When it comes to social media marketing, everything changes while everything stays the same. New trends, new platforms, new forms of content and even new rules can make a marketer throw up their hands and wonder if their old boss is hiring. Let’s discuss the social media marketing insights that make sense for your business goals and strategies.
It all boils down to the same simple goal year after year, decade after decade, and it’s this: How best to use social media to gain an audience that buys your products. Everything else is irrelevant and pretty much a waste of time.
Drawing from the experiences of over 1,000 global social media marketers inside HubSpot’s Annual State of Social Media Report, here are 7.5 important findings and actionable takeaways to help you elevate your social media game in 2023.
1: Build an Active Social Media Community to Increase Engagement
An overwhelming 90% of social media marketers assert that constructing an active online community is paramount to achieving success in social media strategies this year. Social media communities enable your followers to engage with one another, fostering a sense of value and connection to your brand.
Imagine being that person who brings people together, facilitating stimulating conversations and forging deep connections. By cultivating social media communities, your brand can be that connector, becoming a valuable asset for both prospects and customers.
2: Sell Your Stuff Inside the Platform
Social media is swiftly becoming the preferred e-commerce platform for consumers, posing a challenge to e-commerce giants like Amazon.
Surprisingly, 25% of social media users aged 18-44 have made purchases on social apps in the past three months, and social media has emerged as the favored platform for product discovery among consumers in the same age group.
Moreover, a staggering 80% of social media marketers predict that consumers will increasingly buy products directly from social apps rather than from brands’ websites or third-party platforms like Amazon.
To capitalize on this shift, you’ll want to integrate shopping capabilities into your social media channels, allowing consumers to make purchases conveniently and seamlessly without leaving the platform.
The more trust you can build with your audience, the better. Share customer reviews, collaborate with trusted influencers who vouch for your products and deliver upfront value through helpful content, allowing consumers to make informed decisions about their purchases.
3: Tailor Content for Each Social Platform
One size no longer fits all. Since the beginning of 2023, reposting the same content across multiple platforms is no longer as effective because social media platforms do not reward recycled content. Plus, audiences generally prefer content tailored to each platform’s unique characteristics.
Thankfully, this doesn’t mean you need to create entirely new content for every platform. Just like 48% of social media marketers, you can leverage foundational content across platforms while customizing the tone, language, and visuals to align with each social channel’s nuances.
And when you customize your content, you will immediately be ahead of the 17% of social media marketers who continue to share identical content across all platforms. Or if you have the time and inclination, you can join the 34% of marketers who create unique content for each platform.
4: Ride the Rise of Social Search: A Paradigm Shift in Discovery
When it comes to discovering new brands, social media has emerged as a primary source, surpassing traditional search engines like Google.
Nowadays, when people hear about an interesting brand, they often turn to platforms like Instagram to gain an authentic and in-depth understanding of its mission and products. A remarkable 36% of Gen Z and 22% of millennials prefer searching for brands on social media rather than using search engines.
While SEO is still important for bringing Google searchers to your website, it’s now equally important to maintain a robust social media presence to help people discover your products.
For social search, consider incorporating relevant keywords and hashtags in your social posts and bio, as well as ensuring your username is easily searchable.
5: Profit from the Power of Relatable and Funny Content
Humor is a winning formula for capturing attention and making your content memorable. When scrolling through social media feeds, people tend to pause when they encounter something funny or amusing.
When asked about the most effective content, 66% of social media marketers found funny content to be the most impactful for their brand. Relatable content followed closely at 63%, with trendy content at 59%. This is supported by Hubspot’s Consumer Trends report, which found that 49% of consumers consider funny content the most memorable, followed by relatable content at 36%.
Not feeling funny? Take note of what makes you laugh and then find ways to authentically incorporate that humor into your posts.
6: Post at the Best Times for Maximum Engagement
Determining the optimal times to post on social media platforms requires careful consideration and adaptation. Or you could just wing it. I say this because some marketers get so bogged down on when to post that they forget to post at all. Posting at any time is better than not posting at all.
Social media marketers in general say the most effective posting times across all industries and platforms are between 6 PM to 9 PM and 12 PM to 3 PM, with Fridays generating the highest engagement rates. During the evening hours, many social media users are looking to unwind and consume interesting and captivating content. Similarly, the midday period often witnesses a lull in productivity, providing an opportune moment for users to engage with social media before returning to work.
