Trending March 2024 # Facebook Just Won Social Media # Suggested April 2024 # Top 12 Popular

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Back in August, I wrote an article about Google+ and how its list of new features had the potential to take on Facebook as the next social media powerhouse. I championed the Circles feature of Google+ as the next great thing, as I don’t always like to share things with my entire Facebook friend list. Since that article, Facebook has rolled out a slew of fresh new changes which are aimed at holding onto its spot on top. And while Facebook did introduce its own version of Circles, they call “Lists,” I think they just won social media with the introduction of the new ‘Timeline feature.’

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the recent sentiment on the Internet has been that of general disfavor towards the new ‘Big Blue.’ Privacy issues, profiting from users personal information, or people just not wanting to hang out in the same place as their parents. Lately, I’ve felt like Facebook was doomed to suffer the same fate of its predecessors MySpace and Friendster. Up until now, there’s been a total lack of loyalty to social media platforms, with users jumping ship at the first sign of shiny new features.

Last week, after reading a few reviews on the new Facebook design, I decided to sign up for the developer program to get early access to the Timeline and check it out for myself. When I logged in for the first time, I immediately noticed the completely new look and feel of the Timeline vs the old Wall. This is definitely the best Facebook has ever looked. Scrolling through my digital life was a joy. But Facebook isnt’ just my digital life, it’s my real life, digitalized. Every photo from every memorable night out, every big life event, every conversation and debate, and every awesome link I’ve shared with friends, all right there and beautifully organized by date, framing little snapshots of my life. With Timelines, Facebook may have just ensured its army of users remain faithful for many years to come.

The hook was set deeper when I scrolled down my timeline and noticed a big grey empty box that read “Started Work at InMotion Hosting Inc May 2011.” Facebook automatically logged the day I changed my employment status on my profile. I couldn’t help but upload a photo as I wanted to mark the occasion. From there, I filled in a few other big life events like graduating High School, and moving to Hermosa Beach. I have to admit, after scrolling back to my first Facebook posts in 2008, I was a little disappointed that I hadn’t joined Facebook earlier so that I could go back farther in time. It’s like a scrapbook for people that would never put together a scrapbook. Facebook did what no other social media site had done before, they made an emotional connection with me.

discussion. Right now I’m still too distracted looking back at how awesome my Halloween 2009 was.

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Beware The Social Media Charlatans

Unless you define success by the sort of loosey-goosey standards that might make your horoscope appear to actually predict the future, the real measure of any business undertaking is that it increases your profits. But in the vast majority of use cases, neither Twitter nor Facebook stands any significant chance of doing that for business users. And if you’re a small business that depends on, say, actually selling real products and services to actual paying customers, wistfully tweeting about your daily specials is almost certainly a waste of resources.

But time spent typing 140-character updates about your company is nowhere near as frivolous as time and money spent listening to a self-styled guru blather about how to do it.

Everyone’s an Expert

Combine a rapidly growing trend of social media adoption with an economy that has forced hundreds of thousands of workers to reinvent themselves as entrepreneurs, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for consultant overload. Since nobody seems to know what the hell’s going on with Twitter anyway, nearly anyone can pass themselves off as an expert on the subject. So suddenly all those poseurs who might otherwise have bilked the hapless with offers of life coaching services or Feng Shui consulting have jumped on the social networking bandwagon. You can hardly swing a stick on the sidewalk nowadays without smacking one of these guys in the head.

In fact, shortly after I began typing this, I received a message from a fairly typical consultant offering to give me some expert insights in relation to another article I’d recently written. A quick look at this person’s Web site revealed a career in a totally unrelated field followed by a sudden turn to social media consulting on the basis of being an “avid” social networker. Among this supposed expert’s credentials: an admitted lack of technical savvy and a claim to be able to make businesses more productive through social networking.

The cognitive dissonance is enough to make one’s head explode, but in the world of social media gurus this kind of thing is the rule rather than the exception.

The one-third rule, she explained, is that you should have about a third more followers than the number of people you yourself are following. The presumed benefit is that the imbalance would appear to be in your favor should anyone happen upon your profile, and folks just wouldn’t be able to resist following such an obviously popular person. Where did my friend get this ridiculous rule? A high-priced social media guru speaking at a local business conference.

The truth is that there are almost no rules in social networking that don’t already apply in just about any other social environment. A great many smart people have already written worthy perspectives on how to be a good citizen on Facebook and Twitter, and I hardly need to reiterate here what amounts to general common sense. Just as in life, the only rule that really matters is the Golden Rule. All the rest is either derivative, or flat-out nonsense, and you really shouldn’t be paying big bucks for either.

Get Real Or Get Out

In a few unique cases, some companies have managed to create a Twitter presence that actually appears to have beneficial results. Comcast is a notable example.

For a smaller business, the benefits of social media are far less clear, and the relative costs can be much higher. A company operating with fewer than 50 employees can hardly afford to dedicate any full-time staff to posting updates on Twitter and Facebook. While you could charge one or two staffers with the responsibility of posting updates once in a while, it’s probably a good idea to make sure you pick workers who can strike the right balance between social media and their actual job. Resist the temptation to hand all of the social networking duties to that one young hipster in your office who appears to “get it.” Otherwise you risk losing control of your brand message and turning a meager publicity effort into a public embarrassment.

