According to Social Media Examiner, there are five questions that digital marketers struggle to answer when it comes to social media marketing. These range from how to measure your social media success effectively, to which tools are the most effective when it comes to managing social accounts, and they are asked by at least 85% of marketers everywhere.

At Social Media Marketing Agency, we like to believe that we understand the best ways to use and manage social media so we’ve put together our opinions on what makes a good social media business account and what tools are best at aiding in this.

What social media tactics are most effective?

We believe that the most effective tactic when it comes to managing social media accounts is to use hashtags with every post. No matter whether you opt for one hash or for three, you’ll find your post easier to detect by following this simple tip. Don’t doubt the power of the #.

Furthermore, if the post that you’ve added is made up of original and interesting content with a quality image attached, then you can rest assured that your following will grow. This is becauseSocial Media Marketing Agency Social Media Marketing List most people respond better to posts that have a visual aid to them whilst the content is there to get the audience interacting. If your material doesn’t have a question or visual aid like a video or image, then expect it to fall short when it comes to attracting an audience.

It’s not just about the content when it comes to marketing yourself effectively through social media however, as paid advertising is also a very good service to opt for due to the fact that your adverts are tailored to show to your target audience. Meaning that the people most likely to see your adverts are the ones who are looking to buy the product that you are selling. We think that it’s a no brainer really when it comes to selling products and gaining website traffic.

What are the best ways to engage your audience with social media?

We already mentioned this above but we believe that the best way to engage consumers with your social media account is to use visual content such as images and videos. This is because words alone aren’t enough to stop people from scrolling past you in their feed; there has to be a high quality image with a splash of colour to stop consumers from scrolling straight past. Just imagine that you’re making a T.V advert, you wouldn’t choose to opt for a plain background and typed writing would you? It’s not eye-catching and it makes you look like a boring brand with not much to offer. Plus, you’ll find that the questions you ask and the comments you gain from your audience stem from the visual aid you decide to use.

We aren’t saying that you shouldn’t spend time on your content however, as it is just as important to engaging with your audience as attaching imagery is. For one, asking questions in a post is more likely to get interaction from followers compared to a post that doesn’t have a query involved. This is because questions give people a reason and a topic to comment with rather than them having to create a basis for remark themselves.

We also advise that the content you produce is RUN; relevant, unique and new. This means writing that is injected with interesting and fun ideas that makes the audience want to get involved with your brand as they see you as a contemporary and enjoyable business. There’s also the concept of running contests and giveaways too which is a brilliant way of getting people to follow and sign up to you as a brand across an array of different social media sites. It can be costly but it does work when it comes to engaging consumers and to improving reach.

How do I measure the return on my social media marketing?

Measuring your ROI on social media can be a tricky business when you don’t really know how or where to look for it. There are so many tools on the internet that can help you track your followers and click-throughs etc. but they don’t tell you what you really need to be monitoring. You have to work all of that out for yourself.

We, on the other hand, are more than happy to tell you about three of our most effective ways of measuring social media ROI. Firstly, we always base our success on the reach of our social networking websites. This can be measured through the number of shares, likes, retweets, mentions and comments that your brand and site accumulate. By looking through all of these, you’ll be able to work out where most of your audience live and more about who your consumers actually are. You’ll also be able to see how your brand awareness is developing which is particuSocial Media Marketing Agency Social Media Marketinglarly important when looking at gaining new customers.

Secondly, we believe that traffic to your main website from your social media account is the main statistic to follow when looking at how your social media is faring. This is because most businesses set up social media pages as a way of redirecting people to their brand page and – through this – getting people to browse and buy into whatever the company is selling. What we suggest is using Google Analytics to find out how many people are getting to your website in a month and then comparing this data to your monthly viewing figures. You’ll be able to work out from this whether social media plays a huge role in website traffic or not.

Lastly, it’s more common sense than anything else but what we also deem as being important to working out social media marketing ROI is learning what your revenue generated is. This is the most difficult when it comes to measuring as there is no clear indication that anyone clicking onto your website from social media is actually putting money into your business. It can only be speculated that they are doing so. However, we do believe that a rough estimate is better than no estimate so we advise that you go back through your social media and finance logs to work out whether a correlation between social media and business income exists. An increase in social media conversions and income cannot be purely coincidental, can it?

How do I find my target audience with social media?

This is probably the most difficult question to answer as every target audience is different meaning that there is no two ways of finding every companies intended consumers. They live and breathe completely separate and diverse lives. We do have a few tricks up our sleeves when it comes to finding specific audiences though as different social media can attract certain age groups and have a lot of different tools to aid in discovering people and groups.

To begin with you have to know which social media sites are the most attractive to your consumers as these are the sites to devote your full attention to. For instance, Facebook has more people of over 60 than any other social media site meaning that to spend more time on Twitter than Facebook for this particular age group would be effort wasted.

When you’ve realised which social networking sites work best for you then the next thing to do is aim to reach your target audience. Something that is a lot easier in a world dominated by hashtags and SEO. An example being that you can type in a keyword to do with your business or what you sell and find people that have something to do with it. You will have to sift through a few accounts to get to your target demographic but overall the ability of the hashtag comes in very useful when attempting to find your target audience. Don’t be afraid to follow competitors and their followers too as consumers can be swayed to change loyalty if your company proves to be a better fit for them.

In the marketing world it’s not just about finding your target audience yourself but about helping them to seek you out too. A challenge that can be easily taken advantage of through social site optimisation. By using keywords, hashtags and ensuring your networking account is branded, those that are searching for a business like yours will be able to find you fairly easily. That way you’ll be killing two birds with one stone as you’ll be gaining new followers whilst on the look-out for more yourself.Social Media Marketing Agency iPhone Icons

What are the best social media management tools?

There are a lot of social media management tools on the internet that anyone can take advantage of but, of course, some are better than others. This is especially the case if you’re looking for an apparatus to aid you with a certain aspect of managing social networks. Imagine these tools as free photo editing software; you find plenty of them online but when it comes to editing your photo in a certain way some are better than others. It’s the same with social media management software.

Some of our favourite online tools when it comes to social media then are as such:

Sprout Social and Hootsuite are two of the best social media management software online in our mind. We believe that these are the best overall as they are very secure tools that allow you to plan status’ on different networks in advance, to check your account analytics and to engage with followers in the blink of an eye. They are also simple to use to anybody as they are set out in a way that is readable and easy to gauge so there’s no spending time having to learn the ropes.

A great tool for sharing photos sufficiently between a number of devices is Photosync. This is an app that you download on every device that you use so that when you take that amazing photo on your phone for your blog, you can send it to your computer straightaway without any fuss. This is a particularly great application for those running a blog or those who edit images on Photoshop regularly.

Although we don’t use this tool as we’re an agency that excels at using Google Analytics, Quill Engage is a brilliant idea for those that find it hard to operate the above Google software. Instead of confusedly sifting through endless pages of data, you can choose to use this tool which breaks down all the statistics that you need to know and emails you a weekly update on how your sites are progressing. We’ve done our research on this programme and can safely say that we believe it’s a great alternative for those that struggle with Google Analytics.

If you’re a business, a blogger or just someone interested in the workings of digital marketing and you’d like to find out more, call us on: 01226 491111.

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If you have any advice or tips to add in accordance with these questions we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. After all, to succeed in social media marketing you have to be able to listen and take advice from others when needed.