Webinar update: Answering your social media questions

We had a great turnout for our recent “Creating a Social Media Strategy” webinar. While having a few hundred of our closest friends tuning in is nice, we did find that weren’t able to get to all of the questions people had for the panel.

(You can check out the archived webinar here.)

So I asked our panel to take some time to answer some of those questions. You can find their answers to some of the common questions below.

Minimum staff time for basic social media marketing?

Ryan Hebert, Texas Marine: We started devoting about 1-2 hours per week to Social media. We did not make significant gains until bumping that up to 4-5 hours per week, shared between our staff and Lighthouse Media.

Sarah McIntosh, Dominion Marine Media: Begin with an objective of 30 minutes of social media each day. This will ebb and flow depending on your workload, but shoot for consistency day after day. You might start by spending a 30 minute block each morning working on social. An even better method is to divide social media monitoring into three ten-minute increments over the course of the day. The more you check on social, the better your chance of responding to your audience in a timely fashion.

@Texas Marine, did you use paid promotion to reach those higher like numbers? How long did it take over time?

Hebert: The paid promotions do help. We get about half of our likes from paid promotions and half from organic means. In the past year we have doubled our likes, up from 6K likes.

For advertising, what would you say is a reasonable amount to set aside for a advertising budget?

Hebert: We budget about $500/month for social media during the season and about $300/month during the offseason.

McIntosh: A good starting point would be to spend $1 a day, or $30 a month on social advertising. Make sure you have clear goals before starting a social media advertising campaign; do you want to increase likes to your page, traffic to your website or both?

Some more insights from Dominion Marine Media


Can you give more examples of tagging Community and Partners in FB posts.  Do you have their permission before tagging?

You can tag other users on Facebook by typing the @ sign in front of their social media handle. This notifies the user that they have been tagged in your post and creates a link to that user’s Facebook page from your post. You do not need permission to tag a business page, but business pages cannot tag personal accounts, unless directly responding to a comment on a post.

If you have never had a Facebook account, how do you get started?  Small new company anxious to grow.

The main thing you want to make sure of is to create a business page rather than a personal page. This way, fans can “like” your page and see all of the posts you share. Here are step-by-step instructions to help you get started: https://www.facebook.com/business/overview

Is anyone using another online portal to manage their social media outside of using an agency like LIghthouse Solutions?

We use Nuvi as a social listening tool to track search terms related to our brands. This allows us to monitor and engage with people who are talking about us on social media and keep the conversation going. We also use Hootsuite to schedule posts ahead of time.

Do you have any recommendations for B2B businesses that have a smaller reach and don’t want consumer attention?

You could create a closed group on LinkedIn and monitor who you accept into the group. When a LinkedIn Group is ‘closed’ it means that the discussions within the Group are only viewable by members of that group.

How would you recommend going about an Instagram (or Facebook) photo contest to increase awareness and followers if you don’t have many, or is there another way you would recommend going about increasing your Instagram following?

Use an original hashtag to organize contest submissions on Instagram and an RSS feed to follow along with new photos as they’re added. Use Facebook to encourage your fans to enter your Instagram photo contest.

How often do you think it’s worth boosting a post?

If you have a special promotion that you want to ensure is seen by your Facebook fans, a boosted post is a good way to achieve that. Another time when boosted posts are helpful is if a post is performing better than usual organically and you want to make the engagement last longer. For a more long-term approach, try promoted posts to drive people to your website.

Our company is updating our website and they want to link our sales inventory to our Facebook page. Do you think this is something that would benefit us or should we stay away from that? I’m afraid it will make our page too sales oriented and people will start to feel our posts irrelevant.

Sharing your inventory on Facebook is fine as long as you vary your posts to include other non-sales oriented content as well. Limit your sales-focused posts to no more than two per day.

The time spent in social media must be really high, does the social media commitment pay off in sales, or does it just make you cool?

You get out of social media what you put into it. If you invest time and resources to establish a strong social media presence for your company, it can pay off in the form of company exposure, brand awareness, increased traffic to your website, increased leads and sales, improved SEO ranking, and creating a loyal following.

Where does Instagram fit in there?

Instagram is strictly for sharing photos and videos. All activity is done from the Instagram app within a smartphone. There is not yet a way to schedule posts to Instagram ahead of time, so your posting schedule should be flexible. Balance fun images with pictures from your business and vary the type of content you share on Instagram from other social platforms. Cross-post selected images to your Facebook page with a hashtag that aligns with your campaign or brand image to help people who don’t know you’re on Instagram to find you there.

What’s best to do to get engagement besides contests, and boosting?

Interesting content wins!

Which platform do you recommend for posting to multiple sites simultaneously?

Hootsuite has a free option that you can connect to your social networks and post simultaneously/ahead of time.

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