Off the back of our Digital Skills Course: Social Media, we asked 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.

Knowing your customer

We had some great questions sent into Prashant, so many in fact, that we separated the responses into two halves! In part one, Prashant answered questions about using social media platforms and posting effectively, which you can read about here. Next up we have Social Media: Knowing your customer and your own capabilities

How do you gain traction before launching an app and how do you gain the first 100 users and retain them! (Kitchin Table)

Hi Kitchin Table – Focus on getting user interaction going. If possible, seed active users for your app as this will allow you to get people to follow the community and not just the content which is hard to get unique. Growing an app also involves expanding features that make it seem like there is a roadmap.

Another thing to think about is getting someone who reviews apps; meet them in person and try to pitch your idea, this is one effective way to get some attention. An interesting story is the Airbnb one - please do have a read through this to inspire some thoughts:

How often should you do posts on social media so you don't irritate people? Is more better than less? (Toni)

The posting to social media should be based not on you but on your audience. More importantly each post should have a purpose to engage, question, inform or to delight users, otherwise the frequency really does not matter. Also, there is no guarantee that people will read all the posts so experiment with frequency and purpose of posting to get the best mix for your audience. I would try to keep a consistent time with posts as a starter as people know to expect an update at regular intervals so that they can their time or know when to expect the update.

What's the best way to engage customers? (Linda)

Hi Linda – There are many strategies but while you are humble and small there is nothing more engaging than a quick and personalised response that shows you care about the customer.

How to create a brand with a little source of income? (Pranav)

Hi  Pranav – Think of creating a following first then think of income, rarely does one come without the other.

How can start-up founders ensure that the digital marketing activities they commission don’t just generate brand awareness but also generate sales/conversions? What practical advice can you give us to helps us get digital marketers also think of sales when they create campaigns? (Von Ryan)

Hi Von Ryan – The return on investment is hard to measure, but if your objective is sales, think of the incentive for the customer / potential prospect why should someone buy now. To do this you have to understand what the customer values by measuring both qualitative and quantitative feedback. Set a time limit as well e.g. if people are not responding to certain inputs move on and try a different approach e.g. post 4 weeks. I like this article on the topic for more information.

I want to try and deliver, through my social media feeds, a clear message - that I offer a service which might be more pricey but offers a superior and more knowledgeable, bespoke offering. How would you advise I went about this in a successful way and in a manner that reaches the clients I wish to attract? (Liv)

Hi Liv - Building the brand is all about where you promote, the right colours, the words that resonate with what customers use when they describe similar products, and trusted reviews on social media videos where people visit. My suggestion is look at the work being done by companies such as Net-A-Porter by searching for it online. I admire their brand and the way they communicate clearly.

Knowing your own capabilities

I am the mother and carer to my 2 beautiful boys with low-functioning Autism, meaning that any work I do would have to be term-time and between school hours. What is the best way I can be a Social Media Manager whilst being a full-time parent and Carer? (Anon)

Hi – Firstly good to hear from you. If time is a priority then the best thing to do is to think about is automation (, minimize overhead, get ahead by planning at least one week in advance of when to post. Also, look at getting a friend to help. If you are willing to invest more time in a tech solution it is even possible to get a virtual assistant to answer pre-made responses for common queries. The other thing that can help is planning in time for social media at set intervals. But please keep these to official breaks :).

How do you use social media in a healthy and productive way? How do you keep a balance to ensure mental wellbeing is not compromised? (Oat Kitchen)

Hi Oat Kitchen - Thanks for the query. There is no one size fits all answer to that but here goes :) … I think as a Technologist I am obsessed with checking my Twitter feed for news and the latest posts online on websites I follow. It is not quite an addiction but I suggest switching off notifications – that seems to work best as it is the number 1 cause of balancing interruptions. In fact, most phone manufacturers have built in a "do not disturb" or "night mode" specifically for this purpose.


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