Answers to Your Social Media Questions
Social Media and Social Media Marketing are both giants that can easily overwhelm anyone who is using and working with them. It’s not that hard. Once you work out an efficient method to the madness, it’s a breeze (easier said than done, right?).
I have taken some of the more popular social media questions and answered them to help give you an easy start.
So let’s get started…
What is Google+?
Google+ is one of the hottest things going on with social media. Google is entering the world of social media networking and introduced Google+ in the last two years. Google+ has some videos introducing it on their Youtube Channel:
This is something that is suppose to eat into the social media network marketshare. It’s Google and Google will index the Google+ profiles into their search engine. Just an example of it’s growth, in the January 4, 2012 blog post on Social Media Examiner posted, “Google+ Increases Traffic by 55%: Experian Hitwise shares statistics for Google+ that show a significant increase in December 2011 compared to November 2011.”
Social Media Examiner posted a great article on Dec. 16, 2011 about Google+, “What Google+ Will Become a Social Media Powerhouse.” It’s a great article and I agree with it wholeheartedly.
Now that you know about it, how do you set up a business page? Follow these step-by-step instructions and you will be on your way.
Need an example? Check out my Google+ profiles here: Mandy Edwards (personal) or ME Marketing Services (business page).
Can I Auto-Post to Google+?
Yes! Hootsuite has recently added Google+ Business Pages to their content management program and it’s free! A lot of people prefer to use their personal profiles, but Hootsuite only allows you to schedule posts to your business page. Makes me wonder if they know something we don’t?
What’s Twitter all about?Tweet, Tweet! I crack up when I say that. Twitter is one of the social media juggernauts. It’s a real-time status update platform. To get it described exactly right, I went to the Twitter website. They say, “Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations.
At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters in length, but don’t let the small size fool you—you can share a lot with a little space. Connected to each Tweet is a rich details pane that provides additional information, deeper context and embedded media. You can tell your story within your Tweet, or you can think of a Tweet as the headline, and use the details pane to tell the rest with photos, videos and other media content.”
Twitter connects businesses to their customers in real-time. You can share information such as a fire sale, to their followers to help increase business. It’s like a micro-blogging platform. Like any social media platform, the point is to engage your users. Keep them informed. Let them know you appreciate them. I use Twitter, I love it. My follower count is growing so I must be doing something on the right track. If you want to follow me, click here!
Once you are set up on Twitter, you need to link that account up with your other social media accounts. You can set up Twitter to post on Facebook. You can use Hootsuite or Sprout Social to keep up with posting across all of your accounts (see below for more information on Hootsuite). Promote your Twitter account online and at your place of business and see you follower counts grow. Just make sure you are active and tweeting at least once to a few times a day. It’s very active!
What social media account management programs do you suggest?
There are two great social media management programs that I use and recommend. They are Hootsuite and Sprout Social. Hootsuite is the most popular management program. You can link up your accounts from Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and LinkedIn. You can see all your news feeds in one place and you can post immediately from there. You can also schedule posts to go out at a different time. They have free accounts all the way to Enterprise accounts. With their free account, you can have up to 5 social network profiles on there.
The second program is Sprout Social. Sprout is gaining traction on Hootsuite. This is the one I use and I love it. The detailed analytics are next to none. Sprout works like Hootsuite but gives you a bigger picture on how your entire social media strategy is working. Sprout gives you a free 30-day trial and I suggest you try it!
I can only do so much social media. What ones should I focus on?
This is a very good question. Having multiple social media accounts, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. To answer this, I would answer with…it depends on your business. If you are a doctor, CPA, attorney or have a professional services business, I would steer clear from Twitter and stick with Facebook and Google+. It would beneficial to have a profile set up on LinkedIn also. I call LinkedIn the social resume. If you are a restaurant or retail business, hey, even a car dealership, I would recommend Twitter or Facebook. You want to look at your audience/target market. What age group are they? Teens or College? Moms or professionals? Your audience dictates a lot of where you want to be. For example, if you are in a college town and are a restaurant & bar, most if your audience is probably on Twitter and Facebook. I would set up your posts to post to both and tweet out your Happy Hour or Lunch specials for that day. Your followers will comment, share or retweet your specials, expanding your reach. There are clothing boutiques where I live that will tweet out specials only available for that day for their followers or fans. You can measure the respond of your efforts just by seeing who comes in. I know I’ve mentioned it a couple times already, but I would first look at your target market and audience. You want to be where they are.
How do you keep up with everything on social media and still have a business?
I ask myself this everyday! It takes organization and efficiency to do it. Since my business is heavily into social media, I personally am on it all day, so it’s there. If this is just a part of your business and you do all your social media stuff yourself, I would designate certain times to spend on it. Maybe a little during lunch. Maybe first thing in the morning when you get to work. I subscribe to several social media newsletters that I can read when I get a few minutes either from my phone or my laptop. That gives me my news and updates on what is going on in the social media world. My personal favorites are Social Media Examiner, Kim Garst and mediabistro.com. In your account management, using a program like Hootsuite or Mediafeedia will help you keep your posts organized and prevent you from having to go to several different pages to post the same thing.
If you feeling overwhelmed with it all and finding you are not spending a lot of time focusing on your business, you can partner with a social media manager. A social media manager can help make sure you are keeping your presence on the different social media networks while interacting and engaging your fans and followers. This is a huge part of my business. I manage close to a dozen pages and I see how having someone manage their social media frees time for the business owner to concentrate on their business. This is a growing industry. I personally see a lot of business owners who know they need to be on social media but simply do not have the time to do it. That is where someone like me comes in. It’s totally up to the business owner if they want to handle it themselves or have a social media manager. Where I live, there are some who do a good job of handling it all – their business, their social media and their life. But they are a minority.
I really enjoyed taking a look at the questions and answering them. If you are seeking help with your social media, I would love the opportunity to talk with you about how I can help.
Have a question I didn’t cover or read something that brought up another question? Comment below and I will answer it!
Mandy Edwards is the owner of ME Marketing Services, a social media marketing company based in Statesboro, Georgia, USA. The local go-to person on social media, Mandy is a momprenuer and President of her local chapter of BNI – Business Networking International.
For more information on Mandy, please visit www.memarketingservices.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter (@memktgservices).