Are social networks a big pain?

are social networks a big pain?

Today we are overwhelmed by notifications, apps and social networks plays a massive role in this digitalized world.

Whether you are using it for your personal branding or for your company it doesn’t change the game. We are spending a LOT of time posting updates, choosing the best pictures and thinking about the best strategy to use. It’s our reputation after all, and what we share online stays online 🙂

We already know different online tools helping us share easier on our social streams. Any Community Manager or Marketing Manager knows Buffer or Hootsuite and more which are doing a great job as social media management tools.

But let’s jump into the topic now: are social networks a big pain today?

To solve the Hamlet-like dilemma I asked some questions to Maurizio Lotito, co-founder (with Antonello Fratepietro e Maria Miracapillo) of PostPickr, a new social media management platform which allows you to schedule and publish contents across multiple social networks. Oh, and it’s made in Italy 🙂

Maurizio, thanks for being here to help us light-up this Social Media dilemma!

As said above today we are really spending too much time behind social media and I think we are quite loosing the perception of real life and social media life. How do you think social networks are changing our habits and behaviors in our private life?

M: Thank you to host me here Stefano! I want to immediately reply to your question: sure, social media have deeply changed the way to interact between people, even in our physical life. I must say, also, that this perception can completely change with the lowering of the age. For “new millennials”, digital and real life relationships are perfectly matched. I want to give you an example: close to where I live there’s a square, where a young group of African immigrants is used to meet up. They are jobless and homeless but, despite their situation, they all have a smartphone. This is a glaring example of how a smartphone is considered a primary necessity as food and garments are. Social Media, thanks to smartphones and low-cost devices, has a deep penetration. No matter your age, gender, social class or latitude. It’s a real anthropological revolution!

Social Networks are fully integrated today in our work life. What do you think about the new Facebook’s project “Facebook at work”? Do you think it will change the perception some people have about Facebook as the social for “slackers”?

M: I don’t think this project is developed with the purpose to redesign this perception. But, if rumors are confirmed, it would be a great move by the Menlo Park’s Giant; as long as it won’t be a copy of the LinkedIn experience. I really like the idea of a tool fully integrated in the internal corporate communication or used to create a direct line between companies and stakeholders. Groups can be very powerful on Facebook, and this is something they should consider. in PostPickr, we have created a private group, dedicated to our beta tester, and I must admit the results have been really interesting and precious for us.

Automation is very effective when we talk about social networks. In terms of time how can we save in a day using social media automation tools?

M: Publish and share regularly content on the social media streams is a demanding and crucial challenge that professionals and entrepreneurs face every day. Used tools to help solve this problem, is of course, fundamental if we want to manage everything easier as possible. We have particularly   focused our attention on the editorial plan, very used by social media marketers. For each project is possible to set multiple team options and also, a better strategy to reach your content goals. To talk in figures, with automation (and planning) we can save up to 50% of our daily time dedicated to manage our social and content marketing activity. Time you can invest on creativity, engagement and listening.

Despite the incredible Facebook growth (investments on mobile ads are  like never before) and other social networks, marketers are sometimes skeptical about the real ROI. What are your thoughts about it?

M: All the companies I met during my experience, and have invested on social media, have seen tangible benefits, especially in terms of visibility, reputation and loyalty. I am absolutely sure that this means, in there long-term, an increase in sales and a deeper market penetration. The skepticism could be partly motivated by the difficulty to understand the two elements. Content marketing is composed by different moving parts and it takes time to find the perfect recipe.

Facebook and Twitter are the main social networks at the moment. Google Plus is considered a good dock, even if it’s not so used in Italy. Instagram is incredibly popular right now and Pinterest is rising especially in specific industries. May be, for some enterprises, could be better to invest money and time just in specific social networks and avoid others. What do you think and why?

M: Personally, I believed in a multi-channel strategy. This, even before the dramatic organic reach drop on Facebook and other networks. I think we should consider Facebook, Twitter and the other major social media constantly evolving communities where things happen and change fast (See the recent Forrester research). To use a culinary metaphor, there’s an universal recipe, it’s a matter of using the right marketing-mix: first of all there’s the ingredients quality (content), then the right dosage (right channels to use), baking ( te ability to blend communication toward a goal) and, finally, the dressing (customization). Anyway, I want to spend a few words on behalf of Facebook. Many companies use the social as a pure display ads platform, as Google Ads, to auto-promote content. Facebook is made by people and is for people, so it’s fundamental to create a human approach. People spend their time on it basically for two reasons: entertainment and to be informed. In fact, the pages with the largest reach and engagement are those categories and have a double reach. A high quality content, giving a real add value, go viral on Facebook as it could be on any other social. So I strongly recommend to study the audience based on their product and then, choose the best platforms for their followers.

Based on your experiences what are the major complains your clients have regarding social media?

M: During my experience, as a social media manager, I always worked for small and mid size enterprises, and  for the most of them, was the first experience on social media. But I have never met any particular obstacle or complains about these tools. It’s important to immediately define the approach and the goal a company has, and also the real expectations, in order to avoid fake expectations. The only downside is that companies are still reluctant to expose themselves, evolving different company branches. Often, it’s not easy to make them understand that transparency, openness and honesty are core values online and the opportunities overcome the risks.

Great! Thanks for your time and precious answers!

Well! Hope this post enlightened you a little bit more regarding social media. What is your personal approach on social media and if you are a social media manager, what is your thoughts about these questions?

Let me know!