If you’re going to start a Facebook or Twitter account for your company, give the responsibility to someone with poise, maturity, and tact, and then give them the freedom to do it their own way and figure it out for themselves. Ignore the “rules,” avoid the “gurus,” and let common social courtesy be your guide.

Robert Strohmeyer has been using social media since before that phrase was invented, and he has no patience for quick-buck schemers. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to, and he’ll never try to sell you anything.

Joey Barton Talks Social Media Marketing

5 marketing tips from a Premiership footballer

After a prolific rise to almost 1.7m Twitter followers in about 10 months, it appears that Joey Barton knows a thing or two about social media, or at least he has a natural handle on it.

I called and asked Joey for 5 success factors that he thinks would translate for other people or organisations. Here’s what we discussed…

1 – “We’re all brands.”

“I didn’t like the idea of ‘Brand Barton’ at all, in fact it has made me really uncomfortable, it sounds a bit ‘Max Clifford’ – that contrived, awful, celebrity PR – everything that I hate. The term still grates sometimes.

That said, I’ve realised that the fact is that we’re all brands, and the word brand is just marketing speak for how you make people feel and how they end up talking about you. I’m just true to myself, I say what I think which seems to be remarkably unusual, who’d have thought that. As someone who’s made a mistake or two, I’m all too conscious about my brand image, about how differently I am perceived vs how I see myself. You have to be transparent and open online, find your voice and purpose, it’s the only way.”

2 – “Building an online platform takes time more than anything else.”

“You can’t expect results without putting in the hard work,” says Joey. “I started out pretty ad-hoc on Twitter and it took a while to really understand it, to find my voice and appreciate how it’s used. Followers are real people, and a community is literally built and lost one person at a time.

3 – “You need your own hub”

“It didn’t take long for me to realise that Twitter alone just doesn’t cut it. It’s a tool, a means to communicate like Facebook, and it’s not the be all and end all, far from it. After a few months I knew that I needed a way to express myself more fully, to be better understood and not get frustrated with Twitter by thinking that it’s something that it isn’t. It’s why I wanted my site, a place where I can talk about the things I want to and grow it as I learn more. Beyond the cool creative stuff I found that creating the site content was challenging; understanding the detail and ensuring it had a real point – a reason to existence – and making sure that it continues to have one.”

4 – “We’re all publishers.”

“This is the biggest deal for me as someone who gets a fair amount of stick in the mainstream press, some of it deserved of course. The mainstream media are increasingly less relevant, they’re slow to adapt online, they’re politically controlled and at the end of the day it’s the people who are in control, not the media.

5 – “Fear is a killer.”

“There are millions of reasons to not bother but the reality is the world is different, it must be for people in marketing especially, it would be easier for me to take my salary and sit at home, but I know that I need to be a part of the conversation. Even with some of the trolls and abuse that I get in Twitter – which is sometimes seriously hard to take – I think we’ve all got to keep pushing and trying things. Finding ways to connect, though this is optional for me it surely isn’t for brands like Coke, Starbucks or whoever, any brand really. How can brands not be grabbing a hold of this with all their marketing budgets?

Global Social Media Statistics Research Summary 2023

Our compilation of the latest social media statistics of consumer adoption and usage of social networking platforms

Social networks have transformed marketing and, as this post shows, their popularity is still growing in our latest global social media statistics research summary for 2023.

Networks vary in popularity with different demographics and they’re still evolving. Research by Global WebIndex that we reference in this article shows that globally,

60% of the world’s population uses social media. The average daily usage is 2 hours and 24 minutes (April 2023).

We’ll keep this post updated during 2023 as the latest statistics are published drawing on our recommended top 10 digital marketing statistics sources. We’ll be pointing to new data on the popularity of social media from Global Web Index (worldwide), Pew Internet Surveys (US) and OfCom (UK), and most recently the Datareportal April 2023 global overview.

This post will apply the latest reports to our answers in 7 key areas crucial to understanding consumer use of social networks:

Q1. What is the overall popularity of social media compared to internet use globally?

Q2. Which are the most popular social networks by demographics (age and gender)?

Q3. Which are the fastest-growing social networks?

Q4. How do social users interact with brands when selecting products and services?

Q5. What are the different engagement metrics based on consumer behavior when using social media?

Q6. How do consumers interact with different post formats in social media?

Q7. What are the most popular times for consumers to use social media suggesting the best times to post?

Now more than ever, marketers need to make smart decisions when planning their digital distribution channels. So reviewing the latest social media diffusion and usage stats is a crucial part of any company’s digital marketing strategy.

Q1. What is the overall popularity of social media compared to internet use globally?

Datareportal regularly updates its global compendium of social media statistics, which we recommend as it gives some great insights into the world of social media. It’s a great download for including slides for your presentations. Note that their data is compiled from other sources of which the Global Web Index panel is the best source, although only available to paid subscribers. If you’re researching social network adoption, it’s worth checking out GWI’s top 10 2023 social media statistics and their free annual report of social media trends.

