Want to know how often you should be posting on social media platforms? How about how to leverage a social media trend? Ravi and Lucy are here to help! Ravi Shukle is an experienced social media marketing expert and the UK and Ireland Manager at Agorapulse, a social media management software company. He was also the first social media manager to work on the London Olympics with Samsung UK in 2012! And we’re guessing you know Lucy Hall – Founder of Digital Women, digital skills trainer and all-round social media expert. Their new social media marketing Q&A clinic will be streaming live once a month on Digital Women’s social media to help answer all of your burning questions.
We’ve taken 13 commonly asked questions from Lucy and Ravi’s latest jam-packed social media marketing Q&A clinic to help you level up your social media marketing. If you want to watch this month’s full video and soak up all of their social media tips (and we recommend that you do!), you can find it over on our YouTube channel or in the Digital Women Facebook group now. And make sure to subscribe to Ravi on YouTube for even more social media tips and tricks.
What makes a great social media manager?
Patience! Whether you’re working for an in-house team or an agency, everyone wants results and they want them quickly. All businesses have seen things go viral and want the same to happen to them, but having a viral hit is rare. Instead of focusing on jumping on every trend in an attempt to get a taste of viral success, be patient and trust the process. Take the time to understand each channel and the people in your communities. This way, you’ll find a more sensible, long-term strategy for social media growth and success.
How often do you recommend posting content across social media platforms?
It depends on the social media channel. If we’re talking about the main platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, then you want to be posting daily as a minimum. On platforms which have a high use of real-time features, like Stories on Instagram, you should post more often to reach your audience. Try out different features, times of posting and types of content and test out what resonates with your audience, then increase that content!
What do you think is the biggest mistake you can make as a social media manager?
Not understanding your numbers. Everyone who works in social media works hard to get the right style, feel and timing, but if there’s no revisitation of that and a review of what works and doesn’t, it’s going to be really hard to convince your client or boss that what you’re doing is working. Make sure you take it back to basics and check your metrics: what do you want to measure? What does your client/boss want to see from the figures? Make sure you’re working with them to choose the right things to track and measure and that they understand where the real value is.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give to social media managers?
Just get started! If you’ve got value or a particular message to give, just get it out there. Start posting and getting feedback, because you can always tweak the content later. It will get easier to post content and find your own voice once you’ve taken the first step and just started posting.
What are the best platforms to collect data on your content?
A lot of the social channels already offer data on your content built in, for example likes, engagement, shares, reach and impressions. This data tells you how many people are seeing your content, how they’re interacting with it and whether they’re sharing it. If you’re looking for more in-depth data, then you can use a social media tool like Agorapulse, where all the data is in one place. You could also look at the insights tab on most of the social channels where you can see more in-depth information on a platform-by-platform basis.
What are your top tips for utilising social media to grow brand awareness with no marketing budget at all (for example, for a charity)?
Most charities are locally based, so looking at Facebook groups or smaller online communities (e.g. the Next Door app) where the local community are is a great place to start. Join the conversation and observe the community to get a feel for the people in the local area, their demands, their needs, etc. You can also share stories from the local area and bring a relatability and awareness to your content.
Sharing user-generated content is also a great way to grow brand awareness with no marketing budget. Ask people involved in your brand to post on social media and get users’ permission to share it on your own channel.
How would you go about leveraging a trend?
The number 1 thing to remember is that not every trend is going to be your friend. Just because something is gaining traction on social media, it doesn’t mean that it’s definitely right for your business. Keep an eye on what’s trending each particular day and ask if you can naturally tie that in with your business? Once you’ve identified that, then you can create the content from your point of view. Of course, use trending hashtags to get involved in the hype around the trend and allow your content to be found and piggy back off the exposure. Just make sure there’s a natural fit there.
How do you overcome talking to yourself whilst trying to build engagements?
Testing out different types of content, asking fans for feedback and asking your customers open-ended questions are good places to start. But, don’t worry if your content isn’t getting loads of engagement straight away; it’s a natural part of the process. Even when you’ve built up your engagement a bit, don’t feel disheartened if you get days where the reach or engagement isn’t as good as normal; this happens to even the biggest of brands. Another tactic you could try to build your engagement is using polls and questions, as these are features that are easy for people to give one-click responses to.
Have you seen any evidence to support that real-time posts get more engagement than scheduled posts?
There’s no research to specifically suggest that scheduled posts get less engagement than real-time posts. Where you might see a difference is if you’re scheduling the same content over and over again; this affects engagement as it feels a bit robotic to consumers. Though there’s no direct correlation to suggest engagement or reach is different between scheduled and real-time posts, you do want to use a mixture of scheduled and real-time content. Real-time content allows you to stay relevant and capitalise on trending topics while scheduled content can be reserved for things like competitions, announcements and capitalising on key dates.
Do you think it’s best to be trained in both social media management and ads management?
The role of a social media manager is so broad – so yes, definitely learn the ads platform. It’s a great skill to have and will mean that you’re able to comment on how best to use your business’ budget and have the knowledge of how to get results using those ads. It’s never a bad time to learn a new skill, especially in the world of social media, as its changing so much on a regular basis.
What tactics that you may have used in the past would you never use today?
Engagement-led posts (asking users to heart for this, like for this, etc.) used to work really well because it wasn’t seen as gaming the system. Over the years, though, people and brands have learned to sniff out if something is more forced, so for a business or social media manager, these tactics don’t work as well anymore. Well, you’ll get engagement, but engagement for engagement’s sake isn’t the aim; you want to aim for potential leads, sales, etc. and keep content more relevant to your brand.
Do you need to be responding to people commenting on your posts immediately?
Not immediately, no, because it’s not realistic. It’s impossible to answer everything in real-time. Aim for a window of 30 minutes to 1 hour each day which you allocate for commenting and replying to general questions and everyday comments. Reserve immediate replies for anything urgent, like complaints or something you need to comment on as a business.
What are the biggest changes SMM faces after 2020 that you’ve noticed?
We’re starting to see the rise of closed communities and platforms like Clubhouse that offer a more unique one-to-one experience. People are valuing their privacy far more and feel more comfortable in smaller groups than posting things out for anyone to see. This shift in the kind of interaction users have will lead people being more engaged with you as a brand. For platforms like Clubhouse, though, the ability to innovate and manage demand while it’s hot is crucial, as the bigger platforms have already started to adopt these kinds of strategies and features for themselves. Facebook Rooms, for example, already exists, but it hasn’t really taken off as much as we might expect – though there’s still plenty of time for that to change going forward.
Top tips from this session:
Don’t be discouraged if your posts don’t fly off the shelves with engagement straight away
Avoid perfection: don’t be afraid to put things out straight away and test and learn
Understand your numbers: we’re all wanting to get results, but make sure to understand what success looks like to your client or business and have a strategy to get you closer to your goals
Got a question that wasn’t answered here?
You can hear all of the other questions asked during Lucy and Ravi’s social media marketing Q&A clinic in the full video on YouTube or in the Digital Women Facebook group now. If you’ve got a question you’d like to ask Ravi and Lucy, they’ll be hosting their Q&A clinic every month, so keep an eye on Digital Women’s social media for further dates and details.