802Social on the Mic!

Last week I had the honor of speaking to a group of eager marketing students at the University of Vermont. We limited ourselves to social media in the hospitality industry for this discussion, but as you know, I’m a champion of social media marketing for industries and organizations across the board.

The group of about 25 students was tasked with either creating a new Facebook page or starting their own website for an imaginary business. Despite also having website guru Mike Lannen of Eternity in the house, most folks decided to go the Facebook route; an imaginary profile page seemed a little less daunting in the moment than devising a detailed website architecture, I guess…

As the group ventured down their social media rabbit hole, far beyond the bounds of Facebook or a simple website, suddenly everyone had questions and concerns. Not so easy after all, I guess…

Here’s a few questions that stood out among the many.

"How do you feel about a lot of hashtags being used in a post?"
I consider each platform a bit differently with regards to hashtags. Instagram allows as many as 30 hashtags on any single post. I generally don't recommend using all 30, but hashtags really unlock the secret of Instagram, so the more the merrier, really.

My go-to is usually about 12. Hashtags help people discover your content. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 hashtags on any given post connects you to a lot of different categories and people, without looking too spammy.

For Facebook, I prefer 1-3. Hashtags are a bit less effective on Facebook, though they still help communicate and connect. #802Social #socialmedia #networking #vtbiz

“What do you think about buying an Instagram Like?"
My simple answer... NO! Don’t do it!! Paying for “Likes” is just bad business. Concentrate on creating and sharing compelling content that will earn your posts real Likes from real people.

"What about Snapchat for businesses?"
Snapchat has muscled its way to the front of the line with anyone between the ages of 18 and 22. I use Snapchat in my personal life, but not for my business, nor have I recommended it for any of my clients. At this point, Snapchat isn't quite user-friendly or effective enough for businesses. With Facebook and Instagram still way too dominant in the field, Snapchat has some work yet to do to catch up.

As with everything in the social media world though, keep an eye one it. These spaces and services are constantly evolving. Social media professionals are out there keeping pace with all the trends and changes, so reach out and stay connected to know how the landscape looks from day to day.

“What about all the other questions we have?”
Questions continued, I could hear the hands wringing, but unfortunately our time was up for the day. It never ceases to amaze me the questions I'm asked when I speak with a group. The world of social media marketing can be truly unrelenting, and simply too much for a lot of people to keep up with.

That frustration a lot of people feel was one of the biggest reasons I got into the business; helping local business owners get a handle on their social media marketing can be instantly gratifying. I love seeing how relieved they can be to have someone else take the wheel for a while!

That’s why I’m here.

Questions answered at 802Social