Top 10 social media questions marketers want answered
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
We simply asked, "What question about marketing with social media do you most want answered?" A significant 685 people provided their open-ended responses. We clustered them into groups and ranked them below. These are the top questions marketing professionals want answered regarding social media marketing:
#1: What are the best tactics to use?
The top question marketers want answered is related to best practices and tactics. A sampling of some of those questions include:
• Which social media method has been the most successful overall and how have you used that method? • How do I stand out while creating strategic partnerships with those in the same field? • How can social media help to build our brand and reinforce our credibility among consumers? • Can using blogs, short videos, tweets and status updates help us market our core products, or do they just get in the way of our message? • Is it true that social media marketing is better suited for branding than direct response?
#2: How do I measure the effectiveness of social media?
The next biggest question on people's minds can be summarized as, "How can I know if campaigns are working and what will the return be?" A sampling of questions in this category include:
• How do you measure success? • What is the return on investment? Silly thing, but management needs it. • What metrics are translatable in real terms that we can use as proof points or milestones? • How do I assess return on investment and measure the impact on brand valuation?
#3: Where do I start?
A large percentage of marketers want to know where to begin with social media marketing. Some common questions include:
• Is there a system or a plan that can be reproduced? Such as, "start here, go here, then here and then here..." • I want to better incorporate social media into my marketing efforts, but there are so many options that I don't know where to begin. Where are the best places to start? • How do newbies like me get started?
#4: How do I manage the social balance?
Understanding the balance between behaving properly and marketing is a common question people want answered. Here are a few related questions:
• How do I respect the medium and maintain proper etiquette for each social media outlet? • How carefully should we proceed with social media, so what's meant to be "social" doesn't turn out to be "business" only? • Are there online protocols for beginners so we don't break the "unspoken rules" that experienced marketers know about already?
#5: What are the best sites and tools out there?
Given the endless array of social media options, it's no surprise that marketers want to fast-track their experience by focusing on the sites and tools that will bring the greatest return. Here are a few sample questions from this cluster group:
• Which social media sites should I concentrate my efforts on? • What are the top three most effective and easiest to implement social media tools? • What social media platforms are customers going to be looking at in three months and three years from now? • Which elements are persistent and long-term versus those that are fads? • What sites are best to use for my market?
#6: How do I make the most of my available time?
Many who have already begun marketing with social media recognize the enormous amount of time that can be directed to such efforts. Managing the time sink is a common question. Here are a few samples from this category:
• How do I keep up without getting consumed? • How can I aggregate and automate social media marketing so that it's less timeconsuming? • How do people cope with thousands of followers?
#7: How do I find and focus my efforts on my target audience?
Because of the broad nature of many social media sites, it's no surprise that marketers want to know how to narrow their efforts to an audience that matches their desired demographics. Here are a few questions from this grouping:
• How do I reach my "target" customers/business partners and drive traffic to my site or blog? • What are the practical ways to use social media for more of a niche market? • How can I target social media marketing tools to my target market? • How can I best find people who are interested in the same things I am?
#8: How do I convert my social media marketing efforts into tangible results?
Moving from effort to actual income is a question many marketers want answered. What follows are a few questions from this category:
• How do I convert lookers to prospects? • How do we create cash flow? • How do I move from Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook activities to a sale? • What generates sales and what generates business? • How do I monetize social media marketing?
#9: How do I cohesively tie different social media efforts together?
Can social media and traditional media work together? Is there a way to manage all the social media campaigns in one central location? These are the types of questions marketers are seeking answers to in this category. Here's a few more:
• How do I tie all the pieces together into one cohesive strategy? • Are there any apps that will let me use several social media tools at once for my marketing campaigns? • How can we aggregate various social media channels into a single view so we reduce the amount of time required to visit numerous sites and see a holistic view of the social spheres we're part of? • How do we integrate social media into our traditional media?
#10: Does social media marketing work, and if so, how effective is it?
Surprisingly, this is question number 10. Marketers want to know if social media marketing really works.
Here are some related questions in this category:
• Where are the documented real success stories? • Does it really work, or is it just a great idea that doesn't return real value? • Does anybody know how it really works? • Where's the money?
5 Bonus Questions: Here are a few more questions that did not make our top 10 list. Each of these questions was asked by between 12 and 19 different people.
• How do I get others to see the value and get involved? • What does the future look like? • How do I manage the complexity? • How do I attract traffic to my efforts? • Is it cost-effective?