthony: Yeah. The first thing that I can think of, which is one of the biggest things I remember hearing about once 2020 came around, early January, Facebook changed their algorithmic settings for their engagement on their Facebook pages that are businesses. So in other words business pages are having a little bit more trouble reaching their audience, so naturally, you know its good for people to understand that there is a natural obstacle when it comes to social media, particularly on Facebook, but what is great is there are great things that you can do to kind of get around that algorithmic treatment that they are doing.
Anthony: So, doing things like creating Facebook groups is one of the best things you can do to build a community around your business, and if you can do that, you are going to have better reach guaranteed & more than likely higher engagement.
How to build engagement on social channels and types of social posts
John: That is fascinating. So when you are talking about creating content, and Elysia you can jump in here as well, when we were talking about influencers. Are there different types of posting’s that you can use, I know you were talking about Facebook groups. I’ve seen some things like a poll. How does that help a business create that engagement, and are there, different types of posts that can be used?
Anthony: Yeah. The first thing that comes to mind when you look at a typical post. Let’s say your in the early 2000s when all the stuff started coming out, you had basic posts, you had texts, you had images, and videos. So, now these days, you know the obstacle that people deal with is gathering that engagement from their audience, and with the limited time attention lot of these audiences have these days due to technology. Facebook and other platforms as well have developed different types of posts, and you mentioned polls. That is a great example of a really good type of post because it’s by nature of the posting for a poll, you are asking to have a little bit more engagement on that post. You ask for someone’s answer or personal vote, and so there are a lot of psychological principles at play, a lot of psychological behavioral principles at play, that will persuade someone to interact with a poll.
Anthony: Let’s say something like a little update that you made with the text. So, that is one example of polls being a great way to spark engagement. A live stream is another great way to do it. The audience wants to know that they are tuning in. They love to know that things are live, they love to know that they can interact, and I guess the last thing you can add to that is, you can do a poll during a video as a post. So you can have poll questions pop up during your videos on Facebook by simply posting a video on Facebook and toggling on the setting.
Incorporating multiple social media strategies in your plan
John: That is fascinating. So, Elysia, in your experience, similar to what Anthony is saying when you are working to create that overall engagement strategy. How important for a business owner or someone who handles the social media for a company to incorporate these types of variances in the social content.
Elysia: Yeah, Anthony I think everything that you are discussing, you are hitting the nail on the head. When it comes to overall social media strategy you kind of have to dial back, and you can’t look at it just by posting. Right? It is not just that one facet of a social media strategy. What goes into is having those bigger conversations with a company on who they are, and how are they going to interact daily with their audience that provokes their audience to engage back. When you think about that, you have to be more organized than you realize. You have to identify, okay well what are the types of questions or pain points that my audience might have that will spark up either excitement or concern or tension. When you start thinking about some of the engagement questions that you want to ask your audience, then you can start thinking about well okay, how can I deliver that question? Can I deliver it in a poll? Can I deliver it in a survey? Can I run a contest, and can I get engagement that way? So you have to make a whole list of different types of engagement strategies, and that trickles down both on the posting side, and it also trickles down into how you’re reacting to their content. So it goes both ways, but I think just to wrap up what Anthony is saying is, you have to have organized, and there has to be a slew of different things that you do. One is corrective for your company to continuously help in generating quicker ideas, right? If you have different facets but, also everybody, with their cell phones nowadays are just inundated with so much content that you have to do things differently everyday. They don’t want to see the same graphic post, Monday through Friday from your company. They want to feel important and like you have a message to share in different ways to them. So that would be my feedback to what you are saying, Anthony.
Has social media improved or hindered customer service?
John: Something that I am hearing that came out of you mentioned Elysia, and what you mentioned Anthony is, this concept of customer service. Do you feel that social media allows us to be more customer-facing or, do you think that social media has prevented us to have human interaction. I would venture to guess that it can bring us closer to our customers, but what are the two of your thoughts on that?
