Have you ever tried to jump on the social media with the idea to achieve immediate results? I have and I was totally wrong. I guess you have found that this is impossible, especially when you underestimate the amount of work which is required. Marketing and social media are quite often connected and it is important to be careful when it comes to marketing goals and reaching your target audience. Social media isn’t an advertising platform for shouting messages or promoting your products. Instead, it is a platform for educating and entertaining your audience. By trying to understand and build our unique identity in social media we quite often have questions about all challenges we meet. Here are the most common social media marketing questions we receive from our clients and this is what we offer.

What’s the best time to post?

The time depends on the network you’re using and when your audience is most active. For example the best time for Twitter, according to Hootsuite’s data is at 3 p.m. Monday to Friday (they found the best times to Tweet are between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays, with the highest amount of clicks and Retweets occurring at 3 p.m.). The best time to post on Facebook is between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Another important thing here is to think about the locations. To reach a global audience, you can create social media reports to track where you get the most engagement for each regions. A good idea is to use appropriate tools to schedule your content to be shared at different times and days of the week.Then try to understand which posts are getting the most engagement to get an idea of when the best time to post is for your audience, on each specific network. Knowing your audience is also vital in order to nail down the best times to post in Twitter or another social network. How old are they? Where do they live? What do they do for work? What’s their commute like? What do they do in their free time? Answer those questions and you may not need to read this post again.

How to get your customers involved and engaged?

There is a tricky moment between using social media to engage and promote. Sometimes when this line is crossed it looks like your pure intention to engage your audience looks like spamming it. If every other Tweet from your company is promoting your products and services, you risk losing your audience. This is how impatience and lack of preparation might be harmful for your brand. The ability to achieve real business results using social media requires some research, planning, and understanding of your audience. A good sign of engagement is the combination of re-shares, likes, comments, and clicks. Another thing is to note down customer’s topics of interest that correlate with your business niche. When you try to open discussions ask questions, share behind the scenes, share experience, run contest, or host a chat.

How do I get more followers?

Maybe the right question is not how many more but how reliable and loyal? Chasing followers is not the right goal for achieving success. If you do, you could end up with lots of irrelevant followers who never engage with your brand or what you do. Seeking to build a community of people who will need your product, who would be interested to have a chat with you and ask you for feedback is more important than the large number of followers, who may not be relevant to you. Instead of asking the question on how to increase your followers, it’s better to ask how to build your community on Twitter. Since people are bombarded with content from all over the place, you need to give your audience a proper reason why to follow you, why they should give their attention to you instead of someone else. To develop this community you may use tools that will help you to find more influencers in your business niche. Once you find your influencers and competitors you will be able to follow their followers. You can also try to search for exclusive content that cannot be seen easily anywhere. For example Orla’s intelligent content finder can offer the freshest and most engaging content for your followers.

Should you always follow back?

It is not necessary to follow back and better to review each follower and make a decision with each one. Otherwise you can take the risk to be connected to irrelevant or spammy Twitter accounts. The important question here is when to follow back. There are many reasons why people would follow you back - they love that brand, or they are interested in your posts or they want you to follow them back. Unfortunately there are followers who can spam you or bombard you with posts and links. By automating the process of following back you may risk ending up with lots of followers who will never engage with you. The right approach is to check the people who followed you and see if they are relevant. By using a tool such as ManageFlitter you can spot spammers and irrelevant profiles easily.

How to get more retweets on Twitter?

Quite often great content has trouble being shared and favorited. Here are some helpful strategies of how to get more retweets. One thing is to include an image with your tweet. Tweets with images receive 150 percent more retweets than those without (statistics2017). Tweets should be a maximum of 100 characters. This leaves space for others to add their own message when they retweet. Tweet at the optimal time. Check your Twitter dashboards to see if there’s a certain time of day when you get the most engagement on your tweets. Many people have found this time to be when most of their followers are available to be online. It is useful to use tools such as Orla which have playlist options. The Playlist is designed to keep your content active when you don’t have the time to do it. By cataloguing your posts, you’re able to recycle and share them time and time again.

Can you carry over a social strategy from one channel to the next?

Yes, you can integrate the strategy from one social media channel to another in a social media marketing plan. You need to dedicate more effort and time on your strategy. It’s not just about developing high-quality content, but developing content which is perfectly adapted to specific social media platforms and mobile devices - content made for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. For example, your frequency will look different on Twitter than it will on Facebook. Good Twitter content can be a combination of your summaries or stats. By tweeting a summary of articles rather than their titles, your content is direct, to the point and tackles a timely subject. Twitter relies pretty heavily on visual content, sharing a lot of tweets with images. On Facebook, try to create more accessible and friendly content, rather than something more detailed or technical. A smart way to repurpose your content is to take text from an interview or an article, for example, and to create a quote card. GIFs are nothing new but they are still getting more popular recently. The interesting part is that GIFs are made by specific information recorded from moments, which you may relate to your personal interactions. They are very suitable for Tumblr. According to Buffer, 23 million GIFs are posted to Tumblr every day. Another consideration to make is for the ideal image sizes of the content that you share. For example, long vertical images work best on Pinterest, while horizontal images work best on Twitter. Check this link for more detailed information.

