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Discussing Vital Questions Social Marketers Should Ask Themselves

  
11-25-2013  |  By: Craig Robinson

As appealing as social media sites are to basic users, they’ll always be more appealing to advertisers and brands looking to increase reach and response. That’s because social networks are driven by advertising dollars and are thus constructed to be ad-friendly places, wherein a little bit of marketing really does go a long way.

That being said, though, it’s still important to realize that social media marketing isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do. There are many different hurdles out there to jump and a slew of different problems which may trip you up. So before you launch any type of marketing strategy, you should always sit down and take a closer look at what it is you’re trying to accomplish. Start by asking yourself some important questions related to social marketing.

Five Questions to Ask Before Implementing a Social Strategy

Q #1: Which Networks Do I Use?

There are dozens of legitimate and active social networks out there, but if you’re wondering about which sites to use, it basically boils down to the big three. You have Facebook, which is like an all-in-one network, Google’s version of FB Google Plus. You have Twitter, which stands as the mobile-friendly, status-frenzy network that can reach people quickly. And then for a more professional side, you have LinkedIn. However, video sites like YouTube, and the blogosphere, and even sites like Reddit and Digg, Pinterest are good ones to use.

Q #2: What is “Engagement” in Social Media?

One of the biggest issues people have in their social media campaigns is with engagement. That’s because not everyone realizes what “engagement” means in a social context. It goes beyond the realm of simply getting someone to click on an ad. Engagement is about the interactions and relationships you’re able to build on a social site like Facebook. It’s about the entire social context and participating in it.

Q #3: Paid Advertising or Organic Marketing?

So, as you’re working out the kinks to handle social media for business, you’re undoubtedly looking at your budget and wondering if you should go with paid advertising or with organic marketing. Of course, you’re going to be performing both. But the question becomes one of which basket carries the most eggs.

While paid advertising is very important, you should always focus on getting recognition organically. If you get a fan or a follower who have chosen to come to you rather than you approaching her, perhaps thanks to great content and unique insights in whatever business you’re operating in, chances are that this person will be your fan for a long time.

Q #4: How Do I Calculate My Success?

What “success” is in social media is probably relative to your goals, so start by defining what your goals are. After that, success will become easier to calculate and quantify. For instance, if you’re looking to attract a thousand new members to your network a month, with a certain percentage working their way into your funnel, then you can accurately measure how successful your campaign is and will know when, how and why to tweak it.

Q #5: Can I Change My Targeting?

On a site like Facebook, you can constantly redirect your ads and find new targets for your material. It’s all about changing small things, like geographic locations, age and/or gender, a person’s likes, etc. This is made very easy through features like Custom Audiences and Promoted Posts, and also through third-party ad-management apps that allow you to split-test and maintain full control over ads.

Though you may have more than five questions to ask, these questions are a great place to start from. Once you ask yourself these important questions, you will find that constructing an approach and tracking your progress becomes second nature.

Author: Craig Robinson, social media enthusiast and writer at Qwaya.com