21 Social Media Best Practices to Follow in 2022
There’s no “one magical way” to do social media marketing that works for everyone. But, there are a few universal pitfalls that can sink anyone. These range from PR nightmares to more seemingly innocuous mistakes, like posting the exact same content on every platform.
1. Research your audience
Pro tip: Defining your target audience is more than demographics or a superficial buyer persona. Include their motivations, inspirations and pain points, and how you’re the perfect solution.
2. Build a presence on the right social media networks
Pro tip: By all means, stay informed on new social media trends, but think before taking action. Oh, hey, we did all the research for you with this comprehensive, free Social Trends 2022 report.
3. Strategic is better than clever
4. Audit your performance
Sure, things are good right now, but do you know why? What exactly led to these great results? Striking lucky is great, but a better path forward is learning why your content performed well (or didn’t), so you can build repeatable processes for successful campaigns.
Pro tip: Let Hootsuite tell you when your personal best time to post is, for each platform and goal. This is part of Hootsuite Analytics, along with advanced metrics tracking and reporting features, so you can spend less time staring at spreadsheets and more time optimizing your campaigns.
5. Develop consistent brand guidelines
The former ensures your branding remains consistent and recognizable to your audience in everything from visuals to caption style, punctuation choices (#TeamOxfordComma), and overall ✨vibes✨.
Employee social media guidelines, on the other hand, provide structure to your employees on what topics may be off limits to post about when representing your company — even on their personal accounts. This eliminates confusion, encourages employees to share positive content, and establishes clear consequences for violating terms, which can save you from legal and PR troubles down the road.
6. Schedule your content in advance
Pro tip: Hootsuite Planner is your best choice for all-in-one easy collaboration, campaign mapping, and scheduling. It even has an approval process for mistake-proof, total social media content management.
7. Cross-post to different platforms — but make adjustments
You don’t need to go into all-out production mode and make a thread, Reel, TikTok, video content, carousel posts, etc. for every article. Sometimes it’s fine to share a link. But make an effort to repurpose as much of your content as possible. It will allow you to create more—faster.
Pro tip: You can’t expect to grow a dedicated following and using generic marketing strategies. Tailor your content to what each social media platform excels at to cultivate meaningful engagement and drive traffic that can actually convert.
8. Embrace social listening
Social listening may sound like a fancy marketing buzzword but it’s actually free, real-time market research. Basic listening scans social media channels for mentions of your name, products, competitors, specific keywords, or anything else you want to scout for. Advanced tools can recognize logos in images, evaluate brand sentiment, and more.
Social listening is powerful for big strategy stuff like positioning and new product development, too. By tracking brand mentions, Ben & Jerry’s noticed that, most of the time, people were enjoying their ice cream curled up inside on a rainy day vs. out and about in the sun.
9. Ask your audience for feedback
Pro tip: The primary purpose of social media is to forge connections and create a community online—so do that. Feedback doesn’t always have to be about product features. Focus on building a community first.
Benefits of Content Marketing
Audiences revisit your website
High-quality content can capture the interest of the users and keep them engaged. Content can help you attract new visitors to your website. If users find your content useful and relevant, they are more likely to visit your website again. Unique and quality content increases the amount of time users spend on your website. It creates a positive experience for the users which encourages them to revisit your website.
Generate quality leads
Your website will have many visitors. But not all of them have the potential to convert. With the help of content, you can attract quality leads. Quality leads have the potential of turning into paying customers. To capture these leads you can place CTAs or call to action buttons within your content. These CTAs can help convert visitors into leads.
These CTAs can lead the visitor to a relevant landing page where they can download a piece of content or book a free consultation. These are ways in which you can collect the user’s contact information which enables you to reach out to them. With the help of content, you can attract quality leads who are likely to invest in your business.
Visibility for your business
Content helps you increase brand awareness. Leveraging SEO or search engine optimization strategy for your content can make it more visible on search engine results pages. SEO is an important part of your content strategy. It can help search engines access your web pages and display them to users looking for that information.
Build trust and credibility
Great content can help you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. When you create content addressing various topics relevant to your products or industry, target audiences view you as a credible source of information. Through content you are helping customers solve their problems and educating them. This enables your audiences to trust your business. Your content should provide audiences with the relevant information they need.
Customers are more likely to invest in brands that are industry experts. It helps customers trust the business. Content marketing is a great way to resolve customer problems so that they can trust you.
Create loyal customers
Content marketing has long-term results. It is not like any traditional marketing strategy that promotes a product to influence audiences in making quick purchases. This type of marketing does not guarantee that a customer will remain loyal to your brand. Content marketing can be a longer process, but it gives long-term results. It aims to create value for customers. Offering personalized content creates a good experience for customers with your brand. This encourages them to keep investing in your business. Content marketing helps you create meaningful relationships with your customers.
Attract, Engage, Delight
Content can be used throughout the buyer’s journey. This ties up with the point discussed above. When you offer personalized and valuable content to your leads based throughout their buying journey, you will gain a loyal customer. Content like blogs can be used to attract users to your website. These users can be converted into leads with the help of content like eBooks, newsletters, webinars etc. Leads can be further nurtured with case studies or brochures on products or services.
