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2024 Social Media Best Practices

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The following blog was originally published in Top Rope Media’s Marketing Blog which provides marketing tips and strategies relevant to cleantech brands and businesses.

 


 

Social Media Best Practices for 2024

In the ever-evolving realm of social media, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for both B2C and B2B businesses aiming to make meaningful connections and drive results.  As we step into 2024, understanding social media best practices, optimal posting times, and demographic trends can help you maximize your social media efforts.  Let’s dive in and explore new changes you should embrace this Spring!

 

1. Authenticity Reigns Supreme

One of the top strategies we recommend you focus on that’s shaping the social media landscape this year is authenticity.  Prioritize capturing genuine content that showcases your organization and the people behind it. 

In addition, ensure that content still resonates with your audience’s values and aspirations.  Authenticity can help you build trust and foster a stronger connection with your followers.

 

2. Video Content Dominates

Video continues to be a powerhouse on social media, driving higher engagement and retention rates.  Leverage short-form videos, YouTube Shorts as an example, to capture your audience’s attention. 

Experiment with how to record and edit videos in-house to save time and money.  Here’s some tips from our latest blog, How to Create Videos for YouTube and Social Media.

surfing saladita social media best practices

Including your Instagram handle allows visitors to easily know how to find you on social and tag you in a post.

3. Build Community and Engagement

Social media is not just about broadcasting messages; it’s about building a community around your brand or organization.  Actively engage with your audience by responding to comments and DMs promptly, and seek out user-generated content (UGC). 

Engagement is worth more than likes or follows!  By engagement, we mean your readers or followers are:

  • Clicking on your links
  • Adding a comment
  • Sharing your post with others

In addition, engagement also means that you need to be liking, commenting, and sharing like-minded posts or curated content from respected brands and leaders in your industry.

How do you figure out which of your posts are getting the most engagement so you can replicate them?  Take a look at your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook Analytics, or Instagram Insights to see which posts not only have good reach but also good engagement.

Other ways to foster engagement and build community are to share testimonials and product reviews, and recount one-in-a-lifetime experiences!  If you’re not already doing so, encourage past customers or clients to share their experiences, photos, and videos through social media and with a review on your site or through Google.  See how we’ve done this for Maui Snorkeling!

In addition, make it easy for someone to leave a review.  On our last trip to Sayulita, we booked a boat tour with Chica Locca and their staff had QR codes on the backs of the shirts!  You could easily scan and leave a review or submit a photo or video during the tour.  Leverage your social media platforms to amplify these authentic stories and testimonials!

Foster a sense of belonging and make followers feel heard and valued.  

4. Run Paid Ads Along with Organic Posts

Don’t rely solely on organic posts to move the needle in your social marketing campaigns.  While we frown upon buying followers, a better use of your marketing budget is to run ads through Facebook or Meta Business Manager.  This allows you to run ads across all Meta-owned properties- Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and other networks.

Start with a small budget, $8-10 a day, and ensure you have your Facebook Pixel and Event Pixel set up correctly so you can properly track conversions.  In addition, both LinkedIn and X (Twitter) allow you to run ads to direct traffic back to your website.  Need help with paid social ads?  Give us a shout!

5. Strategically Use Hashtags and Emojis

Hashtags remain essential for increasing your discoverability and reach on platforms like Instagram and X (Twitter).  However, it’s crucial to use relevant and targeted hashtags rather than relying on generic ones.  Research trending hashtags in your industry by using tools like Hootsuite!  Everything can’t be #instagood

For emojis, go lightly.  Use them to break up copy, 2-3 in a post is plenty!   A runner emoji with the wind behind them or a monkey covering his eyes could catch your reader’s eye more than just text.

6. Where to Post

Determine the best channels to distribute your content on by defining your audience.  Once you know who they are, and which social channels they spend most of their time on, focus there.  First, if you need a refresher on how to best use social channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, read our last blog!

  • Instagram continues to be a powerhouse with over 1 billion monthly active users.
  • TikTok is still the most popular among younger demographics.  Use TikTok’s short-form video format to reach Gen Z audiences.
  • LinkedIn remains the go-to platform for B2B marketing with over 800 million users!