How many people use social media?

According to the Datareportal April 2023 global overview, we can see that social media growth has continued to increase:

More than

half of the world now uses social media (60%)

4.80 billion people around the world now use social media, 150 million new users have come online within the last 12 months

The average daily time spent using social media is 2h 24m.

The full report from Datareportal contains a huge amount of insight collated from different data providers across 200+ slides. It provides country-specific data for the vast majority of the world, so you might want to check out the slides of the countries in your core markets to get a better idea of the current state of social in the areas you operate. In this post, we focus on the social media data which starts at slide 160 in the report.

This chart, by Datareportal, summarises the importance and growth of social media today.

Q2. Which are the most popular social networks by demographics (age and gender)?

The best source for getting stats on the biggest social media platforms is direct from company statements and earning announcements.

Notably, of the top 4 social media platforms, 3 are owned by Meta. Facebook is the most-used platform in total – but as marketers, we know it’s crucial to consider different trends of usage for different demographics, as we’ll see below.

The rapid growth we’ve seen from TikTok shows no sign of slowing. TikTok had 1.4 billion monthly active users in 2023 and is expected to reach 1.8 billion by the end of 2023.

So, what does this mean for your social media marketing strategy?

Our RACE Framework has a data-driven structure that marketers can use to plan their own strategies.

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Global Facebook demographics

Since it is still the top dog, I’ll share the Facebook demographics from Sprout Social Media’s report. But you can get this breakdown for each channel and more in the report.

As we can see, from the Facebook data, the biggest demographic on Facebook is males aged 25-34. For females also this age range represents the largest user pool.

United States Social network popularity

The Pew Research Center news usage research is a very strong recent source showing US social media statistics trends in usage for news. Interestingly, nearly half of those surveyed used social media to get news often or sometimes.

More interestingly, the stats breakdown below shows which social media channels are used by which genders, ages, education level, race, and political affiliations. For example, Facebook is a regular source of news to nearly double the amount of women to men. Nearly two thirds of Snapchat’s regular news consumers are aged 18-29.

Q3. Which are the fast-growing social networks?

Every marketer has limited time for social media marketing, so which fastest-growing social network should you focus your efforts on?

HubSpot has a good summary of these based on its own consumer survey – see Fastest growing US social platforms 2023 which features less well known, but growing social networks such as BeReal and Twitch.

A summary of global social media growth

The number of social media users globally grew from 4.62 billion in January 2023 to 4.72 billion in January 2023. This accounts for a 3% growth of +137 million users YOY. With more growth predicted over the rest of the year.

As of April, the number of total users are still going up, but the average time on the internet has slightly decreased, as we’ll see.

Social media vs internet users: opportunities for growth

This chart shows the total number of Internet users as of April 2023. Whilst 64.6% of the world’s population are internet users, 5% of those are still not active social media users.

Social media platforms today are evolving and developing to meet an ever-wider variety of consumer wants and needs. Surely the value that social media usage can add to consumers’ lives is more evident than ever before – social media marketers can tap into that.

2023 analysis of regional use of social media shows the wide variation of social media penetration:

 72% in Eastern Asia

74% in North America

72% in Southern America

84% in both Northern and Western Europe.

This falls to 41% in Southern Asia, 13% in Western Africa, and 7% in Middle Africa.

As you can see, the makeup of our international social media users is varied. This useful infographic demonstrates the share of global social media users – with Eastern Asia representing 27.7% of global social media users.

Q4. How do social users interact with brands when selecting products and services?

One of the challenges of social media marketing is that by its nature, social media are peer-to-peer, involving conversations between friends, families and colleagues. Given this, brands must be sensitive to how they use social media.

The research from GlobalWebIndex also shows how/why visitors use different social media services. Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, Reddit and Twitter users all report ‘follow/find information about products/brands’ in their top 3 motivations.

Platform-specific social media marketing planning

Our new Organic Social Media Learning Path modules are dedicated to helping marketers optimize their organic Instagram marketing with a strategic approach, integrated across the marketing funnel.

Our bite-sized modules contain tools and templates designed to help you address the systematic issue of businesses using social media platforms to create standalone posts rather than planning a strategy.

Our Social Media Learning Path has modules with dedicated help for:

LinkedIn organic marketing

Instagram organic marketing

Facebook organic marketing

Tiktok organic marketing

This example plan, taken from our Facebook module, demonstrates how a joined-up approach can strengthen each stage of the funnel, across the RACE Framework of reach, act, convert, and engage.

Social media statistics benchmarking tool Rival IQ produces these useful sector-by-sector benchmarks of social media engagement metrics including:

Posts per day

Posts per week

Engagement rate

Top hashtags by engagement rate

These include useful sector benchmarks for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter you can compare against. Here is a sample of the insights from their 2023 report.

Facebook engagement rates

The 2023 median average engagement rate per post (by follower) on Facebook is 0.064%, across all industries. Sports Teams see the highest engagement, achieving an average of 0.27%, followed by Influencers with 0.23% and Higher Education with 0.15%.

