Online classes are the rage. With the fall school season closing in, it’s fond for us to remember when platforms like Facebook were strictly reserved for college students and their benevolent love for poking.
(Perhaps we’re dating ourselves here, let’s move on shall we?)
Hootsuite Academy was one of the first, and dare we say pioneers, among companies with more to offer than just their services. A social scheduling and strategy platform, Hootsuite knows more than a thing or two when it comes to social engagement, and social learning fits right under that scope.
So without further adieu, here are our 5 takeaways from Hootsuite Academy’s Social Marketing course.
1. Social Audits
Taking a good hard like at yourself is important to achieve success. And the same goes for social performance.
It’s important for brands of all sizes to analyze the effectiveness of existing their efforts, understanding audience and competitor behaviors as trends. To do this, Hootsuite Academy provides three methods
- Audience Analysis: Who you are reaching? Review current followers. Where potential followers are found? Which channels or pages are they on?
- Internal Audit: Conduct these once a month. And don’t be afraid to go into detail with all of your social properties. What’s your posting frequency Follower counts? Engagement rates? Report, delete or update other accounts as needed, shifting resources to better accounts. Which platforms receive top and poorly performing content? Be sure to contextualize such progress, given market trends, current events and the like.
- Competitive Audit: Determine shared voice and market share early on. Who are your top competitors, and what are there successes and failures? Give this a glance at a per channel basis and gather basic metrics from there. What content is outperforming our own? How can we use this information?
Content calendars must work in tandem with strategy to map your publishing and scheduling needs. The goal for content schedules is to be consistent, balanced, strategic and relevant.
Hootsuite Academy provides these best practice for social scheduling.
- Make sure your calendars are accessible for team members providing the ability for them to collaborate. You can start doing this by not planning too far ahead. Allow flexibility for new trends that may arise.
- Utilize a larger monthly calendar for important events and launches, specifically when campaigns begin, influencer takeovers, and blog posts.
- Incorporate a detailed weekly calendar for specific copy and assets, including specific posts for each network with exact times. You can categorize these by type and topic, with details like copy, hashtags and even emojis. Remember, content includes photos, links, and live video
- Color code calendars by type for easier and digestible viewing. Repost on Twitter content performing well (as it loses visibility) as not all networks are suited. Less on FB and Linkedin, Never on IG or Snap
- Maintain an ever-green content library, with vetted content and successful variations of social copy. Images won’t hurt here either, but be sure to always update and remove as needed by performance
- Don’t forget, social is always flexible. Listen and watch for trends globally and within the industry. This includes context of hashtags and trends
Advocates are game changers, and an advocacy program can make or break your social presence.
- Program Goals: How will working with advocates will support your objectives? (For example: Increased bookings for hospitality practitioners oftentimes require high quality referrals on social channels. Be sure to budget for your target audience)
- Criteria to Identify Advocates: Who are you trying to influence? Who does your community trust? Take into account relevance (type of content and following), reach (number of people), and resonance (level of engagement with audience).
- Onboarding Process: Reach out to gauge interest. Express a formalized relationship that can benefit them, then prepare an intake form to sign to ensure mutual benefits.
- Continued Engagement: Cultivate their enthusiasm. Check-in periodically (30, 60, 90-day check ins). And brainstorm exclusive perks (beta testing, recognition, partnerships, speaking events, conferences) A perfect example of this is Yelp’s Elite members of the week.
While a broken record, community engagement is essential. Engaging with followers to derive value always trumps the quantity of followers you have. Not all followers are created equal!
Reach out to offline communities to join online (consumers, vendors, attendees). You can do this by providing incentives for existing customers. Examples include free downloads on Twitter and hashtag contests on Instagram.
The core of community is the principle of reciprocity, so always use brand voice and mission.
Cultivating and leveraging your community is essential, so strive to uncover a deeper understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Brands can also seek their input to cement positive relationships, as self-monitoring in a community space can save time with questions. Here, it’s important to keep a keen eye of conversation to sales team for leads.
Remember, the goal here is to not just amplify your brand, but contribute their trusted influence to your community to raise its value.
5. Curation vs. Creation
Curated groups are gathered from a trusted source. This diversity of viewpoints helps balance out your self-promotional content. The main benefit of this contingent is that it requires minimal resources, while building new relationships and relevancy within your industry. Ask yourself: What is valuable your audience? Who is aligned to your values?
Created groups are produced within your organization. These include blog articles, white papers. infographics, and channel specific content. These methods allow you to position your organization at thought leader. With insight, knowledge, and perspective, created content can drive conversion Collaborate with designers for optimal quality and branding!
In conclusion, not all content is relevant. Whatever you create, brand or produce, must bring value to your organization. Whether your repurposing content or keeping track of scheduled postings, markets must also be in the mindset of sharing valuable gems with their audience.
What online learning tools are you engaging with?
How can your brand benefit from eLearning?
Let us know in the comments below!
As a Marketing & Communications Specialist, Matt’s garnered over half a decade of experience in writing, editing and content management, in both the private and public sectors.