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Written by Carly Hill
Published on November 30, 2023
Reading time 10 minutes
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Social media is a constantly shifting sea of change. And at the helm of the ship navigating these tides are agile social teams.
From changing best practices to new content formats, every new year (or sometimes new week) holds learnings, opportunities and experiments for social teams. To prepare for 2024, we gathered key social media tips to apply to your own strategy—because you’re not riding this wave alone.
We turned to Sprout Social’s Arboretum (the Arb)—a community of social pros—to ask them about their latest and greatest social media tips and tricks. Let’s dive in.
When we asked the Arb members for social media tips that other social pros can use, their answers reflected the sophisticated, strategic ways social teams are thinking.
Before we get into their direct tips, here are three core themes we uncovered across the responses.
There’s no question that teams beyond marketing are catching onto the power of social media—and how social might be able to help their team, too.
A common focus in many of the responses we saw in the Arb involved working with departments beyond marketing. This includes working with other teams to spark new content concepts, and to bring social insights and impact to teams outside of marketing.
It also involves sharing data beyond your team. According to The Sprout Social Index™, 76% of marketers agree that their insights inform other departments.
The more teams and leaders understand the value of social, the more asks and collaborations naturally arise.
As social teams and strategies grow, the more complex communication and collaboration systems become. From adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) to adjusting content requests, the need for streamlined processes was well reflected in the responses we received.
Social pros have always known that social is more than “just posting.” There’s strategy and intention behind every post.
But many marketers and teams are taking this critical eye and intentionality to a new level. A big theme we noticed orbited around the idea of doubling down on involving business goals and audience information in the content planning process to be even more thoughtful about posts.
Keep reading to get more detail about these three takeaways from our expert tips, and to learn ways to employ them in your strategy.
Here are some of the new key social media tips our community came up with. Plus a few evergreen tips to store in your back pocket.
There’s no question that social media is becoming more cross-functional. And other teams have a lot to gain from using social media for business beyond marketing. But the social team has a lot to gain from working with other teams, too.
As Micah Mellander, Social Media Administrator at Visions Federal Credit Union put it, “I am always trying to find new departments within our organization that could benefit from social media.” To do this, he suggests setting up meetings to talk through other departments’ goals and what products or services they’re in charge of.
This helps the social team spark new ideas, too. Dasle Hong, Senior Brand Marketing Manager at DailyPay, builds on this idea. “Each week, we bring together individuals from product, design, customer support, client success, marketing and more to brainstorm on a certain topic, like a holiday, campaign, event, etc. Everyone comes to the call with an idea and/or example, and we spend the entire time ideating, collaborating and executing content for that week as a cross-functional group.”
Social teams must collaborate across multiple departments. And yet, it’s common for social teams to feel siloed.
“One of our main challenges as a team is collaborating with other departments and stakeholders on key initiatives or campaigns when it comes to organic social,” Kelly Bean, Social Media and Community Manager at Trustpilot, tells us. So one of the tips she has is to enhance these processes.
“What we’re aiming to do in 2024 is create a seamless internal process so that key stakeholders understand what is needed when briefing our team, how this ties into our overall business strategy and how our team operates when planning future content.”
“It’s very much in the testing phase,” she explains. “But we’re hoping that in time, these shared calendars can feed into our master calendar and make things much smoother for us as a team!”
A great way to target your audience on a more personal level is to partner with influencers in your niche to help you promote your products organically.
When you partner with an established influencer with an active following in your niche, you expose your brand to a new audience that might not be aware of your company.
Many brands are also turning to nanoinfluencers, who cultivate a small but passionate niche of followers. As influencer marketing becomes increasingly common, a micro- or nanoinfluencer can convey an extra level of authenticity. With an audience of loyal followers that know, like and trust them, a collaboration will let their followers know they recommend you as a brand to trust as well.
Pro tip: Discovering the right influencer can be challenging. Consider an influencer management tool to streamline all these efforts, speed up the process and enhance brand visibility and trust.
Your content should always connect back to your brand’s goals. As Molly Rodin, Digital Marketing Manager in the Robotics industry explains, “My biggest piece of advice would be really know and understand what your social goals are and how they connect to the larger organization’s goals. It’s not enough to set a goal at the beginning of the year and check back in at the end of the year.”
Knowing specific goals for your team and beyond serves as a guiding light for your posts. As they explain, “For any campaign or collaboration or post, you should be able to intuitively answer: Who is the audience for this? Why do they care? What is the next step for them after this content? What is the specific measure of success for this and how does it connect to the big picture goals? And adjust your strategy based on the answers.”
Beyond helping social teams prioritize their own content, it also helps teams prioritize asks from other departments. After all, every social pro is familiar with the, “can you just post this on social?” question.
As Molly explains, “As social media managers, we get asked to do a lot. Having really clear objectives is the best way to prioritize what we’re doing, weed out low-value asks and make sure our content is set up for meaningful success.”
Having a focused message will help you create higher quality content that is on brand and resonates with your audience. When you have a solid message that you don’t stray from, you can count on your social media posts to stay relevant to your audience.