At the lower end of the spectrum, Health & Beauty, and Tech & Software receive an average 0.02% engagement rate.

Instagram engagement rates

Engagement rates are significantly higher on Instagram compared to Facebook. As you can see the 2023 average median engagement rate per post (by follower) is more than 10x higher, despite engagement on Instagram dropping approx 30% between 2023-21.

Q6. How do consumers interact with different post formats in social media?

Marketers know intuitively that the right type of visuals and videos are more effective in gaining engagement.

This is also supported by this data from this Social Bakers social media trends report:

Videos longer than a minute achieved the highest median interactions and median reach on Facebook, according to Socialbakers data.

In fact, for both reach and interactions, there was a correlation that showed the longer a video was, the further it reached and the more interactions it received.

As you can see, different platforms offer different opportunities for capturing different audiences. The trick is finding the right techniques to that to your channel goals.

If you’re looking for one simple reference guide which contains all the social media channel updates in an easy-to-track format, look no further than our digital media updates tracker, which is updated quarterly, to make sure our Business Members never miss a trick.

Q7. What are the most popular times for consumers to use social media suggesting the best times to post?

Testing different frequencies of updates and timing is another aspect of social media optimization based on consumer behaviour.

Each network tends to have a ‘sweet spot’ for frequency based on its algorithms. It used to be beneficial to post several times a day on Facebook for many brands, but with decreased organic reach, a single update tends to be more effective. We find a higher frequency on LinkedIn or Twitter tends to be more effective.

Sprout Social’s 2023 social media strategy builder compares the best times to post on social media. Compare these to your patterns of posting and consider how you could post differently.

Each network tends to have a ‘sweet spot’ for frequency based on their algorithm and the most common times for consumer usage. It used to be beneficial to post several times a day on Facebook for many brands, but with decreased organic reach, a single update tends to be more effective.

We find a higher frequency on LinkedIn or Twitter tends to be more effective. The results from Instagram and Facebook show a clear preference for around midweek at midday, so you should consider this when scheduling your post updates.

Structure your marketing plan around a funnel proven to boost performance. Join Smart Insights as a Free Member for instant access to our free digital marketing plan template to hone your skills and drive the results you need.

Free digital marketing plan template

Our popular marketing planning template is structured across the Smart Insights RACE Framework. Join Smart Insights as a Free Member to download our digital marketing plan template today

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Content Planning For Social Media: An 8

Content planning is more than scheduling. Run your accounts like a well-oiled machine with a strategic social media content plan.

Content planning is the most important factor in the success of your social media strategy. (There, I said it.) It’s much more than choosing a photo, writing a caption, and scheduling it to post.

You can have the world’s best social media marketing strategy, but it won’t be successful without proper content planning.

Here’s why that is, and the 8 steps anyone can do to plan effective, goal-crushing social media content.

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What does “content planning” mean for social media managers?

Scheduling your social posts ahead of time is great, but it’s only a small part of what makes up a content plan. Truly effective content planning focuses on the big picture: Your marketing goals.

Well-planned content is:

Created in batches to optimize efficiency.

Part of a cross-platform campaign and repurposed across all your channels for maximum impact.

Connected to one or more marketing goals.

Balanced between your own original content and curated content.

Why is content planning so important?

Which strategy is more likely to succeed?

Your social media marketing strategy is what you want to achieve and how you will get there. Content planning is the process of designing content for those goals to actually get you there.

It keeps you organized

Batching your content is way more efficient than trying to come up with a post on the fly every day, or for a specific campaign. Batching means you’re taking the time to specifically write a bunch of social media content at once.

Besides being a more efficient way to write content, you’ll get more out of it. As you write each piece of content, extract pieces of it to repurpose. One post can quickly become five or more without much extra time. For example:

Write an Instagram Reels script.

Create a text caption from that script to use on text-based platforms like Twitter.

Create an image or infographic from the Reel content to use as an alternative way to communicate the information.

And, of course, the most basic: Make a note to save your completed Reel video in different sizes to use on other platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook Pages, TikTok, and more. Check the current recommended post sizes for each platform before saving.

Plus many more options, including writing an article about the topic to a series of short Tweets of the key takeaways and everything in between.

Content planning saves time and gets you the most mileage out of your work.

It helps you avoid last-minute pressure (and writers’ block)

Oh, crap, it’s 10am on National Do A Grouch a Favor Day and you haven’t got anything scheduled to go out. (It’s February 16th in case you were wondering when you need to do me a favor.)

What will your customers think of you? Whether you post for every made-up holiday or only the real ones, content planning means you and your team will never stress out trying to create something last-minute because you forgot why this weekend is a long weekend.

It connects your social media activity to marketing goals

Content planning keeps your eyes on the prize. You’ve got a formal marketing strategy, and hopefully a content strategy, too. (No? We’ve got a free social media strategy template for ya.) Your content planning process is what connects those big picture documents to the day-to-day marketing work your team does.

Each social media post = not that important on its own.

All your posts together = what determines if your social media strategy will sink or swim. Fail or fly. Crash out or cash in. You get it.

