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10 social media best practices for 2023

by Khoros Staff | Jan 26, 2023

As much as we’re all knee-deep in the social media world — getting an influx of information on the latest trends and news — best practices for how to succeed with marketing on social media often feel mixed and subjective. At the same time, it’s important to have a strategy backed up by data if you want to reap results for your social media efforts.

Given that social media channels are public and so much content is produced, it can feel like the stakes are high. After all, an estimated 42% of the world’s population uses some form of social media, roughly 3.2 billion people. While social media enables marketers to have a wealth of potential customers at their fingertips, it also means they must be mindful of their approach in a hyper-visible space.

We collected expert-vetted best practices for social media to use in 2023. Get ready to start on the path of getting greater business value for your brand!

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1. Check out what competitors are doing

These days, people tend to get their first impression from a brand on social media. So, how does your social media presence stack up against your competitors? If you really want an informed strategy, knowing what rival companies are doing in the space is key so you can strategize ways to set your brand apart. Plus, with social media platforms making it easy to find, track, and analyze competitors, your team can easily put together an audit in no time.

Look at the content competitors are publishing and ask:

  • What messaging and media are being implemented?
    •  Video? Images? User Generated Content (UGC)? 

  • What demographics do they appear to be targeting? 

  • How much are they spending?

  • How frequently – and when – are they posting?

  • Are they using influencers or partnering with other businesses to boost visibility?

  • What seems to be performing well and what doesn’t? 

Answering these questions will give you insight into how to make your social media campaigns better and increase the likelihood that you can gain better traction on these channels.

Make sure you audit your competitors at least once a year to see what new strategies they might be leveraging. 

Also, you don’t always have to limit your search to direct competitors for inspiration. You can browse other industries to see the latest trends your team could implement or even take note of the campaigns that resonate with you in your personal use of social media. 

2. Understand your audience’s social media preferences

Knowing your customers is one of the most important foundational steps for any marketing campaign. Social media gives us the power to cultivate a massive collection of customer data that we can use to guide business decisions and our marketing strategies.

Apart from general demographics information, the following are good questions to ask when compiling audience data for your campaigns:

Which platform(s) does your customer base use? 

Do all of my buyer personas gravitate toward the same platform? Or are they divided in their preferences?

What do your customers value?

What do you need to convince your customers to buy your product or service? For example, 74% of younger people (gen Z and millennials)dislike being targeted by social media brands. Building trust with these generations involves a two-way dialogue, with sources such as blogs and online communities carrying far more credibility than traditional advertising. Younger users are much more resistant to being pitched at or sold to. They want an experience that feels organic and authentic.

Where are you in terms of brand awareness? 

Does your audience already recognize your brand? What do you want to change or maintain about how consumers perceive the brand on social media? 

Keep in mind that the answers to these questions may change on a campaign-to-campaign basis depending on the customer persona, product type, media type, etc. You may need to set up separate strategies for each social platform, or for each persona. 

Social media can provide you with some of this information if you don’t already have it. Use those insights. Based on Gartner’s research, only one percent of companies who regularly tap into their stores of social media and legacy customer data use it to its full potential.

When you understand the needs and expectations of customers, you can fundamentally reshape the sales funnel and shift the way customers view our brands.

3. Establish and maintain your brand’s voice

Establishing your brand voice sounds like a no-brainer, but many brands don’t fully get this right on their social media channels. Maintaining a consistent voice helps your brand be recognizable among competitors and stay true to its values. 

For social media in particular, you’ll want to establish the following for social media processes: 

  • Visual style and tone

  • A content approval process and cadence

  • How niche words your brand commonly uses are spelled, capitalized, etc.

  • Consistent hashtags and slogans — especially those including your brand’s name

  • Important resources to share (and which ones to avoid sharing)

  • Guidelines for responding to comments 

If your brand hasn’t defined its voice, it’s a good idea to lay out some guidelines for your team. Consider why your brand exists, what it values, how you want to describe your brand, and how you want customers to feel when interacting with your brand. 

You can even use your customer and competitor research to determine the brand voice style that most resonates with your target audience. Use any personas generated from customer research to create a voice that speaks to those customers. You can do competitor research to see how they approach brand voice and then decide if you want to improve upon that strategy or go in a different direction.

Brand voice is the vehicle for telling your brand’s story, so cultivate it carefully. No matter who you’re writing for, remember the best way to build trust is to talk with, not at, your customers. That way, you can build a network of trusted stakeholders around your brand.

4. Figure out the right time and amount to post for your brand, then create and follow a social media calendar

The question of when to post seems to haunt most brands new to social media, perhaps because it’s one of the easiest things to control.

While there are some theories as to when (most sources claim 10am Tuesday-Thursday is the best time), the honest answer to that question is quite a bit more complicated. Different customers can live in vastly different time zones, and not everyone has a standard 9-5 job. So the real best practice for social media marketing in terms of timing and frequency is — yet again — dependent upon your customer.

Leverage social marketing analytics to better understand the performance of your content based on time of day, frequency, geography, and more. Then you can use the insights to adapt your social publishing strategy for optimal performance. The same goes for post frequency.

This is another excellent opportunity to use your competitor and customer research to inform your marketing strategy. Ask some basic questions:

  • When and how often are my competitors posting content?

  • How well does it seem to be working for them?

  • How would a different cadence perform?