Keep in mind, this may not be where YOU spend most of your time.  You may have deleted your personal Facebook page in 2016!  Instead, think about where your target demographic spends most of THEIR time.  It may be TikTok or LinkedIn!

Not sure where to find this information?  Look at your website’s analytics, or better yet Google Analytics, to see where you acquire your website visitors.  The data may surprise you!  Need more help?  Drop us a line!

 

Social media best practices google analytics

Take a look at which social media channels are driving the most traffic to your website on any given week using Google Analytics.

 

7. What to Post on Social

Videos!  Lots of videos. However, remember the best practice for social media begins with remaining true to your brand’s mission and values.  You can’t ‘stay on brand’ if you’re not quite sure what your brand stands for these days.  Dial in the video or graphic that showcases your brand’s personality.  Remember, this may not necessarily be YOUR personality.  But, that of your brand.

Don’t rely solely on static images or text-based posts!  Experiment with videos, create graphics, infographics, and Instagram story panels, and use polls or ask a question to keep your feed dynamic and engaging.  If you are not using Canva yet, get on it!  With Canva you can easily build out infographics, YouTube videos, and Instagram Reels.

If you will be using videos, images, and copy across several social media channels, change up the copy slightly for each.  Do not post the same exact copy on the same day on Facebook as you do on Instagram, X (Twitter), or LinkedIn.  First of all, the links, videos, image size, copy style, and @ mentions will not work across all channels in the same way.  Broken links or missing images can be seen as spammy.  Or just lazy.

 

Split your posts into the following categories:

  • 1 sales post per week (advertising our services or products)
  • 1 curated or UGC (user-generated content) post per week (industry leader, journalist article, a graphic of a stellar review!)
  • 1 blog post share, testimonial, or case study (directs traffic to your website), or upcoming event!

This mix can change depending on what our marketing strategy is that month.  Are you running a sale or hosting a fundraiser?  If so, that should take up more of your content!

Pro tip: Videos and posting multiple images will perform better than a static image almost every time.  Therefore, here are 2 blogs to read for more ideas to take better photos and videos:

8. How to Post: Use a Content Calendar + Scheduling App

Plan out your posts for each week using a content calendar.  You can also use a Content Calendar to:

  • Track email campaigns
  • Blogs to be written
  • PR campaigns
  • Product launch dates
  • Events and holidays

Having everything in one place makes it easier for everyone on the team to know what you’re posting and when.  Once you’ve planned out your content and everything is approved, use a scheduling app like Hootsuite to schedule your posts.  This saves you time and therefore, money and is one of the best social media practices you can get started with today!

Even if you are just using one social channel like LinkedIn, scheduling your posts will help you stay consistent.  Social networks love that!  In addition, this will also give you a good idea of how posts will look on your Instagram profile page and help you keep with your brand color profile or page style.

Read more on how we’ve helped brands get started with scheduling posts!

Pro tip: Another great reason to use Hootsuite?  You can sign up for the free trial of the Hootsuite Professional version and downgrade to the freemium version within 30 days if you only have 3 social channels!!

 

9. When is the Best Time to Post on Social Media

Besides what to post, the next question we get asked about social media best practices is when to post.  Specifically, what days and times are best to post on social media.

Well, potential clients and customers could be reached on social media all day long.  Without that morning and evening commute they may have had, they could be catching up on social!  How do you determine when your followers are most active?  First, take a look at your social channel’s analytics.  Schedule posts, which we will talk about more in a minute, at your peak times and on peak days.

  • Days with the best engagement:  Sunday and Tuesday
  • Best time to post: 7-9am (in your time zone, or alter for the time zone where most of your followers are located)

Keep in mind that some posts, based on the content shared, may do well regardless of the day or time you post!  And the opposite is true.  If something newsworthy or scandalous happens, your post may not get as many likes and engagement.

 

Social media best practices instagram

Sometimes it’s a combination of the image or video, copy, hashtags, day, or time of day that get posts lots of love.

