Updated: Apr 20
Over the past week I have been using my social distancing time to dig a little deeper into the business world of social media. By taking this course through Hubspot Academy, I feel as though I have a greater understanding of how to successfully strategize and optimize social media for business purposes. Of course, this could be applied to personal branding as well, I have no doubt that this course and certificate will further my personal and professional goals.
Here are 10 things that I have learned:
Follower count is the “fluffiest of KPIs”
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are quantifiable measures of success, so followers could be an example of a KPI. But, followers can also be what is called a “vanity metric” which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, that the look > meaning. If you have a ton of followers on social media, but they don’t engage or buy your product/services, they might look good but they don’t correlate to business success. It is better to have less “true fans” who engage and love your posts and your business, than a ton of followers who don’t. This idea came from the video “Building the foundation for success- setting social KPIs” in Developing a Social Strategy.
Working with influencers is not about you
To work with an influencer, you want to make sure that it is a mutually beneficial relationship. You should consider their goals and what they would want to gain from working with you. The different levels of influencers have different wants and needs, but their influence can be worth the exchange. This idea is found in the video “The Varying Shades of influencer marketing” in Extending Your Reach on Social Media.
Trust the Influencer
Giving the influencer creative license will let them really shine, giving them a script is not beneficial as they know their audience best. Openness to collaboration and readiness to compromise can give your influencer the best opportunity to reach their audience and help your brand. Giving guidelines is perfectly appropriate, but the influencers voice should be able to shine through. This idea is from the video “How to work with influencers” in Extending Your Reach on Social Media.
Relationship with your audience is about engaging and including
Having a relationship with your audience can help with user generated content, which in return spreads awareness and support for your brand to their audience as well. But, building a relationship is so much more than pushing content and hoping for a response. Listen to what your audience is saying, engage with their posts, and praise their user generated content or public feedback to encourage more. This idea is from “Encouraging user generated content among your audience” in Extending Your Reach on Social Media
Engagement and one-to-one relationships are the heart of social strategy
When you engage with customers on social media builds trust which then inspires these customers to recommend to others. Direct engagement that is personal and one-on-one gives a humanizing sense to your brand, which brings comfort and trust. Humans feel connected and loyal to a brand that has a sense of personalization and familiarity. This idea is from “Why social engagement is the heart of social strategy” in Using Social Media to Build One-to-One Relationships.
Facebook is one of the best platforms for social media advertising
There are 2.5 billion on Facebook, which means that the advertising opportunities are very high. One of the best features of Facebook advertising is the audience targeting. There is no other platform with an ad feature so great. You are able to customize your targets and Facebook has three categories of targets; core audiences, custom audiences, and lookalike audiences. This is only one of the great aspects of Facebook Ads. This idea is from “ Exploring the Social Media Advertising Platforms” in Introduction to Social Media Advertising.
Crises Management Plans
Social media comes with a lot of good but crises and negative situations are not rare and you have to be ready to handle them. When situations arise that can damage a brand’s reputations, you need a plan. Governance, risk and ethics are important in social media. Being aware of the possibilities and the repercussions that follow, having a plan in place is crucial to surviving those situations. This idea is found in “Why social media doesn’t stop here” in Essentials for Continued Success with Social Media.
Trendjacking during a sensitive situation is an example of potential crises
Trendjacking is a crises that is easily avoidable, but happens too often. This means, when a topic is trending and a brand uses the trend to get their branding message out, without doing the research first. It is easy to jump on trends for advertising purposes, but to appear insensitive to a sensitive situation is a big no-no and can cause a lot of harm. Doing research before joining in on a trend is a must. This idea is found in “Putting a crisis management plan in place” in Essentials for Continued Success with Social Media.
Building a strong employee advocacy program is very important
Employees can and should be your best advocates and assets for sharing your story and culture to external audiences. This means that employees are some of the best word-of-mouth marketers because they are closest to the brand and give them credibility and trustworthiness. This idea is from “Building an employee advocacy program” in Essentials for Continued Success with Social Media.
Social media is about building a relationship
A relationship with your audience has to come first if you want them to receive your messages. If you engage by being welcoming, understanding, sympathetic and answering questions and concerns, your audience will be able to relate to your brand. People like and react to human interaction. This idea is found in “How to hit business goals through social selling” in Using Social Media to Build One-to-One Relationships.
If you are considering broadening your social media horizons, I fully recommend this course.