How to create a winning content plan in 8 steps

Content planning is the most important part of a social marketer’s job, but don’t sweat it: It’s easy once you’ve got the right process.

Your content plan brings together 3 key elements:

Let’s create your personalized content plan right now.

Step 1: Plan themes for your content

Before you can create content, you need to choose the categories you’ll post about. How many topics you have and what they are depends on your unique business, but as an example, Hootsuite posts about:

Social media marketing tips

Social network updates and best practices

Marketing research and statistics, like the free Social Trends 2023 report

Social media marketing experiments

Product updates and features

Company news

Product education (tutorials, tips)

This is your content creation roadmap. If a post isn’t about one of the things on your list, you don’t post it. (Or, you rethink your marketing strategy and add a new category for it if it’s merited.)

Step 2: Brainstorm campaign and post ideas

With your topic list in front of you, create! Just… think! Write! Do it!

Write down all the ideas you can think of that meet the following criteria:

It’s about one of the topics on your list.

It’s connected to your marketing goals.

It’s not that simple to “think of ideas,” even for those of us who smash keyboards all day for a living. How you brainstorm is up to you, but here are a few ways I get inspired:

Scope out your competition: What are they posting? Can you put your own spin on those ideas?

Review the past: What campaigns have been most successful for you before? What elements of those campaigns were most effective? How can you replicate that for your new goal or campaign?

To know what’s worked before, you need top-notch analytics reports, right? Yes, you can piece together the information manually from each social platform, Google Analytics, and other sources… but why would you?

Hootsuite Analytics measures the real data you need to determine success, not just basic engagement metrics. It gives you a full 360 degree view of your performance across all networks with the ability to customize and run reports however you like, in real-time.

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Cheat: Check out Hootsuite’s 70+ social media post templates

Running low on ideas on what to post? Head to your Hootsuite dashboard and use one of the 70+ easily customizable social post templates to fill the gaps in your content calendar.

The template library is available to all Hootsuite users and features specific post ideas, from audience Q&As and product reviews, all the way to Y2K throwbacks, contests, and secret hack reveals.

Each template includes:

A sample post (complete with a royalty-free image and a suggested caption) that you can open in Composer to customize and schedule

A bit of context on when you should use the template and what social goals it can help you reach

A list of best practices for customizing the template to make it your own

To use the templates, sign in to your Hootsuite account and follow these steps:

Head to the Inspirations section in the menu on the left side of the screen.

Customize your caption and add relevant hashtags.

Add your own images. You can use the generic picture included in the template, but your audience might find a custom image more engaging.

Publish the post or schedule it for later.

Learn more about using social media post templates in Composer.

Step 3: Decide when you will post

We’ve got our why and what, now we need the when.

Why: Why are you posting this? (What business goal is this content serving?)

What: What will you post? (The actual content you brainstormed.)

When: When is the best time to post it?

Sometimes, the when is obvious: Holiday content, a product launch, etc. But there’s a lot more to the when than the day you’re scheduling it for. You also need to consider your overall posting frequency.

You’ll need to experiment with how often you’re posting every week, how many posts per day, and the times of day. And, platforms change their algorithms all the time so what’s working now might not in six months.

Thankfully, you can back up your experiments with personalized intelligence, thanks to Hootsuite’s Best Time to Publish feature. It analyzes your unique audience engagement patterns to determine the best times to post across all your accounts.

Going a step further, it also recommends different times for different goals. For example, when to post awareness or brand-building content, and when to push hard for sales.

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Need to get your social marketing started quickly and hit the ground running? Add your posts, either individually or via bulk upload, hit AutoSchedule, and Hootsuite does the rest. Boom—your social media for the month done in under five minutes.

Of course, AutoSchedule is great for those pressed for time, but you should still experiment with different numbers of posts per week and times of day to find what works best for your target audience.

You can customize AutoSchedule to only post during set times or days of the week. Once you decide how often and when to post, either with Hootsuite Analytics or other tools, modify your AutoSchedule settings and now you have effortless social media post scheduling. Nice.

Only want to post once a day at a specific time? No problem.

Step 4: Decide on your content mix

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel daily. A successful social media and content marketing plan contains a mix of original and curated content. But what should you curate? Where from? How often?

Great curated content is:

Relevant to your audience.

Related to one of your content themes (from Step 1).

Connected to a business goal.

How each piece and type of content fits in with your other social media content is more important than how much of it you share, but a standard content mix is 40% original and 60% curated. Of course, adjust that up or down depending on your preferences and production capacity for your own content.

Some weeks you may share more curated content than others, but on average, stick to your plan. A surefire method for ensuring you don’t overdo it? Share one post, create one post—repeat!

With Hootsuite, you can easily add content from around the web to build a library of quality content to share later. When you find something to share, create a new post with the link and save it to your Drafts section.

And, you can use Streams to easily capture content from social media accounts you follow to re-share later.

When it’s time to schedule out your content—more on that later—you can just drag and drop from Drafts straight into your editorial calendar in Hootsuite Planner.