Should I buy followers?

As we explained in point 3 we shouldn’t be focussed on increasing followers but building up your community and real relationships with people. When you have a large number of relevant and engaged followers it will take more time and effort to respond to them and meet their needs. There are few more reasons to consider:
Bought followers will probably never engage with you your brand and posts. This means that according to the Facebook analytics, for example, your rank score will drop and your reach will decrease as well. Moreover, according to Twitter and Facebook, buying followers is against their regulations and services
Some follower services may get access to your account and this may hide risks of sending spam messages to your followers
Through this process you may lose reliable identity in social media. Especially when you gain a suspicious huge amount of followers in a short space of time.

Isn’t social media marketing taking the place of email marketing?

According to the statistics email still reaches more people than Facebook and Twitter. It might be a traditional method but it is still efficient and it is definitely not taking the place of social media marketing, despite the popularity of social media marketing. Keep in mind that on Twitter or Facebook each post only reaches a small portion of your users while everyone on your mailing list, unless they opt out, will receive that email message.

What is the best day and time to send my marketing emails?

There is no general rule, but weekends and mornings seem to be the times when more emails are opened. It also really depends on the target audience which may have different habits, different working time. A smart thing is to experiment and then use your own analytics to decide. Once again, the answer to this question is defined by business concept and culture. If you keep testing at least you can find what works best for your goals.

How can content marketing make me into an industry thought leader?

Content and more content will help you to build your own unique style, will bring you more connections with other experts in the field, who may be also helpful. Stay unique, search for originality. Be patient and confident. Read more and present your passion in a elegant way. There is no specific strategy - you have to keep digging and search for more and use your potential, knowledge and social skills. Getting you known as an expert in your field will create the sense of trust in your consumers. This trust relationship will allow them to feel comfortable to search for your services and advice. By demonstrating your expertise and confidence and answering questions consumers might have, you’ll be on your path to becoming the leader in the industry of your interest.

Should I use automated direct messages on Twitter?

Hey, thanks for following us, we really appreciate it! Please also like our Facebook page. Check our new product! Once I thought that this is very useful, but I was so wrong again. Imagine that you are the new follower and you received such message. How would you feel? This is impersonal and lame. Here are some more reasons you shouldn’t send automated direct messages:

Because of lack of sincerity: In real life such automatic “Thank you“ messages give the impression that you actually don’t care about the people and everything that you present in your social media profile can be fake and generic. Instead something meaningful or personal can lead to increasing loyalty and respectful customers.

Because It may lead to high unfollow rate: After receiving such a message some followers can be pretty annoyed and decide to unfollow someone who claims to be original but actually is not. According to post about a study conducted by Optify, showed a 245% increase in the unfollow rates after using this technique.

How long does it take before I’ll start seeing results from social media marketing?

The important question here is whether you want to achieve some awareness or gain immediate sales. These are quite different benefits and they can be achieved through different periods of time. Most marketers with long years of experience know that social media marketing can take at least 3 to 4 years before most businesses see an actual impact on sales. However, by that time you need to use all the benefits of social media marketing. This includes marketing research, customer service, and collaboration with many businesses. Building all these relationships can lead to sales one day. First you need to build a reliable identity in social media and develop a loyal community. Even some of the most successful businesses can realize the ROI after five years or more. Social media platforms simply open new doors, and it takes time to turn those social connections into strong links that are actionable. So immediate benefit of social media marketing is awareness. Without awareness your brand cannot achieve engagement. Over time, that engagement will result in trust. Maybe after some years this trust can transform into cash as a result of your hard work in social media.

Do I Need a Social Media Management Tool?

Maintaining a strong social media presence isn’t as easy as many would think. Some social media tools can allow you to manage all your social media needs in a simple and effective way. Social media offers an excellent opportunity to get noticed by local customers, and make sure that they know you’re there for them. With tools such as Orla, you can keep a high level of customer awareness, with minimal time spent. You often need to schedule content in advance, look at in-depth analytics to measure performance or search for target audience. Why instead of spending more time on this tasks, use tools that will allow you to do the task easily and then focus on something more important. Through Orla’s Search tool, you tell Orla what content you like, and dislike. Afterwards Orla knows what she’s looking for and you’ll see your results and suggested actions improving - to the point that it’s suggesting exactly what you want to do! At this point, you can put Orla in charge. Orla will retweet, like, share and follow content on your behalf, having been trained on what fits you business.

After all my final advice to you is: Keep posting regularly. Let your personality shine through. Don’t be afraid to share your passion. Engage other people in conversations. Try to answer questions for your business and other businesses as well. Work on your content, by making it more unique, more freely, without getting cheesy. And be creative.

What other questions do you have about social media marketing?

The Orla team cares about your needs and is here to help you answer your questions. Think there’s something we missed? Let us know by email, or follow us on Twitter or FB.