Answers to all your Burning Social Media Questions

Once small business owners know you work in social media, you suddenly become an unlimited gold mine of answers and insight, and a very popular person to talk to at parties. After answering the question “how do I get more followers on Twitter” for the umpteenth time this weekend, I thought it might be a nice idea to compile a quick fire list of answers to the most commonly asked questions about social media marketing for small businesses. Feel free to e-mail or comment with any that I’ve missed… Here we go!

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What social media network should I be using?

The most common social media networks for marketing are Facebook and Twitter, with Pinterest, YouTube, and Tumblr as up and coming networks. But it’s really about what’s best for your company and how you plan to use the network.

What about Google+? Do I need to be on there?

Google+ is a tricky one, because it still has a rep for having a small user base. However, it does benefit from good integration with Google, and it also offers some interesting and flexible options, like hangouts. Again, it’s about what’s best for your company, so if you can find a great use for it, by all means be a pioneer.

Do I need to advertise on Facebook? I don’t really want to spend money. 

While Facebook advertising is a great way to target your page at the right demographic, you can build an organic following without paying a penny. This method with obviously take more time, but with good cross platform integration and a little word of mouth advertising, you could build an excellent community of followers.

How can I get more followers on Twitter?

Think about what makes you follow people; it’s usually a combination of the right content, at the right frequency. Make sure you’re tweeting interesting and valuable content. Also, follow interesting people and interact with them by replying to their questions or retweeting them. And finally, make use of hashtags to make sure you’re visible.

How do I interact with people on Twitter? 

Keep an eye on your feed and reply when people ask questions, comment when they post links, and retweet them when you think they’re saying something that might be valuable to your audience.

I’m following too many people, how do I find the right people to interact with?

By creating lists you can segment your followers and keep an eye on specific people. Remember that these lists are public, so don’t give them inappropriate names or group people in unusual ways. Other people may end up following your lists too, so make sure you maintain them.

What’s the best way to keep on top of all my profiles?

Set up a dedicated social media e-mail address so your notifications don’t flood your main inbox. And then try a social media management suite like Hootsuite, Convert Social or Postling. There are so many out there, some are free, some cost a little each month. Find one that works for you.

What’s the best way to find new people to follow on Twitter, Pinterest or other sites?

Hash tags are your friend. Carry out a little hashtag research and find ones that are relevant to your industry. Then set up alerts to track people who use them. Also, look at the people who follow your followers, and other influential sites.

Do I need a blog?

Blogs are a great way to set yourself apart as a content creator, rather than just a distributor. Figure out what your niche is, and then blog away! But only if you have the time; a out of date and poorly written blog is worse than no blog.

Does Klout matter?

Klout is simply a measure of what happens when you post things on social. It looks at who you interact with, and their level of “influence”. Obviously a higher Klout score means your message travels a little further when you’re online, but it’s not an actual measure of your influence, so don’t take it too personally!