Anthony: It is an interesting dichotomy, is what I would say because I do believe that society has had a large effect on people’s ability to socialize in person, and so therefore in business, people’s behaviors have changed over time because of the Internet but, at the same time I think that the technology that developed through social over the years has allowed for a lot of these interactions to become very virtual lifelike interactions. So things that were liked buttons, turned to loves, “haha”, mad, somethings are more emotional. They have these poll questions as we discussed, so there is a lot more versatility, and choices that you have if you are going to pursue strategy online, and on social to do engagement with your customers. I think in my experience managing social media with clients of all different sorts, some people retail, some people work at doctor offices, different types of things. Largely I think it has paid off to invest in their social media strategy online and engaging with their customers that way. I think a lot of their base customers have a trend of using these tools already, they already know how to use Facebook, they already know how to use Instagram. They are not even really searching online let’s say to buy something through there but, if you have the right message, and you have it crafted the right way, and it’s engaging by nature. You can have facts on how many customers you can reach.
John: That is a great point. That brings us back to the overall questions of where is your target audience? What is important to them? What content do they want to consume? and how do they want to consume it? and how much? That is our overall goal as marketers is to better inform our customers and business owners, and how to effectively deliver their message. Ultimately to produce, I would say even before a sale, is to produce a reaction in the correct target market. So when I think of social media, I think it allows us to test a lot. I think that we can learn a lot, I mean there is more data available now than in any time in history. Freely, with people giving you their information. So you know privacy concerns are certainly one thing on the web, but a lot of the job for the marketers has shifted from market research to market acquisition through freely available information. Elysia I wonder, from building off of this, we talked last week about influencers. How does the tone and the cadence of how you interact with your customers, does that affect the overall growth of engagement, I don’t think we touched as much on that last week.
Elysia: It goes back to the buying decision I think what we all have to understand is, and this is why technology is adapting with the time is so important for business longevity. It is one thing to understand what your audience needs and being able to use a certain cadence or have the right tone or message to deliver, but you have to understand when is the right time to deliver, and on what platforms, and how you communicate. Whether it is in person or digitally. If you take it like, years back, you had the salesperson that you would have immediately called, or walk into a store and address your concerns or questions. That barrier has changed and adapted over time, whereas most people, and most of your customers are online searching. They are wanting answers, they are looking around, they are looking at things that make them feel good, and that is where you should be. So yes your tone is important, the cadence of how you deliver your message is important, and the engagement strategy but, you have to go back and make sure that you understand the complete customer journey. It doesn’t end at that purchasing decision, so is great if social media can get them engaged enough to get them there, but then where do they go after that? They are going to end up being your greatest advocates and influencer, potentially in your future. So you have to make sure that your cadence is based off of the overall customer buying decision really, and at what point do you deliver certain messages to make sure that the process is as seamless as possible.
Anthony: Yeah, If I could add too, I think it is interesting. A lot of people see this discussion in a sense of okay reaching out to customers through social media, oftentimes what is the most important is just getting the awareness out there right? So like I know I have seen multiple different studies, and different data points that people were talking about anywhere from about 4 to 10 different impressions are needed for someone to take action on a page. So this is where it is important because there may be people in Cary if you have a business in Cary North Carolina for instance, that may have never heard of your business, and because you have targeted that #CaryNC, or tagged the location of your business in Cary. Lets say pops into their feed. Lets say it pops into their feed for 3 months, seven different times. Then they finally decided that they finally want to visit that place. So that is it because the most important part is you are working off knowing that you aren’t targeting people that aren’t very interested in your business initially. You’re trying to get your brand and your voice out their so that there is more to work with because people are around your location, and there is a lot of people you can target and select.
John: That is a great point, Anthony. I sometimes think for a business owner, it can be overwhelming to try and understand and jump in, and I wouldn’t necessarily say manipulate but better understand how to work within the research algorithms that are built within the platforms. So obviously this is something where we help our customers when we are producing marketing plans or social media management plans, or managing social media for them is to step in there, and exactly like you said, we understand some of the nuances. They make a long term difference for that account, just by associating yourself with the right trending hashtag, or the right location or making sure your story is filled out on Facebook. Making sure that you checked those boxes and that your Instagram highlights are updated, and that they look professional. These are all things that we can help when we talk with someone, who saying once we understand the value and why social media and the power behind it, and how it can help you grow your business, then it becomes a question of let’s see how we can develop this out for you, so I think it is fascinating, some of the things that you two have shared today. As we come to close, I would like to know if you each had maybe one or two of key takeaways for the audience when it comes to social media. I know we discussed several things like customer service, posting types, the cadence, tone, and messaging. Elysia, what is maybe one takeaway that maybe you can leave the audience so when considering this investment, and this long term investment in their social media presence. What is something that you would leave them with?
