Nathan Mendenhall is a social media professional with both B2B and B2C experience. He has worked with brands in a variety of different industries to create actionable social media communities and dynamic content strategies.
It has been a great start to 2013 and I am in a giving mood, so I want to give back. On our social accounts I solicited small business owners for their most pressing questions about using social media. Keep in mind that I don’t consider myself an all knowing guru-expert; however I am someone who likes to use what I DO know to help others get the most out of social media. So without further ado, here are the questions that are on our social community’s mind.
Q: How can I get more people to my website?
A: There are a few things to consider when trying to use social media to generate traffic to your website. First you want to be sure that you are creating an actionable social community. Whether you are trying to attract Twitter followers or grow your Facebook Likes, it’s important to always try to attract the RIGHT kind of people. It might be a good idea to invest in Facebook Ad solutions if you are just getting started in order to get the ball rolling. You want to target the demographic for your product or service and keep all of your content tailored to them. Next, you want to make sure that you highlight the value points of your website while also providing fun and sharable content. Many times brands try to sell TOO MUCH and have a hard time attracting people to their website. Also, get creative. Create an overall reason for people to go to your site. Tactics like posting/tweeting about specific products or hosting a scavenger hunt through your website can give people incentives to click through. Generating website traffic with only social media is possible, however from experience it can take a bit longer to see big numbers than it would leveraging SEO or PPC.
Q: How do I hire a social media strategist who isn’t a dude that just likes to use Facebook a lot?
A: This question reminds me of an old saying that I am very fond of. “An amateur gives concepts, a professional gives details”. Many people think that being a social strategist is just being able to post witty pictures or navigate Facebook. A ton of research, planning, testing and more research goes into becoming a decent social strategist. I would recommend creating scenarios for people to play out when they apply or ask for some examples of content that they have written. It is so easy for someone to give themselves a title in our industry, so I think it is appropriate to call people out when warranted. I would also recommend looking the person up on Twitter and LinkedIn. If they aren’t on BOTH of those channels, then its likely that they are inflating their resume. Due to the growing importance of social media there has been an influx of gurus, rock stars, mavens and strategists. However, there is no industry standard that qualifies someone as being knowledgeable. If I were the hiring manager I would definitely request that applicants include current accounts, sample content pieces and answers to scenarios with their resumes.
Q: How do I keep social media fans engaged?
A: I have a few recommendations here. Engagement is more of an art than a science, so the cliche “practice makes perfect” does apply. Get creative with your current postings and add a call to action at the end. Ask for opinions on products or ask people to show themselves off using/wearing products. There is a ton of different ways to keep users engaged, but the best advice I could give is to keep your content fresh. Avoid running into a situation where you are posting in a rhythm or you are posting the same stuff all of the time. Don’t be afraid to take risks! After all, social media is supposed to be fun. If something seems to be working, take note and try to incorporate similar content. If you are looking for a few more ideas, click here!
Do you have any other questions that you want answered? Leave them in the comment section!