If you’re like many of the small businesses and nonprofits we work with, you know social media is essential, but it’s hard to keep up with all of the new platforms, changes, and trends.
We're taking the most popular questions from our latest webinar and expanding upon them so you can better understand how to integrate social media into your marketing strategy.
What social platform is best for my business?
You have a lot to choose from and it’s a good idea to take a step back to consider which social media platform is right for your business. Most of the time, you won’t need to be everywhere and your presence strongly depends on your industry, resources, and goals. For example, if your business depends highly on visuals like a catering business or homemade crafts, use an image-based platform like Instagram instead of Linkedin.
Creating social posts will take some time out of your busy day. Set aside some time to plan your posts and schedule them in advance if possible (we have a social posting tool just for that!).
Guide: Own the Social Sphere
How often should I post on social media?
Each platform has their own best practices so there isn’t one straightforward answer. This is an instance when you’ll want to review your metrics or reporting to compare posting times and how your followers react.
In the end, go for quality over quantity. You may not need to post every campaign sent. What is going to be most valuable to your followers? See our Blog post where we further explain how often to post on social media and what to take into consideration when posting.
I feel like I spend lots of my work day creating content. Do you have a good rule of thumb about how much time we should spend each day or for each post?
First, think about how you can repurpose content. You can often take and reshare content that you have in your email and whatnot. In those cases, you can use the same assets, and you don't have to recreate the wheel each time.
This also can depend on your goals as well as your role. Is social media your only job, and what industry are you in? If you're wearing many hats or have many other tasks to do to run your business, think about 10-15 minutes for creating/posting content and plan for another 5 to 10 to interact and engage with people. If you're a content creator and social media is your main job, you might spend more time creating content for your channels.
Should one content asset be posted across all platforms at the same time or should it be staggered across the various platforms at different times?
We recommend using the same theme but modifying the post to suit each channel. Each channel has different features like the ability to include links and sometimes people expect to see different things on certain channels.
In our research, we find that usage time varies between all of the channels so posting all at once may show lower engagement in certain area. This is certainly something to test in your strategy to see if it makes a difference with your audience.
What types of social posting tools are available through Constant Contact?
Well, lots! You can easily share campaigns to your social platforms to extend your reach to your followers who might not be receiving your emails (yet). If you create posts on social media natively (aka directly on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn), use our Social Posting tool to craft individual posts for each platform and use our reporting to see what is performing best.
Ready to start doing advertising? You can create Facebook and Instagram ads to either grow your mailing list or drive traffic to your website.
When we are using the Social Post tool in Constant Contact, are they posts to groups or pages?
Due to Facebook’s API limitations, social posting through third parties like us will only go to business pages. If you want to post on your personal page or a group, you will need to copy the share URL and post manually.
Is there a way to combine what I’m already doing in my Constant Contact account with my social media marketing?
If you’re already present in two (or three) social media channels, it’s a great idea to try to combine them together as part of your overall marketing strategy. This is certainly the case with social media marketing and email marketing. We suggest including a social follow block in your campaigns to have your contacts be aware of your presence on social media and let them easily follow you there.
Let’s look the other way. How can you get your followers to join your mailing list? They may not be aware that you have a newsletter or you’re sending out messages through email! Sharing your emails on your social media channels is a quick way to accomplish this. The URL for a campaign includes a Join My Mailing List button for your followers to join your list. If you aren’t ready to share your emails just yet, create a Lead Generation Landing Page and share the URL in your posts.
How do you create a hashtag again?
Hashtags are created using the pound symbol (#). You cannot add spaces or punctuation since this will break the hashtag.
How do you suggest researching hashtags?
There are a number of online sites that measure trending and relevant hashtags. We recommend doing a search on each channel to see what is most popular. Make sure that if you choose to use a trending hashtag, it should relate to your brand and you don’t always need to participate in a viral conversation.
How many hashtags do you recommend including with each post? Should they be included at the beginning or end of a post?
Using multiple hashtags can make your post look spammy and can create a drop in engagement. We recommend using between three to five. Most people or organizations use them at the end, but we’ve seen them incorporated throughout the caption as well. However, depending on the hashtag, it can become hard to read the caption.
What if you duplicate a hashtag that someone else already has?
If you use a hashtag others are using, your content will be included in the overall search and ongoing conversation, but this can also be a way to get a little boost for your page and your posts. Double check that the hashtag isn’t being included in a primarily negative conversation.
I have heard that hashtags are phasing out. Is this true?
Not really. For some platforms like Instagram, hashtags still seem to be going strong. However, with Facebook, hashtags were not used as frequently and it’s been the case since.