I recently completed the HubSpot Social Media Certification to see if I could glean any valuable information from it that I don't already know. Turns out I already know everything! I kid, I kid...
I became a social media user in 2004 when Facebook was first launched, and I've used social media every day since; it's a large part of my job now. So I guess you could say we've come a long, long way together...through the hard times in the hood (sorry, I couldn't resist).
I've gotten quite a few certifications over the years and I've come to realize that no matter how much you think you know, there is ALWAYS something more to learn. So when HubSpot came out with their new Social Media Certification I decided to give it a go and see what I could learn.
I'm not claiming this is all new information, but they really drove home the importance of a few things that might be considered common knowledge to a social media marketer like yours truly.
Here are my main takeaways from the HubSpot Social Media Certification courses:
Social Media Strategies are Important. You can go to the grocery store without knowing what need, but it'd be a whole lot easier if you had a list, right? Same goes for social media strategies. You can launch blindly into it and just start posting, or you can come up with a game plan so that your posts are well thought out and well organized.
You've got to figure out your brand's needs: figure out business objectives, set up SMART goals, consider buyer personas, research the past (what's worked, what hasn't) and watch your competitors. Figure out what your audience is looking for and build your content around that.
Social Content Strategies are Important too. According to HubSpot, there are 3 main reasons people use social media – they want to be:
Make sure you are being yourself and make sure you are connecting with your audience and giving them what they want. It's easy to get caught up in promoting your brand, but that's not all you should do. You need to answer questions for your audience, solve problems, entertain them - whatever they need.
Paying Attention is Key. You know the saying "always be familiar with your surroundings"? Well, the same applies on social media platforms. Pay attention to what your industry and competitors are doing on social media - and what kind of audience response they get from it. But most importantly, pay attention to your audience. What do they respond to? What do they like? What do they want more of? According to HubSpot, only 20% of your social media content should promote your brand. The other 80% should be dedicated to audience interests (source: HubSpot). Listening and monitoring your audience, and your competition, will lead you to success.
Digital Advertising is Becoming More Important. I'm sure you've noticed more and more ads appearing in your social channels. Organic reach for business pages on social media is diminishing over time as more and more people begin to run digital ads. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be posting organically, it just means you should be running ads as well.
Your Employees are Your Biggest Advocates. A lot of people don't realize that their own employees have the most exclusive knowledge of their company's brand, culture and business. Your employees are the number one most organic source of content (and promotion) for your business. Surveys pertaining to your brand and services/products offered are a great way to get useful information from employees that can be used to create content. It's also a great way to boost employee moral, showing that you value your staffs' opinion. According to HubSpot, 76% of people trust content shared by "average" people more than brands (source: Olapic) - and your employees are "average" people who could be promoting your brand.
So all in all, I was able to learn a few new tricks from the HubSpot Social Media Certification - but here's the most important thing I learned:
There is ALWAYS more you can learn!!! So take the courses that are available to you, and get all the certifications you can. Social Media is constantly changing and evolving and it's important to stay up to date so you don't fall behind.
If your company has some social media needs we can help you with, reach out to us sometime and let's talk.