The world of digital marketing and communications changes rapidly. It can be hard to stay up to date on the latest developments or best practices. Here are a few resources I have found valuable recently and over the years.
Guides for leveraging and optimizing social media marketing
- “Building Your Social Media Marketing Strategy for 2021” is an aggregation of solid guidance on figuring out your goals, tips on audience and platform research, recommendations on setting key performance indicators (KPIs), how to create and deliver the most engaging content on social media, the importance of leveraging the best time and place for messaging, and how to review what’s working or not and make changes.
- “Social Resources for a Stunning Strategy & to Help Grow Your Brand” is an in-depth guide and analysis of multiple tools that can help you to present your brand online, shape conversations, grow leads and more.
- “How to Learn Social Media Marketing” is a wonderful guide that takes you from start to finish on levering social media as part of your marketing and communications efforts. The materials here are great for both beginners and experienced social media professionals.
- “Know Your Limit: The Ideal Length of Every Social Media Post” is a one-stop destination for research-based guidance on the perfect length for your next amazing social media communication. What works best for each platform and post type is different, and this guide makes it easy to craft your communications with confidence.
- “7 Ways to Monitor Your Competitors’ Content Strategy” outlines some very manageable ways to keep an eye on what your market peers are actively doing with their digital marketing communications.
- “Use of Different Online Platforms by Demographic Groups” is kind of a gem — it is one of the few studies with extremely detailed and statistically significant metrics on demographics of social media usage in the US. It was conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2018 that examined social media use based on gender, race, age, income, education, and if the respondent resided in an urban, suburban, or rural setting.
Comparisons of social media platforms
- “Comparing Social Media Platforms for Marketing” presents the unique social media marketing opportunities available to businesses. Knowing which platform to use for a specific goal or message can be a challenge. This guide helps to navigate that evaluation and planning process.
- “The Pros & Cons of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Other Social Networks” is a quick two-minute read and infographic that provides a great, standardized score card of what each social network is ideal for when it comes to marketing communications.
Leveraging social media for fundraising
- “9 Tips to Maximize Your Fundraising With Social Media” does a great job of presenting and guiding you through the challenges and opportunities related to electronic fundraising.
- Sharing Debugger is a helpful utility that enables you to preview exactly what your content will look like when shared on Facebook, via Messenger, and more. This can be of value when trying to optimize or resolve problems with the image, headline, and description that displays when a link to your website is shared.
- Google Analytics URL Builder makes it fast and easy to create a trackable link for paid or organic messaging from within the Facebook platform.
- “Facebook Ad Copy Length: Short or Long, Which is Best? (A $1,000 Experiment)” is a real-world A/B test to learn whether there is an advantage for publishing social media messaging that is short and quick vs. long and detailed. The process is detailed and fascinating, and should challenge some of your established ideas for effective digital writing.
- “What is an Ideal Facebook Ad Frequency?” offers a rich analysis of how to determine the ideal length of your digital ad campaign. There are multiple factors that contribute to what frequency should be targeted including market, message and media factors.
- “15 Tips for a Lower Facebook Ad Frequency and Higher Relevance Score” offers advance on how to plan and configure your next campaign for optimal performance.
- Card Validator allows you to preview what links to your website look like when shared via Twitter.
- Trends24 Trending Hashtags can be used to quickly visualize and review what hashtags are trending hour by hour across the globe
Paid digital benchmarks
- “Average CTRs for Display & Search Advertising” is updated quarterly and providers insight to cost trends for standard display and paid search advertising.
- “YouTube CPC, CPM, and CTR Benchmarks” is updated quarterly and makes it easy to see the cost and click through rate trends for paid advertisements placed on YouTube.
Examples of social media accounts that are well run
It can be helpful and inspiring to regularly review the social media communications published by others — both within your own area of business and at the national and international levels.
Higher education social media samples
- Texas A&M University is admired by all in terms of integration of the look and feel of the brand throughout all of the social communications.
- University of Michigan is considered leader and best in many things, including social media.
Healthcare social media samples
- Cleveland Clinic – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn
- Henry Ford Health System – LiveWell Blog
- Johnson & Johnson – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
- Orlando Health – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
Professional communities and groups
- “The Social Marketers’ Exchange” is a public Facebook group with more than 8,000 members where marketing professionals can discuss all things digital marketing related (a lot of which is social media-related). The group is organized by Sprout Social, but serves as a professional community and not a support/communication tool specific to Sprout Social or their products.