Social media is one such domain that is always in the state of dynamism. It is here that the question of being socially connected, updated and well-read is the reason why not in individuals but also professionals rely highly on these platforms. Moreover, with the ever changing fast paced world, the changes in social media are also happening at the same pace. So, to brief on how to stay alerted and updated, here is the webinar recording of Social Media In 2015 -Trends, Tips and Tricks, which was led by Prateek Shah, Lead Trainer at Asia’s leading Digital Marketing training company-Digital Vidya. Gain insights and leverage upon these tips, tricks and trends that will help to get a full swing in the social media marketing domain.
Q&A During Webinar with Prateek Shah
Q- What is social media for a B to B company? What matrix, tools and strategy can one adopt?
A- I think B to B has always been point of discussion and point of contention whenever we talk about social media. I think the biggest problem or the biggest challenge of a B to B campaign is that the moment you think about social media, you keep thinking about Facebook and I think that’s exactly where everybody goes wrong because out of x amount of time that you are about to spend on social media you end up spending around 60-70% on Facebook itself and so what is left is what you try to spend on other mediums but you must ideally try to do instead is, you must actually try to run your campaigns through LinkedIn, twitter and maybe a bit of Facebook. In LinkedIn also, it’s not about making too many groups. It’s not about randomly adding too many people. It’s actually about training your sales people, training your marketing people to be able to use LinkedIn more effectively. To be able to reach out to right kind of people who will end up being prospective leads and maybe even buy premium LinkedIn accounts to be able to send emails to people because believe it or not the kind of conversions you can get from LinkedIn for even sending a basic email or doing a lot of other things is simply phenomenal. So, please use more and more LinkedIn and I think that would be really good.
Q- Can we have one ideal case study or example on Facebook post? Even if you can’t give a detailed case study, even if you can direct us to some good Facebook pages, who is doing job with Facebook posts. That would be good for all of us.
A- I think Zomato is definitely one of them. Zomato is there. Amul is there. Sony pix is doing exceedingly well, I personally think in the kind of space that it is actually in. If you look at the kind of traffic it is generating and engagement that is happening. I think it’s absolutely brilliant and actually it will be then domain specific. If I would have known your domain probably I could have been in a better place to answer but lots of good strategy out there.
Q- Why Facebook wants to discourage promotional posts?
A- There are 2-3 ways to look at this.one is that, Facebook doesn’t want Facebook to convert into a spamy place where everybody only advertises. Think of it like this, if I give you a newspaper and in addition to ads that you see in the newspaper, your regular articles also talk about promotional stuff. Think of your main newspaper as Delhi times. If there was no Hindu, no Indian Express or Hindustan Times. All we had was Delhi times, Bombay times and Bangalore times. How would this world be, it would be full of promotional material. Would we have liked that, no. we could have probably stopped reading the newspaper. Similarly, Facebook doesn’t want that to happen and therefore it is taking you away from that part.
Q- Like you said use trending topic to get on the news feed. Can you give some examples how are you going to co-relate while selling a shirt while using that trending topic?
A- So, again see, the point comes back to the fact that you don’t have to think about these trending topics on Facebook the way you see trending topics on twitter. And if you really had to pose that as a question as to how do I look at selling a shirt using a trending topic on Facebook, then think about this, you got Ab-DE-Villiers hopefully trending right now and I am guessing he may be trending right now. So, what do you do then? Look at Ab- De-Villiers’s t-shirt, it must be all sweaty and soggy by now. He could do very well with a new Allen Solly shirt. So you have to be creative and innovative and be able to think at your feet at that point of time, to actually able to do that.
Q- Adding Pinterest or Instagram app to your facebook business page. Is it useful or not?
A- Adding various apps to your Facebook Business page has its own benefits. First of all, the biggest benefit is that there is no harm. That’s the first most important benefit. Second, benefit is if I come to your Facebook page, that’s the only link I have for you, it might be helpful for me to actually just look around what you have been doing another platform. What you have been doing in another social media channel and more such stuff. So it’s actually helpful in that sense. It’s like beautification of your Facebook page.
Q- What are the predictions for LinkedIn in 2015 and any tips on how to make it work as business publication network?
A- It’s actually, if you all have been noticing LinkedIn has been going under a lot of changes in the past year or two. I have forgotten who is the person who joined in, somebody in the top management has changed, somebody new has joined in. And now you have is a lot of changes on the network. Some of their being publishing post, concept and credentials. So one is when you are publishing posts is a very strong tool to reach out to people. If you write about something which is being discussed, which is “hot”, you might as well end up influencing a lot of people with that article because articles on LinkedIn travel far and wide. And if you have a good article you never know you might end up getting on the LinkedIn pulse network. One is as a business you need to make that you are publishing good articles every once in a while and you do that from the very top management person or from the kind of person who has a good thousand or two thousand people in his network so that you can have that immediate initial reach. Second, thing is as a business, you got to try out LinkedIn ads. They cost an excess of 100 rupees per click or something around that figure but they are very nice, they are very useful and you are selling something worth thousands and lakhs of rupees then it will come in handy. And what to look forward in the platform of twitter is that if you are not aware they have acquired SlideShare a year or two back. So you might look at that acquiring more business portals which could be beneficial and useful for them or you could look at them consolidating such portals and coming up with something more comprehensive and stronger.