Step 5: Assign responsibilities

It can be easy to lose track of planning content ahead of time and end up in that familiar “Oh, crap, we need posts for tomorrow!” space, right? It’s the planner’s job to ensure the work that needs to get done flows down through to everyone else.

Clear expectations around who’s doing what are essential for content planning (and, so I hear, life). If you’re a lone content manager and don’t have a dedicated social marketing team with writers, designers, customer support peeps, and so on, now’s the time to build one.

If you’re on a tight budget, find freelancers to outsource tasks to as you need them so you can control expenses. For in-house and larger teams, you need to plan your planning. It’s redundant, and truly true.

So spell it out: Literally put it on your calendar. Assign a planner/strategist to manage the overall content planning process and assign each week or month’s work. Then, assign a designer, writer, project manager, etc to each client and/or campaign you’re managing.

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Step 6: Write post captions

Whenever possible, it’s best to write your social media post content before the campaign goes off to the design team (the next step).

This has a few key benefits:

It gives context to the designer so they can work efficiently.

They will have a better understanding of the entire campaign’s structure and goals.

While writing the posts, you may think of more ideas to add to the campaign to fill gaps.

It saves time by allowing copyediting and approvals to happen simultaneously with design, so you can publish it sooner.

Did you know that Hootsuite comes with OwlyWriter AI, a built-in creative AI tool that saves social media pros hours of work?

You can use OwlyWriter to:

Write a new social media caption in a specific tone, based on a prompt

Write a post based on a link (e.g. a blog post or a product page)

Generate post ideas based on a keyword or topic (and then write posts expanding on the idea you like best)

Identify and repurpose your top-performing posts

Create relevant captions for upcoming holidays

To get started with OwlyWriter, sign in to your Hootsuite account and head to the Inspiration section of the dashboard. Then, pick the type of AI magic you want to see in action.

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OwlyWriter will generate a list of post ideas related to the topic: 

And that’s it! OwlyWriter never runs out of ideas, so you can repeat this process until your social media calendar is full — and sit back to watch your engagement grow.

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Step 7: Create (or source) design assets

This is often where content plans get bottlenecked. You can think up all these amazing campaigns, but without the creative assets that get it noticed, like graphics and videos, you can be stuck in your drafts forever.

But this is exactly why assigning responsibilities is important. Having a dedicated person for each part of the content planning process keeps things moving along and everyone’s on the same page.

Here’s how everyone can work together inside Hootsuite to bring a campaign from idea to finished:

Last but very un-least, scheduling. I don’t need to tell you scheduling your content ahead of time is important for basic efficiency. But it’s also the one thing that can make or break your entire social media marketing strategy. No pressure.

But really, what’s the point of content planning and following all the steps here if you’re not going to schedule out that content ahead of time in an organized, efficient, strategic way? Exactly.

You can create single posts in Composer or dial up your efficiency to 11 with the much-loved bulk upload tool, where you and 350 of your best posts can be scheduled in under 2 minutes flat.

Hootsuite is your content planning partner in success with robust scheduling, collaboration, analytics, and smart insights like the Best Time to Publish feature to make your job easier. Sign up for free today.

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How To Use Social Media In Healthcare

There are many positive ways to use social media in healthcare, including promoting awareness and sharing accurate health messaging.

It can be hard to navigate the challenges of social media in healthcare. If 2023 taught us anything, it’s that healthcare and social media can be a very powerful combination.

But when used correctly, social networks are essential for communication. They can let you provide science-based health and well-being information to millions of people across the globe.

Providers, agencies, and brands need to create social content that’s:

factual, accurate, and not up for debate

engaging and friendly

informative, timely, and accurate

compliant with all relevant rules and regulations

In this post, we look at the many benefits of using social media in healthcare. We also provide tips on keeping your social channels compliant and secure.

Bonus: Download a FREE bundle of social media tools designed specifically for the healthcare industry — including post ideas, a calendar template, a social policy template, and a social media strategy template.

Benefits of social media in healthcare

The benefits of social media in healthcare include:

raising public awareness

combating misinformation

communicating during a crisis

expanding the reach of existing resources and recruitment efforts

answering common questions

promoting citizen engagement

Want to see these benefits in action and hear directly from the healthcare professionals who are getting their hands dirty? Check out our free webinar on Social Media in Health Care: Stories from the Front Lines.

Raise awareness

Social media is vital to raising public awareness about new, emerging, and annual health concerns.

Bringing awareness to health issues can be as simple as reminding followers about common sense health practices. Or it can be as complex as planning seasonal campaigns.

Social media can also raise the profile of illnesses, trends, and other health matters.

— Health Canada and PHAC (@GovCanHealth) September 28, 2023

Social media is a brilliant platform for large-scale public outreach campaigns. Specifically, because you can directly target the most relevant population groups:

— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) September 7, 2023

One of the most effective ways of getting the key information out is to share it directly in the body of your social posts. Always provide a link for the audience so they can access more detailed information if they want to.

— Seattle Children’s (@seattlechildren) September 27, 2023

How do you counter inappropriate healthcare claims? By raising awareness and providing the public with links to credible sources.

