Invigorate your strategy with insights from marketers at TikTok, Glossier, Zillow, lululemon, and more
Convince & Convert started the Social Pros Podcast back in 2012 as a way to get to know the “real people doing real things” in social media. Now it has become one of the longest running marketing podcasts in existence, dropping weekly episodes for over 11 years, recently reaching the milestone of 600 shows.
Every week listeners get to hear directly about what is working, what is failing, and how different brands are adapting to the ever-changing nature of social media. In this article, we’ve compiled the top five crucial insights for marketers crafting their digital strategies for 2024.
1. Empower your people – and your processes – to move faster
Nothing kills relevance faster than an approval process that can take days (or weeks!) to get through. Set your marketing team up for success by trusting them to make the right judgment calls on when and what to post on company channels. If formal approval is needed before content can go out, leaders need to create an organizational culture that supports this need. This requires setting cross-functional team expectations around quick and clear communication that extends beyond the marketing team.
Iconic beauty brand Glossier swears by this approach, and it has served them well. While some marketers complain about the bureaucracy of a frustrating approval process, the Glossier marketing team celebrates the relationships they hold across the organization, and the way everyone (even legal) hustles to get timely content through internal processes and out into the world.
Related episode: Inside Glossier’s Iconic Social Approach: Jamie Dinar, Glossier
The same principle holds true for customer care efforts. Convince & Convert founder Jay Baer found in his most recent research, Time to Win, that 2/3 of customers say organizational speed is just as important as price. And 3 out of 10 customers said they are more likely to spend money when a business responds to them faster than they expect.
If your organization isn’t investing in the appropriate staff and technology resources to improve your response time, especially on questions and mentions on social channels, you are most likely losing customers.
Related episode:Why Now is the Time to Win: Jay Baer
2. Get creative with data-driven collaborations that resonate with your audience
When most people think of Zillow, it’s typically thoughts of browsing for their dream home, or researching their next real estate move. Zillow decided to take things a step further by tapping into audience insights, taking their content beyond the surface level of housing. They found that many users had another consideration on their minds: pets. This information allowed them to tap into a partnership with the pet sitting network Rover. As part of this, the two brands collaborated to develop unique content that educated users on how to blend pet and housing needs (example: this listicle covering the Top 15 Emerging Dog-Friendly Cities).
In 2024, it’s time to truly know your audience by tapping into data. What else is important to them? What other brands peak their interests? It’s likely that you already have analytics available to find these answers, but if not, a little custom research can go a long way to inform a unique brand partnership strategy that will capture attention.
Related episode: Why Collaboration Is Key to Zillow’s Social Success, Sam Gonzales, Zillow
3. Humanize your organization with on-air personalities
It’s not enough anymore to just have corporate social media channels. People connect with people, and want to know who is representing your brand behind the scenes. Agorapluse found that the best way to reach their ideal audience is to tap into the knowledge and talent inside the company. While this approach can be done via podcasts, webinars, and pre-recorded videos, Agorapulse went full-force into a realm that makes other marketers quiver: putting their C-suite on live-stream video!
According to Wyzowl, live video is still an underrated marketing tool, with only 36% of marketers creating live streams for social media. Those who know how to do it, and do it well, will have an advantage over their competitors.
Over at TikTok, Lucy Quick, Creator Partnerships Manager, Global E-Commerce Operations, has worked with many brands on sponsored live stream partnerships. She agrees that live-streaming is an interesting way to directly interact with your audience. However, it is not for everyone. There is a lot of training and preparation needed in order to create an engaging end result.
Depending on your staff and technology resources in 2024, you may want to join forces with experienced micro- or macro-influencers who can provide some personality and audience interaction on behalf of your brand.
Related episode: The Formula for Successful Live Video with Stephanie Garcia, Agorapulse
Related episode: Unlocking Better Partnerships – A Deep Dive with Lucy Quick, Lucy Quick, TikTok
4. Think like a creator, not a brand
Canva is a great example of a global brand that is successful at tapping into engaged social communities of dedicated fans. How do they do this? They have shifted their mindset to think more like an individual creator and less like a corporate brand.
“Creators are leading the way now. They are defining the trends, defining the culture. So it’s really about connecting with those people and brands joining the conversation. If you asked me 2-3 years ago, it would’ve been the other way around – brands setting the trends. Now it’s definitely a creator world.” – Jackie Barker, Canva
To nurture their fan-base, Canva is vigilant about making their audiences feel valued through personalized interactions (example: sending swag to new social fans) and producing localized campaigns for different geographic regions.
The Canva team also utilizes very specific channels plans for each social platform. While many other organizations focus on the “big 5” most popular social sites, Canva meets their audience where they’re at.
For example, after identifying that there was a large customer base active on the Pinterest platform, Canva started to use search trends and SEO insights to create content tailored to those users. Its company Pinterest page currently has 10M+ monthly views, and 605k followers (and growing!) due to these efforts.
Related episode: How Community, Creation and Culture Fuel Canva’s Social, Jackie Barker
5. Listening is the first (and most crucial) step for DEI content
94% of CEOs indicated that DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) was a personal strategic priority, and 90% agreed that their organization aspired to be a leader on the topic, according to a recent Fortune/Deloitte survey. While that is promising, good intentions are not enough.
How can brands take appropriate action to create DEI content that is truly empowering, and not just seen as a performative showpiece?
Lululemon is a brand that is putting in this work. Below are tips they recently shared on the Social Pros Podcast on how they are building more inclusive marketing campaigns:
- Take the time to listen. Conduct listening sessions with your own brand communities, with members who are representative of the space you are joining. Ask for their insights and allow them to share opinions of your campaigns before they go to market.
- Be aware that your organization might not completely understand all of the aspects of socially and culturally nuanced issues. If needed, find partners that can provide an authentic voice representative of the community you are supporting. They can help validate that your messaging and tone are appropriate and that they will resonate with your intended audiences.
- Don’t just speak in the moment. For example: Don’t create a one-off post around socially and culturally significant events like Black History Month or Pride Month for the sake of being in the conversation. Have a true purpose and intention behind your content.
- When it is appropriate for your brand, have a POV on national issues and stand behind them beyond marketing. This means ensuring that your organization is taking the needed steps to make positive change in support of your position.
This work is neither easy nor fast. It will take time to plan, execute, learn, and update over time. But it is critical to listen to the voices that are oftentimes missing from the crowd, and to learn directly from the people whose lives depend on accurate campaigns that are representative of their own experiences.
Related episode: Why Every Brand Should Follow in lululemon’s Social Footsteps, Ravi Hampole
Incorporate these 5 rules into your 2024 marketing plans to make deeper connections with the audiences that will accelerate your efforts. Want even more inspiration? Listen to the 600th episode of the Social Pros Podcast, and download a copy of the commemorative eBook for a list of other hand–picked episodes to add to your podcast playlist.