Even after the leads are converted into customers, you can continue sharing valuable insights to keep them engaged. This shows the customers that you have not forgotten them after they have paid you. Delighted customers continue to invest in your business for a longer period.
Best Practices for Content Marketing
Know your customers
To create a personalized content strategy, you need to know your target audience. Many marketers think they know their customer, but often make mistakes when it comes to targeting the right audience. The best way to identify your target audience is to create buyer personas. Buyer personas allow you to map out all the characteristics of your target customer. This is useful in understanding what type of content your audiences are looking for. It helps you get better acquainted with their problems and challenges.
Buyer personas help you target your ideal customers. This enables marketers to carve out a personalized content strategy for their customers. Content plays a key role in not only attracting new visitors, but also influencing their buying decisions. Address your customer’s challenges in your content. Provide them with information and solutions that are useful. Hence, it is important to know who you will be targeting.
Don’t just advertise
The aim of a content strategy should be to educate audiences with relevant and useful information. This information helps users solve their problems. When you create content, you should focus on providing your audiences with the information they need. Content should not be about advertising your products or services alone. First, you need to establish yourself as a trustworthy source of information. Then the audiences will trust your business and think about purchasing your products or services.
Content should solve user’s problems, answer their questions, and offer useful resources and tips that make their lives easier. Offer them information about various topics in your industry to educate them. Audiences appreciate this type of content. You can talk about your products or services, just don’t make your entire piece of content about it. Provide users with informative content that encourages engagement.
Create pillar page and topic clusters
Topic cluster is a content strategy technique that helps you rank better on search engine results page (SERP). This type of content can generate more traffic on your website. Topic clusters are a collection of related web pages that link back to a pillar page. A pillar page is a page that covers all the sub topics relevant to one broad topic. The topic clusters cover all the subtopic in-depth. Usually, it is hard to rank for a broader topic on a search results page. However, with the help of a pillar page you can rank for general topics.
For this technique you need to conduct a keyword research to find out all the subtopics related to a topic. Select keywords that your target audience is looking for. Start creating blogs based on these subtopics and link them to the pillar page. This enables search engines to see that your pillar page covers all different topics. When you have extensive information on a particular topic, your web page is going to rank better on the search results page. It also helps your audiences find all the information they need and creates a good experience for them.
Avoid creating duplicate content
Sometimes when creating content, you could lose track of the topics you have already covered. If you have a blog, ensure that you keep track of all the topics you have covered in the past to avoid duplicating it. When you repeat content, it can harm the ranking of your webpages. Writing on similar topics can lead to keyword cannibalization. Which means that you have blogs or articles on your website that can rank for the same search query in Google. This can happen if the topics are too similar, or you have optimized them for the same keyword.
When writing for a broad topic as discussed above, ensure that you optimize all the different subtopics with relevant keywords. Different subtopics should focus on different search queries. This way you do not risk losing your ranking on Google. Moreover, audiences can also find information on various topics that educate them.
Keep your content up to date
Review your content and always keep updating it with the current statistics and information. One best practice is to review your content every year to keep it fresh and relevant. Since you need to keep updating content, ensure that you do not add any year or dates in your URL. Avoid changing your URLs. Include the year in your content title. This practice can make it easier for you to update your content and optimize it. Always remember that the URL should remain the same so that you don’t need to re-earn backlinks. Moreover, you don’t have to create redirects.
Use different content formats
When creating your content strategy consider the different types of content you can leverage. There are several forms of content that can be used to reach your target audience. According to a HubSpot survey in 2018, 54% of consumers wanted to see more content from brands or businesses they support. There’s no doubt that video has become a powerful content tool and continues to influence people.
Keyphrase use in the body text
There is no rule for the number of times you should use a phrase (it would be strange if there was) but if you’d like a general guideline, I’d say use the phrase 2-3 times every 1000 words. Something like that.
Warning: If it feels unnatural, don’t force it. Don’t overdo it on the keywords. Do not compromise your writing. If your keyword usage is obvious to a reader, you’re guilty of “keyword stuffing.” Repeating a phrase in unnatural ways is bad for readers and bad for rankings.
Semantically linked words
For example, this article is a “website content checklist.” That’s the primary keyphrase and I’m using it, I’m sure (I’m not actually counting how many times). But a great content checklist should really touch on all the adjacent subtopics, relevant questions and related words.
Although meta keywords are totally useless, the meta description remains important. Just like the title, it doesn’t appear in the content of the page, but it’s highly visible in search results.
The text in the search snippet is either an excerpt from the body text or the meta description. It’s a chance to sell your article and increase the clickthrough rate. So make it good.
Your meta description should be a single sentence, plain English summary of the content of the page. Use your target keyphrase at least once, but not more than twice. Limit it to 155 characters to be sure that it will fit within the snippet without getting truncated.
Don’t worry too much about SEO and keywords when writing subheads. Go ahead and be as clever as you’d like. This is also a great place to use any headlines you rejected for the header.
