"Pick My Brain" On Social Media

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The most frequently asked question I get is “Can I buy you a cup of coffee and pick your brain on social media?” With this post, I am going to save everyone time and money by answering the social media questions I usually get asked over all those cups of coffee.

These are the questions that people ask when they are just starting social media for their companies, have limited resources that prevent them from hiring a specialist, or may be somewhat familiar with posting on social media but have never run advertising on the platform. 

Here are the most commonly asked “pick-your-brain-over-coffee” questions I answer:

  • Which social media channel should I focus on?

  • Should I run paid ads on social media?

  • How much should I spend on paid ads?

  • What content should I post?

  • How frequently should I post?

  • Who should we have posting our content on social media?

If you have any burning social media questions you’d want to ask in a coffee meeting with me, comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them!

Disclaimer: These examples and recommendations are generalizations. For the truly best advice, I need to get into a business, understand the brand and spend some significant time learning. That is what I do as a multi-media digital marketer. If you’d like more specific recommendations, I am happy to provide you a proposal for putting together a plan, creating and managing your social media, or even working as your complete marketing arm. 

Q: Which social media channel should I focus on? 

It depends on your target audience, the information you have to share, what you want to achieve, and the type of content that you are able to create. If your information delivers well in video and you have (or can learn) the skills to shoot and edit, then use YouTube if your target skews younger or Facebook if your audience skews older. If you are targeting teens and college students, lean in on Snapchat and Instagram. Is your business very visual? Use Instagram. Do you have a lot of frequent commentary? Use Twitter. You get the point. Define your audience, their needs and behaviors, then you can determine which channels are best. 

Q: Should I run paid ads on social media?

If you can afford it, yes. If you are asking me for advice, then you are probably still trying to gain some momentum with followers, engagement and sales, donations, registrations, or whatever it is you are trying to achieve with your social media. To get your message in front of your desired audience, then you are going to have to spend a little money to break through the algorithm. 

Q: How much should I spend on paid ads?

Figure out how much you can afford and that is how much you should budget. But start out spending about half of that to allow yourself room to test and learn what combination of audience, ad message, and spend will work best for your business. And let the ads run for at least two weeks before you make any changes. In other words, don’t expect your ad generate an ROI within the first few hours of turning it on. 

Also, do not “set it and forget it” when it comes to your ads. A key component to success when running ads is maintaining a thoughtful content strategy in your organic posts that engages your customers throughout the marketing funnel. Without meaning, your messages will be lost in the noise of content in the news feed regardless of how much you spend on advertising.

Q: What content should I post?

Put yourself in the shoes of your audience and think about what they would find interesting. And think about all aspects of the business. Products, tips, tricks, behind-the-scenes, the people behind the brand, industry trends, testimonials, data and stats. Keep in mind that people connect with people. Show the people who work on the business, who use the products or services, who benefit from your services, and/or who volunteer for your cause. In another post, I’ll share some ideas on filling your content calendar with ideas.

You should also learn how to use the camera and practice framing, lighting and styling for the images and videos you create. The content needs to tell a story and be pleasing to the eye.   

Q: How frequently should I post?

Consistency is key when it comes to posting. More frequently is always better, but if you know you are only going to have three things to post each week, then spread them out even them out regularly. Keep in mind you’ll need to plan around your schedule, like vacations or meeting-heavy days. So you’ll want to use a scheduling tool — there are a bunch out there and we can cover my recommendations in another post. 

Q: Who should we have posting our content on social media?

Ideally, you’d have someone who is in your business day in and day out who has communications as their role. They should know the business, they should be able to see opportunity, and they should have good judgement on what to say and share. It definitely shouldn’t be someone who is tagging yet another responsibility onto their plate. While anyone can technically do the job if they know how to use a phone, keep in mind these social media posts are the face of your company. These posts are the equivalent of commercials your are running on television. Choose your representative wisely. 

In summary, my advice is to think strategically through what you want to achieve, the amount of time you can dedicate to it, what content is available to you, and who your most valuable audience is (and it is NOT everyone). With that information, you’ll be equipped to start tackling your social media effectively.