Social media marketing is constantly evolving, and it can be tough to keep up with new platforms, changes in algorithms, and knowing what will or won't work for your audience.
Considering more than half of the world uses social media, it's important to spend some time creating a social media strategy that nudges your audience to take action.
Diving into the realm of social media can be daunting, but fear not — we're here to help!
In this guide, we'll break down:
- The Value of Social Media
- Establishing Your Brand Voice
- Researching Your Audience
- Providing Social Proof
- Taking Advantage of Existing Data
- Embracing Social Listening
- Navigate Around the Social Algorithms
The Value of Social Media
Social media has grown on such a wide scale that if you're not using it for your business — you're limiting your growth potential. In a world of content junkies, we constantly consume immense amounts of content daily. As a business, it gives you the opportunity to contribute to the content people have come to rely on. If you're not, you're missing out.
There is no "one-size-fits-all" solution for social media marketing. However, there are a few best practices to keep in mind when creating your social strategy that can help set your business up for success.
Establish Your Brand Voice
It's important to realize that while social media can be great for your business, not all platforms are created equal. If you want to be a more visual brand, Instagram or TikTok can be your sweet spot. Whereas Twitter and Facebook are best for starting a conversation or sharing industry news and topics related to your brand.
Regardless of what platforms you choose, it's important to establish your brand voice or your brand's personality. Images and content you post should be consistent with your brand style or imagery. Keep your brand uniform across all platforms — if users hop from one platform to another, you want to make sure they can recognize you.
Establish the tone of voice you want to use on each platform. A B2B business will likely perform better on LinkedIn or Facebook compared to Instagram. Bringing the same tone to an Instagram audience could alienate you from potential customers. A general rule of thumb: stick to the type of content that performs well on the platform you want to post to.
Expert Tip: Study the various social media platforms and consider what your audience is gravitating towards. Then you can determine how to create an effective message while staying true to your overall brand voice.
Research Your Audience
Make sure your plan includes audience research. Take a look at your buyer personas and take them one step further. Include their motivations, pain points, inspirations, and how your business can tie into those things.
Consider what your potential customers think about your product or service. Is it what you want them to think, or are there areas to be improved on? What kind of content would you need to create to make them believe your product or services are worth their hard-earned money?
Provide Social Proof
It's a simple but effective way to influence online users. Social proof relies on the psychology of marketing to influence a buyer's decisions.
In fact, 95% of people say that reviews – whether positive or negative – influence their purchasing decisions. (Wyzowl).
Customers today have a wealth of information in the palm of their hands, so they're much more informed when making buying decisions. Reading and writing testimonials has quickly become a natural part of the buyer journey. So providing those testimonials on your social channels can help increase your chances of creating growth for your business.
Expert Tip: Check out these examples of Social Proof from HubSpot to help you incorporate social posts that provide social proof that others are happy with your product or service.
Take Advantage of Existing Data
Before social media, advertising options were limited to television commercials, magazines, newspapers, or emails. Social media gives your business a unique opportunity to reach a targeted audience that matches well with your product or service.
Utilizing analytics, you can narrow down your target demographic and see the type of products or services they use the most and the type of content they react to. This data can help you prepare ad campaigns that maximize your audience reach. Then you can monitor your campaign with key performance indicators (KPIs) like engagement, click-throughs, and organic impressions.
Expert Tip: HubSpot's Marketing Hub Pro and Enterprise packages offer tools that allow you to set up campaigns to monitor the success of your marketing initiatives using social media, among other tactics.
Embrace Social Listening
It may sound like a fancy buzzword but what social listening really boils down to is real-time market research. From basic scans to advanced tools, social listening lets you know what people think of your company or the features/benefits that they're really looking for.
It can play a major role in decisions like product positioning and new product development. Check-in on your customers often. If there's suddenly a negative swing in your online presence — find out why. Dig into the problem and address it to keep your customers happy (and potentially avoid any PR nightmares).
Expert Tip: HubSpot's Social Media Marketing tools allow you to monitor and engage with your social media followers to help encourage community building and build trust with your followers.
navigate around the social algorithms
The world of social media algorithms is messy — and not because of all the calculations and data based on your social habits. It's because social algorithms lack transparency.
Neil Patel, CMO of NP Digital, gave INBOUND 2022 attendees key insights into utilizing what we know about social and paid search algorithms to their advantage. Here are his highlights on one thing you can do for each platform that will give you results today:
- In the first 24 hours of a video being published you need to gain as many views as possible. The easiest way to do this is through push notifications, email blasts, and SMS blasts.
- Within the first 4 hours of your post being live you need engaging comments. You can get these by creating a social media ring.
- Be sure to encourage comments that enhance the conversation.
- TikTok is just like LinkedIn, they want comments and lots of comments.
- Facebook wants you to create long form content that keeps people on their platform. And ideally, locally hosted video content.
- To do well on Instagram, create live content at least twice a week. Instagram users crave live content, but after a spike when it first happened, fewer people are delivering it now.
Love ’em or hate ’em, social algorithms are here for the long haul.
But gaining an understanding of what algorithms are and how they work is crucial for growing your business' social presence long-term.
The strategies you use to attract an audience on social media should focus on forming a connection. Establishing a trusting relationship with your target audience helps lead to more loyal customers. For even more information on HubSpot and the power of their different hubs, check out our free HubSpot One Pagers!