Similarly, by tracking how your audience reacts to the timing of your posts, you can refine your cadence to take advantage of the most opportune posting times. Once you have this information established, set up a calendar that everyone involved can reference. It’s easy to think you’ll remember to pop in a new post here and there, but then all of a sudden, three months will have gone by, and the last thing your brand published is a (now entirely irrelevant) meme.

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5. Use tools to plan and automate tasks

Tools and automation keep you organized and let you focus on the most important tasks instead of getting bogged down with repetitive, menial jobs. Enlist the help of tools to make your day-to-day job easier and more efficient, and eliminate or automate inefficient tasks where possible. The suite of tools used to improve social media management has become increasingly robust. Here are a few examples:

  • Social Media Integrations unify and integrate your customer engagement operations. This goes beyond just social media platforms (of which there are many) and includes SMS and chat applications, YouTube, Google My Business, email, review platforms, chatbots, and so on.

  • Social Media Listening, which is different than social media monitoring, involves seeking out and analyzing involves seeking out and analyzing the sentiment of your brand, competitors, and industry. Tools for social media listening gather this information together, so you don’t have to spend your time seeking it out. They are invaluable for planning and creating content your audience is interested in.

  • Social Media Calendars or schedulers can be especially helpful when posting content when a brand wants to and on the appropriate channels. Scheduling posts in advance frees you up so that you’re not constantly at your computer, waiting to press publish on your next post.

Social media management is no longer something brands can responsibly assign to an intern and forget about. It requires commitment and can be very time-consuming if you’re not using tools like these to increase your efficiency and knowledge.

6. Respond to customers promptly

One of the biggest draws of social media is that it allows for interaction. Still, many brands are initially surprised by the number of questions and requests they receive through their social media channels. 

Speed is crucial to maintaining a happy customer base. Customers have high expectations for a quick response: half of social media users expect a brand to respond to their tweet and demand a response within three hours. Brands that fail to meet this expectation risk losing customers.

About 30% of customers said they would stop giving a brand their business and express their dissatisfaction on social media and with friends and family.

Not surprisingly, over 40% of customers who reach out to brands on social media are more likely to buy and encourage their friends and families to buy from companies that provide them with a timely response.

Learn more about the consumer expectations for social media customer service in our new report or how chatbots can seamlessly automate aspects of your social media customer service.

7. Tap into subject matter experts at your organization

There is no better way to get the correct answer to a complicated question or create in-depth, nuanced, and exciting content than to appeal to the experts within your organization. Don’t be afraid to tap into subject matter experts across all departments to assist with customer issues or generate new ideas. While your subject experts might not know how to market what’s unique to their brand, they are the key to what makes your brand different, and appealing to their knowledge will ultimately drive higher customer satisfaction ratings.

8. Share customer feedback — especially when it’s positive

There is a misconception that social media marketing is all about interacting with the people who are external to your company. But who is most likely to have their work shared on your social media platforms?

When your customers experience satisfactory resolutions to specific issues, particularly those using social channels, ask that customer if you can share those conversations or if they would like to leave a review. Not just on your social media but internally as well.

Building internal excitement and encouraging a collaborative approach to social participation can boost morale and transform your employees into brand advocates. If you have an online brand community, use Community Syndication to place positive customer reviews anywhere they need to go. (And if you don’t have an online brand community, consider how adding one might improve your bottom line.)

9. Set goals and pursue them

Have you ever started creating a fun social media campaign and realized that you didn’t know exactly what you wanted your brand to get out of it? And by exactly, do we mean a hard number to work toward within a reasonable amount of time?

For many brands, the current impetus for upping their social media is to “increase brand awareness,” “boost brand engagement,” or “build a community.” These goals aren’t as measurable as “increase revenue,” but there are metrics associated with these ideas.

In particular, look at how your social media is impacting these numbers to gain insights into the reach and influence of your campaigns:

  • Post views

  • Followers (real, not paid)

  • Email sign-ups generated by social media campaigns

  • Visits to your website from your social platforms

  • Numbers of likes, comments, hashtags, shares, saves, subscriptions, etc.

  • Social-generated sales and conversions

  • Response time

  • Reviews

Challenge yourself to measure the social media impact on your business. This will give you executive-level support to secure a budget for resources like technology tools and team personnel and ultimately prove that you’re adding value.

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10. Measure results with social media analytics to better optimize campaigns

Social media managers can neither prove their value nor optimize their efforts without hard data. Use a social marketing analytics tool that helps you both measure and optimize your social programs. This works in the same way companies have long measured and optimized search, email, and other proven digital channels.

Having social media analytics can tell you when your social media strategy is working, and when you need to pivot. After all, a well-thought-out strategy is great, but  sometimes things happen during the implementation of those strategies that we don’t expect. In these times, it’s important to be adaptable so that you may alter your strategy and respond to the situation at hand.

This can help humanize your brand in the eyes of consumers and show that you are not out of touch.

Khoros makes it easy to follow social media best practices

If you’re ready to use social media to impact your brand in 2023 positively, you’re in the right place. Our suite of products makes it simple for marketing and customer care teams to get the insights and support tools they need to drive success. Scale your interactions, elevate and diversity of your content, and protect the brand you’ve built — all in one, easy-to-use place.

Are you ready to make the most of your social media? Schedule a demo today.

Request a demo | Khoros

For more information on best practices in social media marketing, read our Social Media Pocket Guide.

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