 

10. How to Listen on Social media

A great way to write more engaging content for social media is to listen.  Social ‘listening’ involves reading what people are saying about your brand, product, service, or industry online.

Are you creating content that addresses their issues or answers their questions?  Learn more about how and why we follow the They Ask, You Answer philosophy.

How do you listen well?  Set up a Google Alert.  In addition, you can follow your brand’s hashtags, and also ones that align with your brand.  You should also be listening to your competition.  How do you do this?  Follow them on social.  Add them to your Facebook Page Watch list.  Sign up for their email newsletters!

 

11. Ensure Link Sharing Works

With Facebook and LinkedIn posts, once you add a link to a website or news article, you can clean up your copy by removing the URL link from the text and then the preview image (with the embedded link) will remain.  Then you can schedule your post. 

If there is no social sharing image that appears, first, shame on the author of the article, or news source for not adding one.  If this is the case, you can leave the URL in your post and then add your own image.  A warning: Often this does confuse people if they click on your image and it does not take them to the link.  To avoid this, be clear in the wording of your post. 

For Twitter, leave the link in place.  For Instagram, you cannot add a live link to your copy, so you will need to use the link in bio- more on this below. 

Pro tip: Give credit, tag, or @ mention the news source or publication you are sharing.  Ex: “Read more about traveling to Italy from our friends @AFAR Media!”

 

12. Update Your Social Media Bio and Profile Links

In this ever-changing world, the copy you wrote last year for your LinkedIn profile or Instagram bio may no longer be relevant.  Update your bio or social profile every quarter.

In addition, we often put limited promotions or holiday sale discount codes in Instagram profiles.  For example, “Save 35% this week only by using code HOLIDDAY35.”  This could easily fit in your Instagram profile.  We also update the profile link quite often or use tools like Linktree or LinkinBio to share several links under one profile link on Instagram.

Why do this?  You want people to get to what they are looking for in the least amount of steps.  As an example, if you only have your homepage linked in your profile, and you just launched a new blog, how do you get readers there quickly?

And, if you are saying ‘link in bio’ and it only directs people to your homepage, do you think they will take the time to click over to your profile, click the link in bio, then find your blog page, then find the right blog you were speaking of?

 

13.  Connect Your Store and Sell Through Social platforms

If you use Facebook and Instagram and have a separate store on Shopify or WooCommerce, a social media best practice is to connect your store and import your products through tools like Facebook Commerce Manager. 

In addition, you select to sell directly through Facebook or Instagram, or people can complete their purchase on your website.

 

14. Evaluate Your Social Media Posts’ Performance

If you are not reviewing your social media analytics each week, you could be missing out on some great insights into your customers.  Set an alarm or add a meeting to your calendar each week to review your Google Analytics, along with your social media metrics.

Still not seeing steady growth?

  • Review your posting strategy
  • Switch up the days and times you are posting. Posting daily does not guarantee great results!
  • Change up the type of content posted (hint: add more videos or multiple images!)
  • Upgrade to the latest iPhone or Android, or work with a professional to take better photos.

 

15. Work with Brand Ambassadors + Content Creators

Instead of buying followers, work with content creators and ambassadors to help you create more brand awareness for your products or services!  If you haven’t read our blog on Finding the Right Brand Ambassadors– get on it!

It takes time to find and build relationships with the right content creators or brand ambassadors.  So be patient, ask lots of questions to make sure you have the right fit, and think long-term.  You’ll find the investment is worth it when your ambassador is connected with your brand for years to come.

 

Takeaways from our Social Media Best Practices

We’ve covered a lot of ground in our review of social media best practices.  Here are a few to remember:

 

Social Media Best Practices Takeaways:

  • Determine which social networks your customers and potential customers use the most
  • Stay true to your brand’s voice and values
  • Share videos and multiple images
  • Plan out content with a Content Calendar
  • Schedule content using a tool like Hootsuite
  • Be an active ‘social listener’ 
  • Evaluate how your social media channels are performing 
  • Upgrade your phone, or work with a professional, and learn how to take better photos!
  • Work with brand ambassadors and content creators
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