However, and it’s a BIG however, you should always test to see what works best for you, your business and your audience. If, for example, you’re using social media to collect leads, and you get twice the leads in the evening but those leads convert at only 20% of the leads you get during lunch, then you’ll want to focus on posting during the lunch hours.
I know this seems obvious, but most new marketers never bother to run the numbers to find out what’s doing the heavy lifting when it comes to their bottom line.
7: Use Micro-Influencers to Expand Your Reach
Here’s good news for 99.9% of us marketers who can’t afford to hire Brad Pitt as our spokesperson: Investing in micro-influencers over celebrities has proven to be a highly successful strategy for social media marketers. Surprisingly, a staggering 80% of influencer marketers now collaborate with smaller creators and influencers who have fewer than 100K followers, while only 16% opt for celebrities with over one million followers.
There are several reasons why micro-influencers are gaining favor. First and foremost, they are more cost-effective, making it easier to establish long-term partnerships. Additionally, micro-influencers possess dedicated and tightly-knit niche communities, earning them higher levels of trust compared to celebrities. It’s worth noting that 37% of social media marketers have observed greater engagement with content produced by micro-influencers.
One note: Quality of content is key. Choose micro-influencers who produce content their followers consume and share with wild abandon and you can’t go wrong.
7.5: Use THIS Platform to Maximize Your ROI Beyond Any Other Platform
When considering the platforms that offer the highest return-on-investment, there is one that emerges as the strongest contender. Among all social media platforms, this one stands out for its remarkable ROI and engagement rates.
Industry professionals anticipate significant growth for this platform in 2023 and believe it possesses the most accurate algorithm, providing brands with exceptional opportunities to expand their audiences.
To further underline its significance, 29% of social media marketers plan to allocate the majority of their investments to this platform. Additionally, 52% intend to increase their investment in this platform in 2023, while 39% plan to maintain their current level of investment.
Any guess which social media platform we’re talking about?
It’s Instagram. I think of my Instagram account as more lifestyle than business, but that doesn’t mean I’m not attracting new prospects and clients along with new friends.
If your audience can be found on Instagram, then you might seriously consider spending a good deal of your social media time and capital on this platform as well.
Why is Instagram great for marketing?
• Instagram Centers Around Storytelling
• Visual Content Is Inseparable from Your Marketing Strategy
• You Can Reach and Engage with Lots of Prospects and Customers
• Hashtags Increase Your Business’s Visibility
• Instagram Offers Many Ways to Be Creative
• Instagram Can Make Your Business More Relatable
• You Can Partner with Influencers
• You Can Reach New Customers Through Instagram Advertisement
• Regardless of the Size of Your Business, You Can Do Well on Instagram
As always, monitor your results to ensure you’re focusing your time where it’s doing the most good for your bottom line.
One last note: If social media simply isn’t your cup of tea, you might consider hiring a social media manager to grow your audience, build trust and expand your business. The right person could do wonders for your bottom line.
Also, remember that AI (artificial intelligence) has planted itself firmly in the social media space. I choose to embrace this phenomenon fully and learn as much as possible to implement in my own social media marketing. Insights from the experience of others leads to new relationships, collaboration, and an increase in knowledge around social media marketing strategies.
Here’s an excerpt from an article from Forbes on how AI is transforming social media:
Artificial intelligence continues to play a game-changing role in many aspects of our lives. The social media landscape is one of the areas where this impact is most evident. From automatic content moderation and personalized recommendations to the ads we watch and beyond, AI is reshaping the way we interact and connect online.
In this digital era in which an unimaginable amount of data is generated daily, AI has become a significant part of the major social networks that contribute massively to managing this vast data coming to social media platforms. AI tools help enhance features of social media platforms and lead social media activities at scale across a number of use cases, including text and visual content creation, social media monitoring, ad management, influencer research, brand awareness campaigns and more.
Generative AI has been one of the most exciting trends over the past few years that uses text-to-image, image-to-video, image-to-image and other varieties of algorithms to create unique content like images, video, music and text. Among the AI-powered content generation tools that have become a big blast this year is Lately, which constantly learns from your past social media posts and generates the most effective content to scale your campaigns. OpenAI’s ChatGPT is another breakthrough chatbot technology that can understand natural language and generate human-like responses in a conversational way.
May your social media marketing, insights, and results be joyous and lead to your business growing exponentially!
I’m bestselling USA Today and Wall Street Journal author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and my goal is to connect with you if you have more than just a passing interest in getting started with an online business. Please take a close look at Jim Edwards’ “How to Write an eBook in 7 Days or Less” and get started on the journey to entrepreneurial success.