A list-based article gives you a natural reason to use a number in your headline, telling busy readers that the article will be easy to scan. If it looks like a list, it’s an easier click.
There is also an SEO benefit here. Links between pages help pass ranking potential between pages on your site, although these links have far lower impact on rankings than links from other websites. Internal links are also an easy opportunity to use target keywords in anchor text.
Bonus: You can even use content as a way to open doors with influencers and potential clients. This is called zero-waste marketing because it creates value even before the piece is published.
Adding sources is easy. While writing, just reach out to an expert or influencer and ask them if they’d like to contribute a few sentences. If they do, add their picture and link to their website. Once it’s live, let them know.
Examples and evidence
If you cite research from others, make sure to let them know, if only by mentioning (and tagging) them when you share the article. They might notice and then share from their own channels. More mentions, more potential social reach.
Length and detail
But there is no ideal length for blog posts. So don’t start with a target word count. Yes, there is an average length for blog posts: 1269 words. That’s long. And it’s gotten longer year after year.
But length is not a search ranking factor. That’s why we’re in the “human psychology” section, not the “SEO” section. Using semantic SEO writing techniques may lead to higher word counts, but word count is never the point.
Detailed articles are engaging. They hold readers’ attention. You can check for yourself using your own data. Create a scatter plot chart using word count and time on page for your top articles.
Calls to Action
If not subscribe, the call to action can also be an invitation to leave a comment. End the post with a question they can answer with a comment. Or ask the reader to share other ideas that would complement the article. Or even invite the reader to disagree with you.
Your content management system probably makes adding a nice author box easy. Easy or hard, it’s worth the effort since it has social media and conversion benefits. The ideal author box includes the following:
Content marketing best practices for 2021
It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a year that many of us wish to forget. But while it’s been a challenging one, it’s also been an impactful one. We’ve learned more about humans than ever before; what keeps us motivated, what moves us, and what we can overcome. Many brands were forced to look at the way they work, including their brand presence, and the ways in which they communicate. So as we head into 2021, will we need to change the way in which we view and deliver content?
COVID-19 forced us to spend more time in our homes, so it’s only natural that many people have reached into the digital world to be entertained, be informed, and stay connected. Not only will people be looking for more exciting, fulfilling, and interesting content, but they’re also savvier about what they do and don’t want to see on their social media timelines.
This means it’s paramount that your brand isn’t just coasting through life on social media, but is engaging your audience through authentic and useful content that keeps them coming back, time and time again.
Moreover, our appetite for consuming content at rapid speed has increased, meaning slow and glitchy web pages littered with ads or forms that aren’t optimized for mobile simply won’t fly. Ensure your content across all touchpoints is smooth and user-friendly.
As new technology, app advancements, and digital marketing trends enter the market each year, businesses have to be ready to adapt and move forward. 2020 has seen the rise of TikTok, Discord, and Instagram Shops to name just a few, with users quickly jumping on them and becoming pros. Brands need to keep up.
One of our top content marketing best practices is the rule of 80/20. 80% should be established content themes you know already work, and 20% of your content marketing activity should involve trying something new and carrying out experiments to see what resonates with your audience. This way, your content will always feel fresh and inviting, but with the comfort that users are familiar with. You never know, you might stumble upon a content goldmine.
Luckily, with multi-channel scheduling tools like ContentCal, it’s never been easier to keep your eye on all of your social media accounts at once, as well as try new content themes and keep track of their progress.
One of the most important social media marketing best practices for 2021 is accessibility. The web should be an accessible place for everyone, and this will be something lots of brands focus on for 2021. Things like including ALT text on all of your web pages, ensuring your video content has subtitles, and captioning your Instagram images; accessibility should be something brands engage with deeply in the coming months.
While live-streaming has always been popular, one of the biggest digital marketing trends of 2020 was going live. We saw a huge increase in the number of celebrities, influencers, and brands tuning in to connect with their followers. Companies who haven’t explored this arena absolutely should, as it can give your followers an insight into the people behind the business – plus its fun content that’s exciting to watch!
We even took events into the virtual sphere this year – and it worked. Music concerts, workshops, even live panels all got the virtual treatment. If budgets, venues, locations, or staffing have held you back before, there are fewer barriers to stop brands from taking their events online for a whole new experience.
One of the key best practices in content marketing is to go as in-depth as possible when researching your ideal customer type in order to create content that is genuinely valuable and giving them what they want. Otherwise, they’ll go elsewhere.
People aren’t just mindlessly scrolling anymore; they’re digital-detoxing, they’re hacking their algorithms, and they’re taking control of their timelines. To make the cut, you have to offer your followers authentic, engaging content that adds value to their life. Our top social media marketing best practices advice? Remember that your followers are humans, not just numbers.
It may have always been at the top of the list of marketing best practices, but make sure to pay attention to when your audience is online to make the most out of your content. If an Instagram post goes up when nobody is there, does anybody hear it flop? Yep, your boss does – so let’s avoid that at all costs.