The top 10 social media questions marketers want answered

You probably downloaded and read the 2010 Social Media Industry Report shared on the web a couple of months ago. In the report, authors listed 10 questions considered as the most asked questions by marketers (consultants or marketing managers, directors). I’d like to share those questions on the Social Media Academy blog for having your feedback, insights and comments. For each question, there is a small list of sub-questions helping to better understand the question itself.

Here they are :

#1 How do I measure social media return on investment?
How can I tell a convincing story to management about the return on investment
for social media marketing?
What are the key metrics to follow for measuring return on investment in terms
of customer satisfaction, revenues and brand loyalty?
How effective is social media versus the resources needed to maintain the effort?
Are there any industry benchmarks that track the impact of social media

#2: What are the social media marketing best practices?
How can I make sure my message is noticed and not buried in all the other
How many social media channels do successful social media marketers use?
What are the marketing DOs and DON’Ts for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn?
What is the most effective way to drive business without “spamming”?
How do I make a message go viral?

#3: How do I best manage my time with social media?

How much daily time do successful marketers spend on social media marketing?
How do I overcome the objections of those who say they don’t have time for
social media marketing?
How does an organization avoid becoming overwhelmed by the demands of
social media?

#4: How do I reach my target markets with social media?
How do universities use social media marketing to attract and retain students?
How do I use social media marketing to target geographic audiences?
How does social media marketing help brick-and-mortar retail stores?
How do I best use social media marketing to target small niche markets?
How can nonprofits use social media to build awareness and raise funds for their

#5: How do I generate traffic and leads using social media?

How do I obtain qualified subscribers to our blog, newsletter and/or Twitter
How do I reach a large audience, outside of my current contacts, and get them to
How do I drive more traffic to our website using social media marketing?

#6: How do I implement social media tactics?
Can you provide a comprehensive guide for how to use all the tools?
How do I fully integrate mobile?
How do I enhance our Facebook fan page?
How do I put those handy social media icons at the bottom of my blog post?

#7: What are the latest social media trends?
What can we expect in the next three years? Will social media converge or will
there be more divergence?
Is social media here to stay or is it just a fad?
How do I stay current with all the changes?
What’s the next “big thing” in social media marketing?

#8: How do I get started?
What are the steps to building a strong social media platform for my business?
How do I get it all set up if I’m not very tech-savvy?
Is there a way to dabble with a blog without committing to one?
What are the dos and don’ts when I’m first getting started?

#9: How do I integrate my social media activities?
How do I tie all the applications together to get the best results?
How do I best keep my social media efforts organized and linked?
What are the best tools to use to coordinate social media efforts while still being
true to the social norms of each platform?
Is there a program or system for pulling all these technologies into one platform?

#10: How do I evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each platform?


One Reply to “The top 10 social media questions marketers want answered”

  1. Pierre – That’s a very typical, yet sad list and as you pointed out typical for traditional marketers or agencies who see social media as just yet another channel to a mass market. I’m glad you put together what you found on the web.

    1) The question for an ROI
    Asking for an ROI is basically asking for an excuse not to engage. The one who tries to provide an ROI is hoping to send a big check.
    But at the end: To start in social media doesn’t really cost anything. So why an ROI?
    Those who argue it cost a lot of time need to understand that it is time invested with customers and prospects – what is the ROI of a conversation with a customer?

    2) Asking for best practices
    If somebody wants to connect with their clients don’t need a best practices session to have a dialog or conversation. Only if somebody want or offers mass marketing into the “channel” through social media probably want to figure out how he or she can spam the world through the new pipes – not a good idea anyway.

    3) Asking about social media time management
    Again – If one is using social media to have more conversations with clients that is a good question and has some nice suggestions. Unfortunately most of those questions relate to time spent in putting information out and that – still is a waste of time no matter how.

    4) How do I reach a market
    An experienced social media marketer, again is focusing on conversations and does it so well that the market is talking about a product or service – not the marketer. The experienced marketer focuses on individual people with first name, last name and a face, not on categories, titles or geographies. How do I reach those individuals? Start with the ones you already know.

    5) How do I generate traffic and leads?
    Traffic is an old world “value” in essence IP addresses like 206.07.897.123 on a web log that indicated that somebody clicked on something. Is that social? – not at all. That is SEO technique and has nothing to do with social media. On the ‘leads” side we learned that somewhere between 50-80% of decisions are based on recommendations. In the old world leads came to existence when end users asked vendors for information and filled out a form – it’s just not happening any more. And so we need to be part of questions, recommendations and discussion – which is all a social and very individual conversation. Conversations with and within your ecosystem in combination with thorough social media monitoring is the new way to generate leads today.

    6) How do I implement social media tactics?
    *smile* how about understanding the customer first, then developing a strategy, then collaborating with the customer – the “tactics” fall automatically into its place.

    7) Where are the trends?
    Once a person was able to work within the social web and actually interact with clients, prospects and partners should be lucky to have their arms around this new world. I’ve seen many “experts” ask the question, I have yet to see a customer ask the question.

    8) How to get started?
    That really is a good one and almost should be the only question to begin with.
    The answer is as simple as the question:
    1) Find your existing customers
    2) Have a conversation online
    3) Ask them if they’d be interested in helping advance the conversation.
    It doesn’t cost a dime and the time somebody spends is with the customer not the “network”

    9) How do I integrate my social media activities
    What activities? Who decided what to do? What is the strategy….
    If there is a good strategy based on an assessment, the needs of the customers customers are understood then there is an execution plan. If the “engagement” is a collection of twitter facebook and linkedin accounts with random or scheduled blasts – it will be difficult forever to bring it together as that actually doesn’t make sense in the first place.

    10) How do I evaluate the advantages of each platform?
    Again – that is a question asked by a marketer or agency who want to use a platform to blast out information.
    The answer: The platform where most of your customers want to have a dialog with you should be the platform of choice.

    The one question most experts don’t introduce – mostly because they are worried to answer it:

    What is the purpose for me to engage in the first place?
    That is typically the first question executives and managers ask me.
    My answer: Why do you consider thinking about social media anyway? Because everybody is talking about it?
    YES – Not a good reason to start.
    What is your relationship to customers on a scale of 1 – 10? Answer 8/9
    What if I asked 1,000 of your customers – what would they say? I don’t know.
    Here is your answer why you should engage in social media.
    Most likely your relationship to your customers sucks.

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