Interesting questions from my Social Media Secrets seminar

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In this blog post, I will share some of the interesting questions I received at my Social Media Secrets: Driving Growth in the Rural Economy Seminar at the Ultimate Business Show 2017 (#TUBS2017) on Wednesday 26th April.

My seminar at the North-East Business Week was a remarkable success. I was more than pleased to see so many people showing up. Thanks to everyone who came along and to those of you who followed up.

I am sharing a video of my presentation for those of you who didn’t have a chance to attend it. You can see the video on my Facebook page.

First, I want to say BIG thanks to the University of Aberdeen Business School, the ANM Group and the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce teams for their support.

At the Business Show, I met so many like-minded business people and digital savvies. At the end of my seminar, I was asked some interesting questions which I am going to briefly share with you here. Please note that the following are just the topic areas, rather than direct quotations of the questions from the audience.

Q1: How important is it to understand your customers online? What are they interested in?

So far, I have never seen a business to operate without any customers. Regardless of whether you are in the Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C), you always provide value to someone else. This fundamental concept should be the driving force of your marketing activities as well.

In a Digital Marketing Trends’ survey by Econsultancy and Adobe, 40% of the participants indicated that customer experience is the most important factor to differentiate you from competitors. A large part of participants also pointed that their marketing activities are focusing on customer experience.

There is no single approach to understanding your customers. I have used various techniques from interviews and surveys to analyzing digital behavior through Google Analytics, Social Media Analytics, and online mentions. Don’t forget to speak to your front-end staff (i.e. sales team), as they probably know your customers quite well.

Each of these techniques has a specific way of revealing customer needs. Keep an eye on my blog as I will expand on this topic in future and share some more tips on understanding your customers.

Q2: How did you start paid advertising? How much to spend on paid advertising?

Paid Social Media advertising has been rising in the past few years, with the focus being primarily on mobile. With some new advertising features and detailed reports, Facebook has become one of the top platforms to advertise directly to people based on their interests.

BE CAREFUL … Before you jump into deep waters, learn how to swim!

Do not start with paid online advertising, if you haven’t done your research on your customers, otherwise, you are risking wasting your money. Targeting the wrong audience would be like selling an ice cream to an Eskimo.

Once you have explored the characteristics of your current community and audience, you can start testing. You can use non-paid videos on Facebook to see what type of people are watching them. Collect their demographics, location, engagement and interests. Once you analyze the data from different posts, you will start recognizing what works and what doesn’t.

Next, you can start testing different online paid advertising techniques on a low budget. You can start as low as £2 per day, but do not expect big results for such a low budget.

Always collect the results and compare them against each other to learn what works. Please note that Facebook Paid advertising campaign is different from boosting a post. The campaign gives you much more options and specifications based on who you want to reach. To set up such campaign you will need a Facebook Business Manager Account.

This has been just a brief description on how to approach paid advertising on Facebook. I will expand this topic in one of my future blog posts. Sign up to my newsletters to receive updates once the blog post is published.

Q3: How to create a relevant and engaging content?

Creating relevant and engaging content is one of the top priorities for most of the marketers. In 2016, at least 90% of marketers wanted to master their tactics and engagement skills.

The trends in 2016, clearly show that more than 74% of Facebook advertisers were using a visual type of content to promote on Social Media.  I believe that video content will get much more attention in 2017 due to changes in Facebook algorithms.

To stay relevant and engaging, you need to understand well your audience. Make sure you understand their pain points and what they are interested in. For example, when I was broadcasting live our outdoor events, our audience was sending me comments about how happy they are to watch it live from home instead of being under the rain.

The magic formula to create relevant and engaging content is to be creative and test different techniques. Always monitor your progress and learn from your mistakes and successes.

Q4: How do you keep track of your performance?

According to the Socialmediaexaminer’s report, 86% of marketers want to understand how to measure better their Return On Investment (ROI) from Social Media activities.

The ROI depends on your business objectives, but there are certainly some tools out there that can help you with relevant stats. When you try to measure the performance, it is good to start thinking backward from the end goal.

For example, I want to grow my email list. To get more subscribers I need to provide more valuable content on my blog. Once I have the content, I need people to read it, therefore I am promoting it on Social Media. As I am promoting it I can keep track of how many people click on the links, visit my page and read my blog. I am using various analytical tools including Google URL Shortener, Facebook Page Insights, Facebook Audience Insights, Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

There are some additional tools that I am using as well, but I will discuss them in another blog post. If this is something you are interested in, please subscribe to my mailing list so I can inform you when I publish it.

To sum up

The main questions after my presentation at #TUBS2017 were around understanding customers, paid advertising, engagement and measuring performance.

There were many other questions that I was asked after my seminar on Wednesday, but these are the few that I will talk about in my next blog posts.

If there are any other burning questions on Social Media and business development that you would like to read about, please leave me a comment below, or send me an email. I will make sure to answer them.

If you have any questions related to your business I will be happy to discuss them with you. Just send me an email at

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