10 Social Media Best Practices: Inbound 2013

Many marketers are on the sidelines, watching the biggest brands in the world winning the social media war and are left wondering: How can my business get the most out of social?

Ben Grossman

On August 21, 2013, I was invited to speak to an audience of hundreds inbound marketers at Inbound 2013, hosted by HubSpot to discuss exactly that topic. During the session, we explored how to leverage best practices and lessons from the biggest and best social brands in the world from 2013 year-to-date.

One of my favorite points from the presentation is a question I posed to the audience, many of whom are day-to-day managers of brands’ social media presences: “Are you spending more time thinking about what you’re going to post next, or what you’re going to do next that’s worth posting?”

This 2013 round-up of social media case studies and lessons offers 10 actionable recommendations to help marketers be remarkable. The presentation is available on Slideshare and a summary of the lessons we discussed is below:

  1. Audience Acquisition Requires Action: What’s the point of posting if no one is listening? Develop a cross-channel approach to growing your audience.
  2. Partner Up for Expanded Reach: What “parallel brands” can you partner with to gain access to one another’s audiences?
  3. Social Media Without Social Media: Not everything worth sharing starts with a social media post. What actions can you take that infiltrate your consumers’ social streams, instead of originating from your own?
  4. The Power of Audience Insight: Connect with customers on levels beyond the way they buy. What insights do you have about them as people that you can leverage into deep engagement?
  5. Community First, Then Business: What communities are relevant to your customers that you can join, prior to asking them to buy?
  6. Real Data Resonates: How can you become the purveyor of real, meaningful data about your consumers or your industry? Think outside the normal speeds and feeds specs that you often focus on.
  7. Know Thy Platform: If you are going to have a presence on social platforms, it’s worth knowing the platform-specific best practices. Here are a few for Pinterest as a starting point.
  8. Invite Influencers In: Who are your key influencers and how can you involve them in your company or product launch prior to going to the public?
  9. Share Your Expertise: Find creative, social-enabled ways to showcase the expertise that you bring to a potential customer.
  10. Be On The Way, Not In The Way: Stop employing marketing that gets between the consumer and where they’re going (like a pop-up blocking content). How can you make your brand on the way… or even the destination?

What did you learn at Inbound 2013? Check out #INBOUND13 to find out what others took away.

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