This helps to combat the spread of misinformation on social media by pointing the public toward valid sources of information.

Combat misinformation

At its best, social media helps spread factual and accurate information very quickly to diverse groups of people. This can be invaluable when the information is scientifically correct, clear, and helpful.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation on social media, especially regarding healthcare. Luckily, more than half of Gen Z and Millennials are “very aware” of “fake news” surrounding COVID-19 on social media and can often spot it.

Fake news can be a dangerous game when it comes to healthcare.

Even former US president Donald Trump got in hot water for suggesting that the coronavirus could be cured by injecting bleach. This claim is widely disputed by healthcare professionals.

So how do you identify misinformation? The World Health Organization suggests seven steps to navigate the tide of information and assess who you can and can’t trust:

Assess the source: Who shared the information with you, and where did they get it from? Did they share a direct link on their social media profile or did they reshare from another source? What website is the original article or information from? Is this a credible and trustworthy source, for example, a news site?

Identify the author: Search the author’s name online to see if they or credible… or even real!

Check the date: Is this a recent story? Is it up-to-date and relevant to current events? Has a headline, image, or statistic been used out of context?

Examine the supporting evidence: Credible sources back up their claims with facts, stats, or figures. Review the evidence made in the article or post for credibility.

Check your biases: Evaluate your own biases and why you may have been drawn to a particular headline or story.

Turn to fact-checkers: When in doubt, consult trusted fact-checking organizations. The International Fact-Checking Network is a good place to start. Global news outlets focused on debunking misinformation are also good sources. Examples of these include the Associated Press and Reuters.

The bad news is that misinformation comes from factually untrue statements. The good news is that these can be relatively easily debunked — hurray!

For example, citing research or the latest information from a credible health source can help debunk a healthcare myth. The CDC or WHO are ideal sources of this information.

Now for the shady part. Creators of misinformation can use a reputable institution’s name to make them look legitimate.

This is done as a scheme to maximize the article’s authenticity and reach. Bleugh.

But what do you do if you have doubts about an institution’s involvement in an article?

This search function will crawl the official institute’s website for information about the term in quotation marks.

One thing to be wary of is that people are often strongly inclined to believe whatever fits within their existing worldview. Even when presented with quality evidence to the contrary.

In such cases, it’s important to give space to people and allow them to let go of their emotional responses.

Try and understand their emotional interests and encourage them to seek correct information.

Free Course for Healthcare Organizations

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Crisis communication

According to Pew Research Center, a significant number of U.S. adults (82%) use digital devices to access news.

For those aged 29 and younger, social media is the most common news source.

The New York Times even recently reported that TikTok is now the go-to search engine for Gen-Z.

Social media is the key place to share breaking information. This is especially true for events that are in the public’s best interest to be up to speed on.

Let’s look at a recent example. During the COVID-19 pandemic people turned to government health officials for the facts.

US state government offices teamed up with medical health officers. Together they used social media to effectively communicate during this time of crisis.

This was accomplished in part with regular video updates on social platforms such as Facebook.

Social media is a great way to provide real-time updates directly to the public. This is especially true for a situation that is constantly changing.

Additionally, social media can have faster and further reach than traditional media (such as TV and newspapers).

Posted by Washington State Department of Health on Wednesday, September 21, 2023

Use the pinned post features and regularly update banners and cover images. This can also help to direct people to key resources.

Posted by Washington State Department of Health on Wednesday, September 21, 2023

Expand the reach of existing resources

Medical professionals often learn about new information and best practices through medical journals and conferences. Use social media to bring education to the learners.

Here’s another COVID-19 example. In 2023 the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) announced that their LIVES conference would be held digitally.

This allowed all interested parties to take part no matter where they were.

In addition to a dedicated website, they shared the webinars through live video on YouTube and Facebook. They also live-Tweeted the events.

#LIVES2024 is on! During the congress, our platform’s Channel 1 will be open for everybody to enjoy the hottest topics in #IntensiveCare. Join us on:

— ESICM (@ESICM) October 4, 2023

Answer common questions

Hands up, who’s felt under the weather and then fallen down a WebMD hole? You know, self-diagnosing yourself with the worst health matters possible? Yup, me too.

This is why factual info from health authorities are vital for addressing common health concerns.

Social media platforms offer healthcare professionals a way to engage with the public. Answering common health questions stops people from self-diagnosing and gives them peace of mind.

For example, the World Health Organization developed a Facebook Messenger chatbot.

It can answer questions from users, direct people to credible sources, and help to counter misinformation.

Source: World Health Organization

Citizen engagement

Talking about personal healthcare issues can be difficult. Yes, even for doctors and trained professionals.

This is especially true for subjects such as mental health. Social stigmas can often prevent people from seeking the professional help they may need.

In March 2023, Maltesers launched its social media campaign #TheMassiveOvershare. The goal was to promote maternal mental health and encourage mothers to be open about their mental health struggles.

The campaign also directed users to mental health resources through its partnership with UK charity Comic Relief.

A study commissioned by Maltesers found that 1 in 10 mothers in the UK experiences mental health issues. But crucially, 70% of this cohort admit to downplaying their struggles and experiences.

