Expert Interview Series: Eve Mayer of Social Media Delivered on Social Media Best Practices

Social media best practices

Eve Kojis Mayer is CEO of Social Media Delivered, the author of The Social Media Business Equation and one of the most influential women in the social media marketing realm. We recently picked her brain about social media best practices for businesses. Here's what she had to say:

You describe you and your colleagues as "the grandmothers of social media." Why is this? How did you become so passionate about social media so early on?

I started Social Media Delivered in 2008, back when "social media" was hardly the buzz word it is now. There were many opportunities, but no one was acting. I wanted to stake my claim in something that my gut instinct told me had true business potential.

How has the way social media is used evolved since you first started using it for business?

When I first started selling social media, CEOs would laugh and kick me out of their office. Some of those same business leaders called me back a few years later and asked for help.

In 2015, the spend on social media was $7 billion. So, we've come a long way. And with the spend in 2019 predicted to be $17 billion, I see nothing but blue skies for my company!

What excites you about the potential for social media to grow business?

Did you know social media will be taking over voice content within two years (Dimension Data, 2015). Social media customer service is here to stay.

What excites you about the potential for social media to grow business?

I'm most excited about the social care capabilities of actually being able to talk to the brand - it's the first time the brand is able to have a voice. It's different then a call center.

What are the most common mistakes you see businesses making when creating their social media marketing strategies?

Some businesses think their best content strategy is to focus too heavily on one type of content. You aren't going to win at the relationship game when you are continually slamming people with posts directly driving to business - you'd sooner annoy them then achieve the desired result.

It goes both ways, however. If you are only posting entertaining content, you will also lose sight of your goals.

What are your go-to best practices for using social media for digital marketing?

Following up on my last answer, it's crucial to create a balance in your content. If a friend asks something of you too often, you'll be more and more often less willing to oblige. At Social Media Delivered, we follow the guidelines of my book: The Social Media Business Equation, or the TSMBE.

We believe that the recipe for great content is best served in four parts - 20 percent converting to business, 20 percent entertaining content, 20 percent informative and 40 percent interacting content. Conversions include a call to action, say to your website or products. Entertaining content exists to break things up, reward your following and provide a type of intermission. Informative content should be curated based on up-to-the-moment news and articles, spreading knowledge and awareness within your industry.

Lastly, interacting content is content that asks your friends and followers to participate - typically by joining a discussion and answering a question.

What advice do you find yourself repeating to clients over and over?

Don't start something that you can't finish - specifically, frequency. If your audience sees three posts a day for a week, then they will expect three posts a day each week. If you fall off the track, it looks bad - or that your account is inactive and therefore irrelevant. Commit to a frequency once you begin it.

In other words, only begin on the social media platforms you plan to use forever and simply abandon the rest.

How should brands be measuring the success of their social media marketing? What matrices should they focus on? What numbers aren't as relevant?

It depends entirely upon the business and its objectives. A mass consumer brand has different objectives from a niche B2B. And each of those will have different objectives for different campaigns. Sometimes you just want to raise awareness with as many consumers as possible, so your KPI is reach/impressions/views. Sometimes you want to spur your fans to a social action; then you'd use engagements. Maybe you need to reach a specific target audience as efficiently as possible, then you might use cost per click. Maybe you want people to redeem an offer, so you measure cost per redemption. Maybe you want advocacy; then your KPI is hashtag use, perhaps coupled with reach and/or an influence score. Maybe your objective is to reduce call center volume, so you measure that... One size does not fit all!

SMD always works with the client to define objectives and tailor social media efforts to support the business outcomes they want.

What are your favorite social media marketing tools?

There are a variety of excellent tools for enterprise, but we weren't happy with the offerings for medium and small businesses. So our Technology Director is in the process of creating our own system, in-house, instead.

What do you think is the future for social media marketing? What role will it play in the digital marketing landscape?

Business will be focusing on an omnichannel strategy - your website objectives should align with your social, just as your physical marketing should align with your brick and mortar.

Many industries like consumer and retail marketing are already far along the path of using social media to market. But they now may just be discovering ways to leverage social media for other business departments - like recruiting, research, employee communication and product development.

Other industries, such as the financial and healthcare industries, are more commonly close to the beginning of their social media journey. There is still so much to discover, among which being how to best leverage this viral form of communication to their business benefit.

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