Off the back of our Digital Skills Course: Social Media, we were asking you to send in your Social Media questions for our expert at Accenture, Prashant.

Prashant is a Technology Delivery Lead Senior Manager at Accenture, who has worked across numerous industries from the Public Sector to Financial Services as part of the Technology team. He loves all things digital, building his own custom PCs in his spare time and getting involved in events that promote and support start-up cultures for new technology ideas. With an interest in the latest technologies, Prashant looks at how the next big things will be used as social media tools.

We had some great questions sent in to Prashant, so many in fact, that we’ve separated the responses into two halves! First up we have Social Media: Using the platforms and posting effectively.

Which social media platforms to use and how to use them

Other than Facebook Ads, AdWords, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, what other platforms would be good for Ads for a product? Thanks! (Mous)

Hi Mous - good question. My suggestion would be to think about channels like LinkedIn, Udemy, MyFitnessPal ...etc. (the key is activity sites to advertise products as people consume). SnapChat and Pinterest should also be obvious at this point, another great way of doing this is sponsoring / promoting products through a trusted audience.

Obviously, YouTube is there but channels like twitch.tv which is extremely popular and with a large live audience can be very effective. For channel based marketing e.g. text message Twilio is a good integration product and for emails, there are many options out there so I will leave you to find those, however, would caution against this as emails for Ads don't always generate the desired interest and often the conversion % is very low.

Also an interesting way to do it is via Reddit but I would be careful about this as well you need to think about the types of users that usually frequent the social channels you want to advertise on and the tools that let you target them.

How do you write a good social media bio and should it include a 'call to action'? (Lucy)

Hi Lucy –  A good social media bio is one that is captivating and authentic, however it should answer a few basic questions,

Who are you?
What do you do?
Where can I find you / contact you / interact with you (call to action)?
What are you known for and why?
What type of personality do you have? - i.e. the bio sets the tone of how you want to be engaged (serious, fun etc.)

If you were going to choose between making an online survey using email or Facebook, which one you choose and why? (Oscar)

I would prefer Facebook for a poll i.e. quick questions that are not for a detailed survey. This is to get a pulse of how people are feeling and as people don't want to go to their social media to answer 20 questions and don't have time if checking in-between activities. For email, I would use this as a targeted tool, however, would steer clear as it is increasingly becoming unpopular, the response rates are down to <5% in some cases so don't put too much investment into this unless you have to.

What is the best way to drive traffic from your Facebook to your website? (Stephanie)

Hi Stephanie - This is not easy as it depends on what your Facebook campaign is trying to achieve. However, my thought would be if the product is more visual then Instagram is a better choice here for encouraging transition. Some tips below for Facebook -> Product Page though if you want to do this:

  • Decide what channels you want to engage (mobile / tablet / TV / computer)
  • Now think of what your website has to achieve. The best possible outcome is a large image that inspires a call to action, it does not have to be too wordy but it has to describe the product or service in action
  • You need to be original with the content but also consistent, by this I mean the message you want to give on Facebook needs to carry through to the website where it expands. Think of adverts for luxury items such as perfumes, this is where they do this well.
  • Facebook ads only show up with key words so choose the key words well.
  • You also need to compliment your website so it shows up in key Search Engines such as optimizing key words and brand name searches.
  • Where possible have different images for different channels and ideally 2-3 that rotate as this can help appeal to different customer demographics e.g. age / habits / preferences.
  • Create compelling content that is exclusively available on the website e.g. blog posts and share this on other sites where similar products / services are reviewed.
  • Compliment your social channels strategy, use multiple channels that drive towards Facebook / website e.g. make use of Instagram and YouTube, which gives something like 2.99 pages per visit.
  • Ask someone with a lot of followers if they can plug your website. Nothing beats a trusted source recommending something, this is the one I think is most effective as it builds brand associated to an existing audience.

Ultimately people will keep on coming back to the website if the content remains fresh so invest carefully how you want to keep users engaged. Stickiness of users does not work well if they don't have something new and interesting on a regular basis to engage with e.g. media / photos, new features etc. Excite them by considering user created content as well (if possible) this creates a circular effect of Facebook -> share -> like -> traffic to site

Is it best to always use the same hashtags on Instagram? Or should you mix them up each time? (Journeys in Colour)

Hi Journeys in Colour - Keep it consistent to a theme or a purpose. It’s okay to mix them up, but if you keep mixing it up too much people will lose your brand identity. Maybe consider a sub tag layer e.g. '#journey2red where a component e.g. "red" changes each time you want to emphasise something different. Also, if it is not working, change it, especially if users don't reuse it.

When having other people post about my product (the BodyworksBall), (posts which are reposted by me and others), is it best to have the hashtags & "@" symbols in the comment? And why? . Also, how can I get more global traction with my business Facebook posts? Thank you kindly. (Body Works Ball)

Hi Body Works Ball – Yes, is the simple answer, because it is only polite to direct the response at the person you want, plus it targets messages and updates that people get on most platforms. For the second part I think you should look into putting videos of the product on a site that is also looking for unique content for its users. Or even consider an offline approach. Can you get a local business to create an event with a small sample of products?

How to do a good attractive social media advertising? What are the key elements that one should always mention when advertising their product on social media? (Prithvi)

Hi Prithvi – Colours, key images that related to product or service and less text. The combination of colours and image should help deliver the message and more importantly a clear call to action.

How do I boost my following using Instagram? (Sami)

Hi Sami - The biggest booster is simply sponsorship and endorsement of someone who has a lot of followers. You can also plug your Instagram on any other social media channels or websites where people blog about products. Ultimately, unless there is compelling content to see, their users may click through but won't come back.

When raising pre-awareness for a new brand, via social media, what are the top 5-10 key things you should be doing/posting (in the absence of any stock to show, as the business hasn't launched yet)? (Shopetino)

Hi - Shopetino

  • Market research is a good start - see what exists
  • Identify potential business partners next and what they value. Run your business plan by them and ask their advice on your social strategy and if they will even invest in getting you some funding to do what you want to do
  • Establish a clear communication plan for what you want to say about the business and the product - what is the unique selling point (USP), including any brand logo / images that are authentic
  • Manage your own brand awareness and try to create a following through a series of blogs / vlogs / community events that you volunteer to organise
  • Test your users with the idea and any early prototypes

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