Q- Can I target only doctor’s community on a campaign on Facebook, Twitter,etc. which social channel does targeting precisely?
A- All social channels have their strengths and weaknesses. If you want to target doctors, you would have to go about it very interestingly. You will have to actually think the kinds of things doctor do or the kinds of things that they are hopefully supposed to like. One is that you can do that through Facebook but I think the most important platform which can be handled here is LinkedIn. Because of LinkedIn you can do precise targeting for the profession of a person so if you want to target doctors, you can target doctors hoping that first we arrange a training for doctors everywhere. Then they come to LinkedIn, then you can target them.
Q- How is social mobile marketing different from social desktop marketing?
A- There is a very tiny but a very huge difference between the two concepts. See when you talk about desktop social marketing, you are uploading pictures of any shape and size and invariably people on that channel will end up reading your post or end up seeing your post because it’s a huge platform and they can see whatever is there. But if you talk about mobile, the size of a mobile screen is really small, if you compare it with the desktop. So when you are doing a campaign with a mobile in your mind, you need to think about how to optimize my content for somebody who is seeing it on the mobile. How long should my content ideally be that somebody will be able to read it. How lengthy looking should my picture or post be, that somebody will actually be able to read it. So if you think all of that, you will be able to run a good campaign on mobile. And that’s the basic difference you need to keep in mind while running a mobile campaign that people are accessing stuff on mobile. You can actually do mobile ads in comparison to right-hand column ads or news feed ads. So that’s the basic difference between social mobile marketing vs social marketing on desktop.
Q- Kindly suggest social media strategy for a business school.
A- Taking testimonials of students who have come to attend your courses. You know the big difference in today’s world is trust. If you can build that trust in people, if they can actually trust you in various means, you can be rest assured that business will happen. So as a school, as an institute or as an college, if you can give some of your students give video testimonials, give text testimonials which you can use with images in your Facebook posts, in your email campaign, in your twitter campaign, in your any other kind of field then you can be rest assured that it will incrementally lead to business. Why I am saying this point versus is everything else is because I am sure you already been doing a lot of other things already but this is something a lot of people miss out once. So you better start doing this.
Q- What kind of products are most sellable on media?
A- I think there is no one right answer for this because effectively speaking, anything and everything can sell on social media. But if you want to generally ask me then from the top of my head I would say any retail products maybe all those things that you see on Myntra or Jabong or Amazon or Flipkart because it’s easy to convince people to buy it. That is the prime example I can essentially think of.
Q- Do twitter trends helpful in lead generation or are they only helpful for reach and conversions?
A- IIFL as of today is doing some kind of campaign on twitter and I think they are trying to generate leads out of the campaign. So the primary objective of a twitter hashtag will be to reach out to more people and ensure more branding and stuff like that. You can generate leads out of twitter hashtag campaign or even a promoted campaign provided that you give a link or ensure that people participate. But, I think you can definitely generate leads out of a Twitter campaign.
Q- Social media tools you can’t live without in distribution, measuring, monitoring, tracking, analytics.
A- Hootsuite is one for sure which you definitely should have. You could along with that or if you don’t want to use Hootsuite, you can use Buffer and Tweetdeck. If you want to keep it light, don’t want to a common publishing network, you can make use of Buffer. Then you need to keep looking at Facebook Analytics within the Facebook page. That’s not an external tool but very helpful for sure. If you have the kind of money to spend, then you must definitely make use of something like Radian6 or Adobe Social to be able to see what kind of analytics you are able to generate. Along with using Google Analytics on your website, because it will give you comprehensive picture of what the social traffic is effectively doing for you. Along with these mediums, there is something called STYFE which I recently come across and found it interesting. I think you will be in for a good treat because it helps you create a dashboard for all social media platforms at one place.
Q- In last one year, do you think the returns the businesses were getting from Social Media, has it increased, decreased or at the same stage?
A- I think if I keep it as a case where I am spending the same amount of money on a campaign and I am expecting returns then most definitely the amount of returns I was getting couple of years ago versus what I am getting now has changed. It has decreased for sure by now. So what brands have done as a result is they have to adjust their own budgets and they had to spend more or selectively choose their platforms maybe they are only doing Facebook but yes effectively the efficacy of social media or the ROI of social media has come down. And that is why it is more and more important for people to become smarter now while using these mediums.
Q- If a person is planning to open a social media agency or starting a social media freelancing space. Do you encourage that person or discourage that person.
A- Being an entrepreneur myself, everybody or at-least the people who feel like doing it must give it a shot at-least once to see what comes out of it. In any case we know 9 out of 10 startups do not reach where they intended to when they started. But there is no reason why I would discourage you of starting as a professional or as a freelancer. There is enough scope in this world provided you are able to become wise and smart enough to be able to cater to your clients.
