Allow me to introduce you to Taylor Long and John Swanson, Social Media Strategists at 212 Media Studios.
(Two Social Media Strategists, 12 questions. Two twelve. Get it? We crack ourselves up.)
1. What do you like best about what you do?
Taylor: I love interacting with a wide variety of people on a daily basis. Different clients produce different types of interaction with different people, and I enjoy the opportunity to take part in this.
John: I’m a big people person. I receive energy from being able to communicate with people. Working with social media gives me the opportunity to interact with all kinds of different people all day. This is by far my favorite part.
2. What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to social media?
Taylor: Using too many characters on Twitter. Whether it just goes over the 140 or the tweet is separated into two, it bugs me.
John: When users “like” or “favorite” a question I post instead of actually answering my question.
3. What social media platform do you personally like the best and why?
Taylor: I personally enjoy Twitter the most. It is quicker and probably the best place to go for finding the “now.”
John: I still prefer Facebook. Although the organic reach has seen a big decline recently, I love the analytics aspect of it. I enjoy being able to see how many people see my posts and how they find them. It’s much easier for me to improve my tactics when I can see physical analytics like what Facebook offers.
4. Share one top tip for how small business owners can find time to maintain a great social media presence?
Taylor: Don’t spread yourself out too thin and feel obligated to be on all major social media platforms. Find the two or three that fit your business best and focus on them. This allows you to spend the same amount of time, or less, and immerse your brand in those two or three platforms rather than being unnoticeable on all six.
John: Find a couple social media platforms that will be most beneficial for you or that you enjoy most. Focus your time on those instead of spending little time on all of them. This will allow you to have a solid presence on the platforms that mean the most to you instead of being virtually invisible on five platforms.
5. How do you adopt the personality/voice of the clients you represent?
Taylor: Developing or adopting the personality or voice of a client comes from collaboration—asking and understanding what they would like, and being creative with what they want.
John: This can be difficult. In order to conduct an effective social media campaign for a client I essentially have to post as if I work for the company. This means knowing as much as the employees do about the company, and keeping up to date with company current events as if I’m a part of them. It’s important to research the company and even visit the client if possible a few times a year. Essentially, it takes communication between the social media strategist and the client.
6. Where do you get the material for what you post every day?
Taylor: A number of factors go into coming up with the posts. It depends on how the client wants to be viewed, what they want promoted, and who they want to reach. After thinking through these factors, it’s a process of being creative and thinking outside of the box.
John: This one relates a little to question five in that it’s keeping in contact with the business in order to stay current. Aside from that, it takes some creativity. My posts generally revolve around an image since today’s social media platforms are more and more about images. Generally, I will find an image related to the business, or from the business, and plan a post around that.
7. Do you recommend planning posts ahead of time, or day-by-day?
Taylor: It would depend on each situation or client. I like being able to plan ahead. Planning ahead allows me to focus more on the interaction side, and frees my mind to think of other things, collaborate, and analyze what is being posted.
John: It depends on the scenario. If I am constantly receiving updates about the business’s day-to-day operations, I will post as I receive them. However, this can sometimes take away from the interaction. If I am able to plan posts ahead of time it frees me to search for interaction opportunities. Finding a good balance is important.
8. How much is too much to post in a day’s time?
Taylor: How much you post depends on your following. For some clients, posting once a day is too much, but for others that doesn’t come close to what they need. For Facebook, three times seems to be the limit. For Twitter, a good range would be between five to fifteen. While these are specific numbers, it is hard to be specific as each client is different. The number of posts depends on who you’re trying to reach and what your current following wants.
John: It all depends on the platform. Posting too much on any social media platform will get you blocked by your market. In my experience, Facebook and Instagram posts should be limited the most. Twitter, on the other hand, allows for much more frequent posting.
9. Are you pro or against hashtag?
Taylor: I am very pro hashtag. There are right ways and #thentherearewrongwaystousehashtags. When they’re used right, however, they’re great! #hashtagsrule
John: Pro. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, the hashtag is a very beneficial tool when used correctly.
10. What one tip do you wish all businesses would follow to engage with their followers?
Taylor: Think outside the box and be creative in your posts, replies, or interaction. Try to steer clear of the favorite or like on everything. Retweet, reply to someone’s tweet, or respond to a compliment in a way that continues a conversation. Staying inside the box becomes unnoticeable.
John: Be personable. Don’t focus so hard on posting “business professional” that you lose the personable feeling. As a consumer, what makes me ignore posts is the over-the-top “business professional” post. Add some emojis, use some “lol” —make your social media feel more like a person is on the other end.
11. What three top things do you advise businesses to look at when studying their social media analytics?
- Reach/Impressions. If you’re not reaching anyone, then there’s no chance of interaction and something needs changed.
- The goal of social media is to interact and make relationships. If there’s no interaction, it’s cause to question if it’s getting the job done.
- Number of Followers/Likes/Adds. Is your following growing?
- Where the reach is coming from. Make sure you actually are reaching people.
- The comments or replies you receive. Social media is all about interaction. If your posts are getting no interaction, it’s likely that your campaign is ineffective.
- Your accounts are reaching more people day by day. If you follower or “like” count never goes up then it’s time to reevaluate.
12. What benefit do you feel businesses most often overlook when deciding to include a social media strategy?
Taylor: Being on social media makes your brand more relatable in the sense that you can make a huge difference for customers and their experience. Allow your customers an opportunity to have a great personal experience with your brand.
John: Social media allows your customers to feel connected to your brand. One of the best examples of a personable brand that I’m aware of is Jimmy John’s. They are witty with their tweets and frequently reply to tweets I mention them in. I can honestly say I order from Jimmy John’s more often because of this; I feel as though we are friends.