The campaign was launched ahead of Mother’s Day in the UK. It invited mothers to normalize the conversation about post-partum depression and increase recognition of a frequently undetected and misdiagnosed issue.

The following November, Maltesers launched a second phase of the #LoveBeatsLikes campaign. This time they encouraged people to look beyond social media Likes and check in with the moms in their life.

Research recruitment

Social media offers an opportunity to connect healthcare practitioners and centers with potential study and survey participants.

Marketing

Social media continues to emerge as one of the best ways for healthcare marketers to connect. 39% of marketers utilize paid social media to reach healthcare professionals.

On top of this, more than half of healthcare marketers say that they are now relying on social media to reach consumers.

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Social media tips for healthcare organizations

In addition to the tips below, check out our free report on the 5 key trends to prepare for success in healthcare.

Educate and share valuable content

How do you engage with the public long-term? You must regularly provide your followers with valuable content that educates and informs.

Let’s see what that looks like in action with the Mayo Clinic. They created a video series that covers popular health and wellness topics.

The “Mayo Clinic Minutes” are short, informative, and engaging. The videos regularly rack up more than 10,000 views on Facebook.

The information needs to be credible, of course. And true. But you can get creative and entertaining if that makes sense for your brand.

In recent years, Tik Tok has become a haven for healthcare professionals to share bitesize, informative content that is also entertaining for users.

Dr. Karan Rajan is a NHS surgical doctor and lecturer at Sunderland University in the UK. He has racked up a massive 4.9 million followers on his personal Tik Tok account.

It’s important to ensure that you use the appropriate tone for your brand and the audience you’re speaking to.

For example, The Mayo Clinic’ videos are hosted on Facebook deliberatly. Facebook’s audience is typically older, so the content is slower-paced.

Dr. Rajan’s videos are on TikTok, which skews toward Gen-Z, so the content is more snappy.

It’s also important to choose the right channel for your content.

A recent study was done on the trustworthiness of coronavirus content on social media. It found that some platforms are far more trusted than others.

Listen for relevant conversations

Social listening enables you to track social media conversations relevant to your field.

Those conversations can help you understand how people feel about you and your organization.

Sneakily, you can also use social monitoring tools to learn how they feel about the competition. You might even identify new ideas that help guide your social communications strategy.

Social listening is also a good use of social media in healthcare to get a sense of how the public responds to emergent health issues.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) uses social listening to track health-related trends.

This helped them validate telehealth as a priority — they saw 2,000 mentions of the term across social platforms.

#Telehealth has become a vital component of the mix of services GPs offer because of its flexibility, convenience and…

Posted by RACGP on Friday, November 27, 2023

“We already knew that GPs felt this was a component of care that they needed to continue providing to patients,” said RACGP. “We provided our social listening insights to validate that the wider general practice community felt the same way.”

Here are some key terms to listen for on social channels:

Your organization or practice name and handles

Your product name(s), including common misspellings

Your competitors’ brand names, product names, and handles

Industry buzzwords: The Healthcare Hashtag Project is a great place to start.

Your slogan and those of your competitors

Names of key people in your organization (your CEO, spokesperson, etc.)

Names of key people in your competitors’ organizations

Campaign names or keywords

Your branded hashtags and those of your competitors

Social media management platforms like Hootsuite allow you to monitor all relevant keywords and phrases across social networks from a single platform.

Remain compliant

One of the biggest challenges when using social media in the healthcare industry is the strict rules and regulations you must abide by.

This is crucial for professionals that share sensitive information that concerns the public. In the healthcare industry, HIPAA and FDA compliance are a must.

Unfortunately, things don’t always go to plan.

Earlier this year, the FDA issued pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly a letter over an Instagram ad for its type 2 diabetes drug Trulicity.

Source: FDA

The FDA stated that the post “creates a misleading impression about the scope of the FDA-approved indication”. They described as particularly concerning given the serious risks of this product. The post has since been taken down.

So far in 2023 alone, the FDA has sent 15 warning letters that specifically reference claims made on Instagram accounts.

You don’t want lawyers writing your social media posts for you. But you may want lawyers (or other compliance experts) to review your posts before they go live.

This is especially true for major announcements or particularly sensitive posts.

Hootsuite can get more of your team involved without increasing compliance risk.

People from across your organization can contribute social media content. But, then, only those who understand the compliance rules can approve a post or push it live.

Your organization needs a social media strategy and a social media style guide.

You should also have guidelines for using social media for healthcare professionals. A social media policy for healthcare employees is also a good bet.

Stay secure

It’s vital to ensure security guidelines are in place for all your healthcare social media channels. You need to be able to revoke access for anyone who leaves the organization.

With Hootsuite, you can manage permissions from one centralized dashboard. This means you can always control access to all your social channels.

Using social media as a healthcare professional can be challenging. But the opportunities that social media can present in your industry are endless.

Leading healthcare providers, insurers, and life science companies worldwide use Hootsuite to improve their customer experience, unify their social message, and ensure compliance with industry regulations. See for yourself why we are the healthcare industry’s leading social media management platform!

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