Social media isn’t the job of one person anymore—it’s a department collaborating with many other teams. As social media and its impact grows, so too does the need for multiple people at the helm.
“My #1 tip for B2B brands in 2024 is to scale up your team as much as possible,” Katy Severance, the Digital Marketing Manager (Global Social Media Program) at Riskonnect tells us. “We are scaling up as 2024 comes around the corner so that when next year hits, we’ll be ready to hit the ground running with new concepts, campaigns and platforms we haven’t previously had the time to tackle.”
As far as how to accomplish a scaled-up team, you don’t necessarily need to go straight to hiring new roles—especially if you need to build your case for headcount. As Katy suggests, “See if a member of your content team can write & schedule some posts. See if you could bring in a summer Intern for a few months.” When you have tangible results from those efforts, then work them into a proposal to get a full-time hire.
Everyone working in social knows the experience of putting weeks of work into a post…only to see it outperformed by a video that took 15 seconds to make.
Not every post needs to be perfect. Social teams are already tight on time. So put the perfectionism aside and embrace the occasional scrappy, lo-fi content.
Sophie Den Ridder, Social Media Coordinator at Dealer.com, summed this up perfectly: “I find that getting hung up on making sure every post is perfect often leads to spending way too much time trying to tweak already good posts. Not every post is going to be a viral sensation or garner millions of engagements. A lot of times the posts that do are ones that are more casually created and not super refined.”
Her key takeaway for 2024 content planning? Give yourself permission to have fun on social (within reason!) and go with the flow a little more.
Jumping on trending TikTok sounds or post formats is a great way to boost your brand awareness and engagement. But be wary of jumping on every new trend you see. Creating posts that don’t align with your overall messaging to appear relevant is a quick way to alienate your target audience.
This is why it’s so essential to create a focused message that you can use as a baseline to measure all of your future social media posts. Let your brand goals, messaging, audience and voice guide you. This will help you determine which trends fit your brand, and which to skip.
Social media users crave authentic interaction with the brands they follow—it’s a crucial piece of any social community management strategy. You want your social media presence to represent a two-way line of communication. Engage with people rather than just talking at them. If you notice other users having a conversation about your brand or product, don’t be afraid to chime in and add additional value—something social listening can help with.
Make sure your social media strategy includes answering questions posted on each platform and prioritizes customer care. Promptly respond to mentions, thank people who share your content and add value where you see people mentioning your brand.
You can also start conversations to proactively engage your audience. Ask questions and respond to keep the conversation going.
Reading about social media strategy tips is just step one. Now, it’s time to put the tips into action.
Here are a few ways to apply the takeaways and tips above to your own social media marketing strategy.
Cross-org collaboration is crucial for social teams, and for businesses to benefit from social insights. But 43% of social teams still feel siloed—especially on mid-market and enterprise teams.
Establishing smoother cross-team communication and collaboration was a core theme across our community tips. Apply this to your own strategy—identify where siloes or roadblocks occur, and identify opportunities for more communication.
For example, create a system to share relevant social insights and data with other teams. A social listening strategy can empower you to uncover valuable insights for your product, PR and partnerships teams alike. And auto-generated data visualizations and shareable reports ease the process, helping you tell a data story to multiple departments.
Knocking down silos can also mean involving other teams to bring their expertise to social content. Think: recruiting employees from other departments as video talent, leveraging them in a meet the team post series or simply working with them to ensure campaign alignment.
Take a hint from Kelly Bean’s tip above and use a master calendar for visibility. Look for features in your social media management platform that can help you—like Sprout’s built-in content calendar and workflows that streamline collaboration and approval processes.
Social data and its uses are only getting more sophisticated and more useful across departments.
For example, key social media metrics like engagements and follower growth are still crucial and widely used. But many marketers are taking their metrics a step further, connecting them to business goals. According to the Index, 60% of marketers plan to quantify the value of social engagement in terms of potential revenue impact in 2024.
Put your social data into action and tie your social efforts to larger business impact. An easy way to start is by using UTMs in your links to track purchases and actions taken from social. You can create these on your own or, if you use Sprout, easily manage these directly in the same platform you use for content, engagement and reporting.
According to The 2023 Sprout Social Index™, 81% of marketers say AI has already had a positive impact on their work—especially for freeing up creativity and boosting efficiency.
With so many marketers already adopting AI into their workflows, the teams that don’t risk falling behind. Bring it into your workflow where you think it can make your team more efficient.
AI copy tools, for example, give you a starting point for post ideas and copy, customer service responses and more. Tools like Sprout’s Suggestions by AI Assist even enable you to adjust for tone, speeding up the content creation and engagement process.
No social practitioner or team is alone. Use this expert social media marketing advice to inspire and improve your strategy.
Do you have social media tips of your own? Or just want to learn more? Join our community, The Arboretum, to connect with other social pros, for exclusive live events and to stay ahead in the industry.
Carly Hill
Carly Hill is a Social Media Strategist at Sprout Social. By day, she creates organic social content (look for her on Sprout’s YouTube channel) and writes articles. By night, she enjoys creating comics, loyally serving her two cats and exploring Chicago breweries.
Read all articles by Carly Hill
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