Elysia: It goes down to the process of actually running social media. At the end of the day, you can’t fly by on the seat of your pants. Nothing in life works well when we do that. There is a lot of planning that goes into it, and I think social media managements can come off as very overwhelming at times, as you would initially want it to just by looking at it, but when you actually plan it out on a calendar and you work with your team, whether you have a digital marketing team to do that, or your are working internally within a department. If you have people dedicated to specific roles, this can be successful, and you delegate it accordingly so that you can create very meaningful content that proves return for your business. So at the end of the day, you know it is great that we can tell the strategies but, the biggest thing about social media is the time consumption of it. So, you have to be agile, and you have to stay up to date, and your team if you can plan, then you are willing to test different ideas along the way and the process. At the end of the day, it goes back to planning and strategy.
John: I love that. I think the two things I got out of that were, you need to have an intentional strategy and you need to carve out that time to make sure that you implement that strategy. Anthony, I want you to leave us today with the final thought. What is one take away that you feel is important for people to know when considering social media and how that affects their business?
Anthony: So the biggest thing I hear from clients that I work with is that social media just stresses them out. It’s just frustrating, and oftentimes the reason why, my personal opinion, it took me two years to learn most of what most social media managers understand about the platform and how to build the right caption, What is the right image? What are the dimensions you post on these platforms? It can get overwhelming, get frustrating, but what I would leave people with is a note of encouragement, because, in this day and age, you have more than you know. So the phone that’s in the back of your pocket with the camera on it that you never toggle the setting on. These things that a lot of people these days already have, just you could utilize that alone and the content itself, I guess that’s one take away in itself is, it’s all about the image. It’s all about the video. It’s all about the visual. it’s not as much about that crafted message from a caption point of view. Yes, very important, but I would tell people as a take-away, let’s say if you’re starting off managing your social media, eventually things get out of hand and you need someone to help you out with that, but if you’re managing your social media, you have more tools than you know, and you could really create some very engaging videos and images, and it’s just having that quality that helps you perform in the algorithm. I’ve seen it time and time and time again, whether it’s a realtor, I manage real estate where we get really good quality pictures and I look at our engagement over other realtors who have fewer followers and get more engagement. I have seen realtors who have more followers and get less engagement, and what is it? I’m looking at their picture, and their picture is a 1000 by 1000 resolution image of the house.
Anthony: Just thinking about what I have to do to make the best possible plan, and there’s so much to learn. Think about what’s already in front of you and think about what you’re not utilizing and simplify your strategy down using those tools instead of complicating it. As Elysia said, is very important, as day-to-day, it’s important to think ahead, it’s important to have campaigns planned out for your social media so that posts are not existing and posted in and other themselves, and they’re operating on a strategic collective basis with other posts. So that’s how marketing functions a lot better because people don’t hear one message once, and decide then you want to go into the store and buy something. It’s just there’s a lot of unreasonable perceptions out there about that.
John: Right, right.
Anthony: And so, yeah, I think if you follow those little things and you just try to connect with your audience with some of the stuff we said before. You know social media does not have to be such a painful thing, and that’s something I think I’ve learned over time.
John: I love that. I think the intentionality that at least mentioned. The forethought and the planning and putting some time into making sure that you grow that over time, and what you said, that it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. It doesn’t have to be daunting. You have tools at your disposal to get started, even if that’s not where you end up taking it, and obviously, we help a lot of clients and help them get their game to the next level. It is an opportunity for you to at least get started there and start producing what is unique and important and relevant content to you and your audience, so…
John: Anthony, Elysia, thank you so much for being with me today. This was a great conversation. I think I learned a lot, especially in terms of learning a little bit of the nuances of how to post, what types of post, how to understand that algorithm, and then really being intentional with that plan, like you mentioned at Elysia, it is really important, I think to me, definitely resonated. So thank you both.
Elysia/Anthony: Absolutely, thank you for having us on.
John: So we appreciate you joining us for this episode of Life is Digital. Again, I’m your host, John Bianchi. Please remember to rate, review, and subscribe to the show in the comment section down below. Until next time. Don’t stop marketing.