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There is a lot to learn when it comes to social media marketing. A LOT. So nobody would hold it against you if you needed to ask a question once in a while. Heck, I ask questions about social media on the daily! I even have to look up things I knew the answer to three days ago sometimes because…changes. So what is a solopreneur or small business owner to do when they have a question about some thing that isn’t working, or the etiquette of using social media for business, or even how to properly add a new employee to the profile? Here are 10 places to get your answers, depending on the urgency.
Google / YouTube
This is probably the first thing you do anyhow. Sometimes, however, we just don’t know the right way to pose the question to Google to get the answer we’re looking for. Or, worse, Google brings up old, out-of-date posts and information that just confuse us even more. Time to look at other options.
Next on my list is usually a Facebook Group that caters to the topic of interest. There are lots of free, public Facebook Groups you can join to ask your social media questions, but some of them are focused on big marketing departments or network marketing agents. Here are a few groups I enjoy for small business social media advice:
- Social Media for Twirps (hey, my blog, my promo!)
- Boss Moms
- Jenn’s Trends in Social Media
- Social Media Marketing Society (for paid members only!)
Chances are when you use Google some of the results will be from social media experts who are writing about their knowledge and experiences, so you may end up on an expert blog. Depending on what type of information you’re looking for, some expert blogs are better than others. Here are a few of my favourite blogs for getting your social media questions answered:
- Facebook ads
- LinkedIn – Melonie Dodaro
- General social media strategy
Sometimes all you need to do is follow the right expert on your platform of choice. Most social media experts have a profile on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, with an increasing number having useful and educational content on Instagram. Pick your expert (check that blogs list above, perhaps) and following them on your favourite social network. Don’t forget to set up notifications for their posts/tweets so you never miss anything! And if you ask them a specific question about their area of expertise, you might even get a reply!
Platform and Program blogs
Most of the networks and programs you use have their own blogs full of great social media information and often lots of tutorials on how to do things with their programs. Need to know about the latest changes on your fave social network? Check their blog for updates! If you don’t see your favourite one listed here simply Google the name and blog, i.e. “Hey Orca blog” to find out if they have one!
This could be one of the more frustrating experiences in trying to find information, but sometimes you find a golden nugget. Sometimes these forums, like the Facebook Community, are answered by other users and sometimes by employees or ambassadors. Often they’re inconsistent in their answering, but there are nuggets of goodness here occasionally. These forums are often listed in the FAQ or help section of a website, but if not, try Googling to see if they have one.
Keeping up-to-date with all the changes in social media is daunting. Even I get overwhelmed by it some days. Sites that have access to people who know people, and people who are on Beta platforms, and just live to read media releases and API updates make it much easier for the small business owner to know what’s going on. I subscribe to some of these and get the daily emails, and others I check into when I need to. If I hear a rumour about a network change I usually surf to one of these sites to get the scoop.
I’ll admit, I’m not an avid podcast listener. It’s not my go-to for in the car, or background noise while I’m working. I do enjoy a good informative podcast, but I don’t believe in multi-tasking, so I need to sit and listen to the information to really absorb it. There are thousands of podcasts out there to help you with your social media marketing. You can even look up past episodes of Haliblab (my previous podcast) for tips from small, local businesses. If you’re looking for something with more choice, try these:
Unless you happen upon a conference happening in your city tomorrow, this isn’t going to be a quick fix to find your answers, but a good social media conference can’t be beat! This is a chance to dive deep into questions and topics you’re really interested in, and maybe even meet and consult with the speakers. I’ve been to a few different social media conferences, founded Social Media Day Halifax for my local small business community, and here’s what I know: the speakers you probably follow go to several of these conferences, so pick one that’s easy for you to get to. You also need to be clear on whether the sessions will be geared to your type of business: are they for Fortune 500 companies, or are they for small, local businesses? Understanding that can make or break your conference experience.
Webinars / Facebook Lives
If you prefer to learn interactively, webinars and lives might be a good option for you. Some of the experts, blogs and news sites above have regular webinars and Facebook Lives, some free and public, and others for paid members only. The great thing about webinars and lives is the ability to interact with the presenters. If you have questions about the topic there is usually a way to submit your question and get it answered during, or at the end of, the session. And you guessed it, I have a FREE Webinar coming up soon!
Did I miss anything? Where do you go to get your social media questions answered? Let me know in the comments. In fact, just after I published this I wanted to add Reddit and Quora! What would you add?