HubSpot has become an authority on developing and marketing software products for inbound marketing and sales. In addition to the marketing, sales, and service software that comes with a HubSpot account, HubSpot Academy offers training and certification programs in inbound marketing, sales, and customer service support – all at no additional cost.
I recently had the opportunity to go through HubSpot Academy’s Social Media Certification program at Gate 39 Media and I learned some key items worth sharing.
The Certification Process
The process itself was very straightforward. There were eight lessons in total, each with a different theme. Within those lessons, there were a range of videos that broke down the major lesson into individual subtopics. Each video was anywhere from 2-20 minutes long and was followed by a short 1-4 question quiz.
At the conclusion of the course, there was an hour-long exam with questions from each lesson to ensure you retained the information.
I aimed to watch one to three videos each day, and following this plan, it took me about three weeks to complete the program. Once I finished, my certificate from HubSpot Academy was immediately available to download and print, and a few days later I received a pin from HubSpot that says, “Social Media Certified.”
It’s always exciting to have something to show for your work, so this small gesture carried a lot of weight. Now, I feel AND look like an authority on social media!
5 Key Social Media Takeaways
1. Know your business goals and buyer persona before you begin laying out your social strategy.
What are your company’s business goals? Who is your audience, or your “buyer persona”? And how can you even begin to know how to market your product without either of these key pieces of information? If your business is still growing, your social strategy may evolve as well. But a social strategy can’t exist if a business model doesn’t exist first.
Pro Tip: Once you have a social strategy in place, HubSpot makes it easy to schedule social posts and track engagement right from your account.
2. Social listening is an important factor that often gets overlooked in the rush to amplify a brand’s message.
What conversations are taking place in your industry? What are people saying about your company? Listen to understand before you dive into participating. Pushing content too hard without any awareness will make consumers less likely to engage with your brand. Among other benefits, social listening will allow you to measure your brand’s performance both on and offline, to manage your reputation, and to identify your brand’s biggest fans.
3. The content you post on social media should expose your brand’s values.
If you want to position your company as a thought leader in your industry, start by ensuring that every post is filtered through your brand’s values, especially content that wasn’t originally created by you. For example, if you discover an interesting article that you find personally fun, if it doesn’t fit your values, it’s better not to post. Know what your values as a brand are and use that as the funnel through which all social content should filter.
Pro Tip: set up Google Alerts for topics your audience cares about, so you are notified right away and can share breaking news on your industry in a timely manner, establishing your company as a major thought leader.
4. Humanize your brand’s voice.
Why are brands like Denny’s and Taco Bell doing so well on Twitter? They speak like people do and use humor as part of their marketing strategies. Consumers want to engage with people, not robots. Pushing out content that sounds like a human wrote it will boost engagement and drive sales. However, make sure your voice is authentic to your brand. Denny’s and Taco Bell make snarky humor work for them, but that won’t work for every organization. Which brings us to…
5. It’s all about experimentation: use general guidelines to test what works best for your brand.
There are all sorts of “social media rules” out there, but ultimately what works for one brand, or even most brands, may not work for you. Experiment posting different types of content, posting at different times during the day, and using different hashtags to see what works best for your brand.
The barriers to entry have never been lower, the tools have never been more useful or more affordable; Make 2020 the year that you finally get a closer look at HubSpot.
Gate 39 Media is a HubSpot Agency Platinum Partner and a 2019 HubSpot Top Digital Agency. Ready to learn more about activating or optimizing a CRM and marketing email solution for your business? Contact us!
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