Does my business need social media marketing?

Yes!!! If your customers use the Internet, you definitely need social media marketing… and let’s be honest, most people use the internet these days! Facebook alone has more than 1 billion (how many zeros?) active users; of course you should have a slice of that pie. Instagram is growing at a rate of knots… so it’s up to you, but I know where I’d be if I were you.

How do I know which social network is best for my business?

This is a hard on to answer. Some say as many as possible, but I reckon you should start with 1. what’s comfortable and doable for you and 2. only hang out where your customers hang out. As you spend time on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you’ll start to see which ones work best for you and your customers.

Which sites are the best for social media marketing?

There are so many social networks that you can join and use for social media marketing, and new ones pop up every day! When you’re getting started, I reckon you should stick to some of the bigger ones (provided that’s where your audience hangs out). Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are the networks that get the highest traffic. You don’t need to get onto all of them straight away but you might want to set up a profile for future use, so someone else doesn’t take your name. Like I said before, for now, stick with what you’re comfortable with and what’s doable for you. Learn and implement them one at a time. Once you get more confident, you can start monitoring your statistics and if they’re not really doing much for you, close it and focus on what does work for you.

How often do I need to be on social media to get results?

Social media is constantly evolving and content travels at the speed of light (well, not really but it does go fast). There is no clear answer, and whatever you do online needs to work for you. You need to be realistic about how much time you have and how you’re going to dedicate that time. I totally recommend automating things so that it doesn’t take you as long as it once did. It’s about working smarter, not harder.

Are there any time-savers for social media marketing?

Yes! It doesn’t give you more time, but there are ways to be smart about how you use your time on social media. You can use apps like Hootsuite, CoSchedule, Social Oomph etc to prepare social media updates and schedule when you want them to go live. It’s a great way to be active online without having to manually update your social media networks all the time.

Is social media marketing useful for a brick-and-mortar shop?

Social media is a communication channel, it’s a way to ‘chat’ with your customers and reach out to them in a way that you can’t when they’re not in your store. I’ve found lots of inspiration through platforms such as Instagram that I would have normally not been able to find. I now know where to buy certain gifts because I follow the maker or the shop that stocks it. So even if you aren’t actually selling anything online but you stock products in your lovely gift shop (or other type of shop, hair salon, beauty therapy, restaurants etc), you can use the web to connect with your audience.

How do I get started with social media marketing?

Anyone can start on social media right now; the trick is to actually do it. Social media is free and it doesn’t take long to set up. If you’re not sure where to start, join Soulfully Social, the ultimate step-by-step DIY guide to using online marketing in your business!

How do I get more followers on social media?

It’s the million-dollar question! Remember that ALL social media networks started with zero followers and they have all had to build their following. One aspect of the answer is to have a plan and strategy for growing your followers, you need to figure out who your audience is, what they would like to hear and see, how often you need to post etc. The key is in the planning.

Does social media marketing work?

If it didn’t work, many marketers would not be investing their time and money in social media marketing. Given that the majority of marketing professionals see social media marketing as a major component of their strategy, I’d like to think that it’s the place to be! The fantastic thing is that it’s not just for big businesses with massive budgets. Anyone can do it! Signing up and posting to your networks is totally free and if you want to do some advertising, you can start with a small budget. (just make sure that you know what you’re doing.)

What does social media marketing cost?

Getting started and creating a profile on a social media network is free! Putting your time into posting is free, although I would put a rate on my time which means it’s not technically free. Advertising and promoting posts are optional and with a good strategy you probably won’t need them. The thing is that you need to know what you’re doing because you might end up wasting your time online, and time is money. Learn how to use social media effectively and you’ll see the results.

Can someone do social media for me?

Yes, but I strongly advise that you have someone on your own team to look after you social media marketing. I wrote about my reasons for this here.

Social media marketing is a tool for listening to and having conversations with your audience. So if someone is going to be connecting with your precious audience on a daily basis, it should be someone who knows your business well and speaks in ‘the voice’ of your business. If looking after social media scares you a little, you might want to look at Soulfully Social. It’s specifically created for you so that you can empower yourself and stop relying on others. (or you simply keep putting it off).

What type of results should I be looking at?

Your results depends on your goals! If you’re trying to direct traffic to your website, you can use Google Analytics to track if traffic is coming from social media. If you’re focusing on building a brand, you should be looking at which platforms your followers are using, which posts get the most engagement, what times work best for your audience etc. Facebook insights is very helpful in giving you lots of information about your Facebook followers. Get familiar with reading your results, they tell you a lot about your customer which will help you refine your message and adjust your planning.

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