Q- Pinterest is very useful for product based businesses. Can you tell me how can it be useful for IT service industry and how can we promote?
A- My honest answer to that question is to ask a question itself. Why do you want to use Pinterest for IT based services? My though is that there are these various social media platforms. We are not supposed to make use all of them. We can make use of some of them or all of them, depending on our need. Now IT services platform can well be promoted through LinkedIn, through Twitter, through Facebook, through email, through so many other platforms. Why should I actually end up spending my energy on Pinterest. Having said that if you really want to promote IT services through Pinterest then you probably need to showcase the application of your services on Pinterest and hope that pictures that you showcase there are attractive enough for people to check out or people to see or people to repin. Then it could be beneficial. Otherwise I don’t see much of a point in promoting IT services on Pinterest.
Q- How much a retail start-up (which is bootstrapping) should must be spending per month? What is the ideal spend-mix? What traction should be expect?
A- Depends on lot of factor. It is difficult to say what kind of traction you can expect because a lot depends upon investments you are going to make on this medium.
Q- How to get good no. of followers on LinkedIn company page?
A- One is that more and more people within the company need to first list them as working at this company. I hope you know that when you list yourself working for the company, you get linked to the LinkedIn page of the company that helps in your page reaching out to more people and also when somebody is searching for a related company page, they can see that you arepart of that company. Second is, in your email signature, I am sure so far you have your website url and probably your Facebook url, add your LinkedIn company url to your signature there. The third part will be that people in your company whether the marketing team or other team is sharing stuff on LinkedIn, you could actually have them share this company page on their profile which will help them reach out to more people. That would be quite beneficial as well.
Q- I would like you to suggest a social media strategy for website development company. I want to bring in more business prospects, want to bring in more clients.
A- So you need a lead generation strategy, right (yes). So you should have minimal presence on Facebook, some fans, some bit of discussion talk there. You must look for leads on twitter. If you need to look business, then you simply need to go on twitter and search for web development. Doing that will give you leads of people who are looking for web development agencies and you can reach out to them, follow them, mention them and see if they are interested in your campaign or not. Another important things we tell everybody, in fact during our sessions is that research some more to find out other companies in a similar domain whichare doing things that you do so that you are able to learn from them and that too similar campaigns. So don’t focus on Facebook, focus on twitter. Twitter is a landmine of needs, if you really search through Twitter, you will find a lot of good leads there and then do a bit of LinkedIn. Try to target more relevant people who you think will be able to give you business but still try to focus on twitter and I think it will work out really well for you. You can find out clients from across the globe from Twitter.
Q- According to your experience, Facebook ads or Google ads, which give more lead generation?
A- If you are promoting a medical instrument, which is very expensive in nature but which is required by somebody very specific. Then what ads will you use. When people are searching for something in particular, they search on google. You can’t be targeting heart patients on Facebook because you don’t know who the heart patient is. But if you were promoting something like a throat reliever, something like a decongestant or something like that. Don’t spend 20 rupees a click on google ads. You will want that promote on Facebook in order to reach out as many people to announce that Vicks inhaler helps you breath easy, something like that. So my answer to your question is that there is no one right platform which will give better returns to your campaigns but what truly matters is that what are you selling and how are you selling it and what is the kind of audience you are looking to target. Even if the google ads are expensive Run them for products that are as expensive so that the ROI is alright. If you are selling something worth 5 lakh rupees, let’s say a car then google ads make all the sense and if you are spending something worth 100 rupees then Facebook ads might make more sense. Of- course it has lot to do with interest based targeting but I am saying in general this could be one broad difference.
Q- How and what impact graphics or graphical ads play on social media?
A- First of all there are general ad guidelines that are available on Facebook itself, if you can have a look at them. It will help you make better ads, better suited for your clients. Second is what the basic trend-shift on Facebook, of-course you know about the 20% rule that you can have not more than 20% text on your Facebook ad graphic which of-course you must be following right now. Along with that you need to look at more subtle campaigns by which I mean instead of flashy images, screaming at the top of your voice, you need to look at campaigns which are aesthetically much pleasing to look at, which are more pleasant in general and which are nicer overall, right. It will help your client get more engagement, more clicks and more relevant clicks. Second point after this is that your image should be able to truly tell the person as to what the ad is all about. It shouldn’t be an image which is only aesthetically pleasing so that people keep clicking on it but it should also be lot relevant to what the end product actually is going to be. So if I click on the ad I should know or see where I am able to go with this. Third point is there are two kinds of column, right hand ad and news feed ad. You need to make sure with your client what ads are doing better for them, so you can accordingly make better creatives.
Q- Company LinkedIn profile is good or Personal profile which promotes company is good?
A- It depends on how big your company is. So if your company is Price water house coopers, the company page is good. If your company is a 10 number company then personal profile for company branding is good.
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