Last Thursday evening, I attended the Social Media Panel Discussion held at Next Door Chicago (a cool café/coworking space sponsored by State Farm). The panel was held by four social media experts in a question-and-answer format, all about current trends in social media.
A quick run down of the characters:
Jordan Menendez (@NextDoorChicago), Experience and Social Media Coordinator at Next Door
Matt Kubinksi (@MattKubinski), Marketing Director & CDO for ten popular Chicago pubs & clubs
Michael Dennis (@SuitSocial), Vice President and Creative Director of Suit Social Media
And now, for the questions and answers!
Q1: Google+? Do you use it?
@SuitSocial: In 2+ years we’ve had it, we’ve never had any interaction on it.
@MattKubinski: You can’t underestimate the value of SEO that Google+ provides. The more +1s you get, the higher your SEO. You can’t ignore Google. You can use apps (like IFTT) to post to Twitter to “set it and forget it.”
“While I agree wholeheartedly that Google+ is not the place for interaction, it’s Google – to ignore that platform would be foolish for yourself and your business.”
@NextDoorChicago: Think about what you want to accomplish before you use your platform. With Facebook, we schedule things to share news with our community. Twitter is more conversational – how we engage with our community. We don’t want to time it out, because we want to engage with our community.
Q2: What kind of content is getting the most traction for you on Facebook?
@NextDoorChicago: Pictures. Think of the weight of posts – pictures are more likely to be seen than text. Use visual aids when posting to engage your community.
@WeDelivr: Videos! 10 times more traction than our photos.
@SuitSocial: News related to your industry will appeal to your current fans.
@MattKubinski: Views have drastically dropped in the past few weeks. Post a picture, text, and then leave the link in. (A regular link, not bit.ly). I recommend scheduling Facebook posts directly to your Facebook rather than through HootSuite – they seem to get more views that way. Twitter is conversational, so if you ask a question, if you have enough of a following, you can start a conversation with your community.
Q3: Have you had any successes with any of the new social media platforms – Instagram or Snapchat?
@MattKubinski: Pinterest is very visual – great for physical products that you can then link to it so they’ll buy it. It's also a female-skewed demographic. Instagram is a huge emerging market for the younger group. Do your research and go at it with goals in mind.
Until you can manage two accounts and keep it consistent – don’t move on to more.
Q4: What’s the best way to grow the number of your Facebook likes?
@NextDoorChicago: We value more engagement than the number of followers we have. Shares are more important to us, so give calls to action to have your community share your posts – and then it'll reach their networks, too.
@SuitSocial: The only way to grow a Facebook following is through Facebook ads. Otherwise, just a couple likes per week.
If you have a really important event or post, spend the $5 to boost that post.
Q5: How much time per day should you spend on your social media presence?
@SuitSocial: Do you have the time to dedicate to it to make it work? Social media is a thing that doesn’t stop. It’s always on.
Think about what the goals are for your business. Tying that to your overall marketing strategy – email marketing, website, blog.
- Is the goal to get people to your website?
- Is the goal to get people to buy tickets?
- Is the goal to create awareness? (In which case you’ll need more likes/followers)
Q6: Any apps you’d recommend to use?
@WeDelivr: I love Bufferapp!
Q7: Any other thoughts?
@MattKubinski: I only follow people that follow me back, period.
@WeDelivr: Keeping the amount of people following you higher than the amount of people you’re following is an important ratio. Shows your social klout.
Personal branding is huge. You should definitely be branding yourself throughout all your work.
Q8: Lastly... What is going to be the most important social media network in 2014?
@MattKubinski: Twitter. I’m getting into Feed, too.
@WeDelivr: Tinder [laughs]
What do you think of their social media assessments? Feel free to tweet out any of the answers on your own Twitter account, and we'll continue the conversation. Use the hashtag #SMPanelND