Social Media Ins and Outs Discussed at Jersey City Tech Meetup
The September Jersey City Tech Meetup featured a candid, valuable discussion on many aspects of deploying social media — from advice on maximizing return on investment (ROI) to some subtle clues as to why one of the panelists now refers to herself as a “recovering” influencer. The meeting took place atop Journal Square, in the penthouse of Journal Squared.
According to Joseph Cameron, founder and CEO of JLC Social Marketing (Hoboken), any discussion regarding the effectiveness of social media must start with its ROI. For enterprises, this is perhaps easier to quantify, but individuals should also consider and monitor the value of their time spent on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other popular platforms. There is an opportunity cost associated with time spent online.
Alexa Eden, a New York-based urban wellness consultant, stressed the need to be purposeful in one’s approach to social media. She agreed that a business social media account is different from a personal account, although some people can skillfully blend the two.
Many folks are blurring the lines between their online and real lives. This may be a cause for concern in some cases. At the end of the day, it’s up to everyone to control how much time they wish to allot to social media interactions.
Eden also strongly advised businesses to do advance prep work in order to generate the best bang for the buck with social media promotion.
Facebook and Instagram for Business
For business tracking, Facebook and Instagram are the best according to these experts. Installing a Facebook pixel on your site facilitates the retargeting of ads, said Cameron. The theory, which makes sense, is that people are more likely to click on ads for products or services they are more interested in.
Pixels also help track where visitors to your ad or site came from before they reached you. This will help businesses improve their ROIs and boost the effectiveness of their marketing expenditures, as they’ll find out where they should probably spend more — or less — in the future.
Comparing and contrasting a few of the most popular social sites, the speakers noted that Instagram is ideal for establishing one’s brand. This holds true for both a business and personal brand. This platform is typically best for posting photos and short videos, which can be searched via an effective use of hashtags.
Facebook, on the other hand, is ideal for building a community, especially for following friends’ lives via personal posts. With businesses, Facebook can be extremely effective for targeted advertising, as users typically supply lots of demographic info when they sign up; and there are sophisticated algorithms monitoring your friends, what businesses you interact with, etc.
Privacy in Social Media
The evening’s conversation naturally turned to the elephant in the room: privacy, or the lack thereof. It was news to many in the audience that there are multiple settings and options on Facebook that allow users to control their privacy.
Unfortunately, these are hidden deep in several menus. Once platform users find these menus, however, they can go a long way toward protecting their interests. For instance, they can choose which businesses will be allowed to contact them.
Eden recommended exploring the relatively new Jumbo app, which connects to your various social accounts and streamlines the process of disabling and controlling your privacy settings.
On social platforms, there is an ethical line when it comes to marketing and advertising. A consumer will typically see or interact with a product/service 7 to 12 times before finally making a purchase. The important rule of thumb here is that, if you think you may be annoying prospective (or existing) customers, you probably are.
Use the 80/20 Rule and Provide Value
If you’re constantly trying to sell to someone, there’s a good chance that they’ll ultimately unfollow you. It’s important to lead with and provide some type of value. It’s also crucial to reread a post before sending it out to the public.
In social media marketing, the 80/20 rule means that you should provide some type of value to your audience in an average of 8 out of 10 posts. Posts should also include a “call to action.” For example, if you want someone to visit your website, that link should be included and easy to find.
For keeping in touch with existing and prospective customers, it’s advisable to request their email addresses to facilitate future interactions. (Note: See the above reference to annoying customers by constantly selling to them.)
If you’re a newbie in social media, the panelists suggested that you find appropriate communities and platforms in which to immerse yourself prior to participating by adding your own posts. It’s also advisable to comment constructively on other’s content before posting your own.
A fast-growing platform to keep on your radar is Twitch, a live video portal that may eventually overtake the NFL in popularity, according to Cameron, if it continues to expand at its current eye-opening pace. Junto and TikTok were also singled out as ones to watch.
The panel closed with a few additional tips for the audience:
- Visit www.privacytools.io to learn more about the issues surrounding online privacy.
- When posting a video, include closed captions, as many people watch online videos with the sound off.
- Let brands know that you like them. Reach out via social platforms to interact with them. Brands usually have folks monitoring these platforms, so they may respond.
- Don’t use bots.
- Be authentic. Do not buy social media followers.