Although I am most definitely a right-brained creative (my algebra grades in college can confirm that!) I am a huge analytics nerd when it comes to social media stats and data. As my patient colleagues at Carlson Integrated well know, I can discuss hashtag theory and the latest articles on algorithms ad nauseam, which is why I was I was pleasantly surprised to meet a fellow content creator/social media manager who was equally as passionate to discuss all things digital marketing sitting next to me on the flight home from a recent work trip.
This chance encounter was especially fortuitous timing for me as I was tasked with writing this blog post on the latest social media user trends and strategies. I had already been thinking a lot about how to level up my digital marketing game after having been sent a recent article by my amazing colleague (hi Kim!) regarding new data on hashtag usage and other social media marketing information written by marketing experts with impressive titles with authoritative tones.
I discussed this article with my newfound content creator friend, who like me, works with a variety of clients, across several platforms, big accounts and small and we both came to the same obvious conclusion: there are NO MORE RULES!
Now before the straight and narrow path lovers amongst you start to panic, let me explain. Yes, there are several things that are universal to successful content creation and engagement, such as posting consistently, writing good copy, using high-quality imaging, understanding the various platforms, etc. However, each client is unique; with different needs, wants, and goals, and a good content creator or social media manager should find their own formula that works for each particular client!
All those well-intentioned “do this, don’t do that” digital marketing tips always end up frustrating me because I felt that deep down, they were missing this really important point. For example, the same rules just can’t apply to a big, well-known luxury brand vs. an up-and-coming new business. An established brand can get away with fewer hashtags, a new brand needs more- because they need more exposure. Also, each audience has different behaviors- a brand catering to working moms is probably not going to get much traction posting late at night whereas a brand interested in college students or twenty-somethings would probably find their sweet spot posting after 10 pm. Not to mention all the unique nuances of each platform like Facebook (or Meta, sorry!), Instagram, et al which really requires content to be tweaked and timed appropriately for each audience and outlet. Add to the mix the fact that algorithms are constantly changing (in most cases to encourage paid advertising and posts) that it’s pretty much impossible to establish a one size fits all rule for success. It just doesn’t exist!
Your static posts get more traction than reels even though “everyone” says to post reels? Keep posting those static posts.
If you find that using more hashtags rather than fewer works best for your client, then keep using more (just make sure to change them up!).
Getting amazing engagement at 6 am when you’re “supposed” to be posting after 10? Make yourself a great cup of coffee and post at 6 in the morning!
The bottom line is to do what works best for YOUR BRAND. There is no wrong way to “do” social media marketing if you know your client, understand their audience and are seeing real, tangible results in YOUR analytics.
Make your own rules, and don’t be afraid to break them when needed. You might just find that everything that you thought was “wrong” is actually quite right!