Best Practices and Strategies for Social Media Marketing in 2024

2024 Social Media Best PracticesFor years, consumers have been learning about business offerings through company social media accounts and in 2024, social media marketing is more important than ever. Organic social media management has been creeping its way into a key position on the digital marketing roster alongside SEO, PPC, and paid social and according to GWI Core data from 2023, over half (51%) of Gen Z consumers worldwide use social media to look up a brand over search engines.

An active and well thought out social presence is key to consumer trust of a brand. With an ever-changing social media landscape and dozens of social platforms each with their own set of unwritten rules, knowing where to begin is a challenge on its own. Here is our guide to getting started and best practices to use in your social media strategy in 2024.

Getting Started: Which platforms are right for you?

Deciding which platforms make sense for your business is the first step to a successful social strategy. Here are some questions you need to answer before you start your journey

  • Evaluate your goals.
    • Ask yourself this: What are you trying to achieve?
    • While your goal for your social media accounts might be multifaceted, honing in on your top priorities is step one. Are you looking to drive product sales, build a community, drive traffic to your blog, or simply be present for potential searches? The possibilities are endless, and defining your personal goals is important.
  • Know your target demographics.
    • Ask yourself this: Who are you trying to reach?
    • Knowing your demographic goals and understanding who your customer is is an important step in determining your organic social media strategy
  • Understand individual platform demographics
    • Ask yourself this: How is each platform audience different?
    • There are many great sources for demographic information broken down by platform. Here is a comprehensive demographic breakdown by PEW Research Center Pew who surveyed over 5,000 U.S. adults. Make sure to understand who you are talking to.
  • Prioritize the platform(s) that best aligns with your goals
    • Ask yourself this: Which of these platforms are most worth my time?
    • Do a deep dive on each platform and how much time you have to spend on your social strategy, and prioritize the most important.
  • Keep an open mind
    • Ask yourself this: How could I use a platform that I didn’t initially consider?
    • Keeping an open mind in social media is incredibly important. Don’t rule a platform just because you are unfamiliar or unsure of how it could work for your brand. Here is an example of Taco Bell utilizing X to humanize its brand image and foster community engagement with humor.

Taco Bell X feed

Understanding “The Algorithm”

Is your Facebook feed constantly showing you content from pages you haven’t liked and groups you are not in, but all somehow contain topics you are interested in? Is your TikTok feed full of cat videos? “The Algorithm” is what shows you what you want to see. As a user, if you engage with something, you will get more similar content. Social media platforms want you to spend as much time on their apps as possible because more time spent on a platform leads to more ad placements. And more ad placements leads to more money in their pockets.

What does this mean for companies who want their posts to show up more often for more relevant users? “The Algorithm” determines how and where your content performs. But be aware that “The Algorithm’s” wants and needs are constantly shifting. In spite of this, there are strategies you can implement in 2024 to give your social media posts the best chance for success.

Best Practices for 2024

  • Think like a customer
    • As you plan your content strategy, it is important to view your content from the eyes of a consumer. What do you want to see when scrolling through your feed?
  • Claim a profile anywhere possible
    • Even on accounts where you don’t plan on being active, go ahead and claim a profile with a common username and profile picture.
  • Consider cross-posting for maximum reach and efficiency
    • Cross-posting across platforms is easier than ever with scheduling tools like Later, Metricool, and Hootsuite and is a fantastic way to save time and expand your reach
  • Perform market research
    • The quickest way to learn what might work for our brand is to search each platform for brands similar to your own. Find multiple brands in your industry that have followings of over 50k, and make detailed notes of the type of content they are posting, what is working for them, what you like and dislike, and how you could build off of those ideas for your own brand. 
  • Follow the 80/20 rule
    • To keep your audience engaged, try to follow the 80/20 rule: Only 20% of your content should be directly selling and the rest, while remaining relevant to your brand, should provide value in other ways to your customers. Even if your main social goal is to drive sales, it is important to keep in mind that most people leisurely scrolling don’t want to be sold to.
  • Use trending audio
    • Using trending audio is a great way to give your content an algorithmic boost. It is important to get ahead of these trending sounds just before they go viral. Some of the best ways to stay ahead of the trends are to follow trendsetting creators, search #trendingsound hashtags, use the explore and FYP pages on Instagram and TikTok, and browse audios for those marked as trending.
  • Keep up with content changes and new formats
    • From photos to short-form videos, content strategy is constantly shifting so keeping up with the ever-evolving post types is an important part of social media marketing.
  • Never post a watermarked video
    • A huge social media red flag is cross posting content with a competitor platform’s logo. Taking the time to remove this logo before uploading a video not only makes the content feel like less of an afterthought on the secondary platform, but also will likely improve post reach.
  • Engage with your audience
    • Social media marketing is more than making engaging posts. Responding to your messages and post comments shows platforms you are an active community participant and can lead to higher post visibility
  • Aim for more engagement from followers with strong hooks, CTAs, and polls
    • Engagement from followers shows the platform your content is well received, which will increase its reach and engagement even further. Incorporating elements to drive engagement from followers is an effective way to grow your following.
  • Build a community by commenting on other posts
    • Commenting on other users’ posts not only builds a sense of community but functions as a great tool for overall brand awareness.
  • Hooks
    • First impressions matter. Capture people right away or they will scroll away. On video content, capture the audience’s attention within the first 3 seconds of the video with a captivating hook
  • Tagging Locations
    • Tag a location for your post to show up to people in your geographical area. This is an especially useful tool for businesses that are location-based.
  • Collaborate with other brands
    • Collaborations are an excellent way to expand your reach. These can be paid collabs or mutually beneficial collabs where both businesses have something to gain from the others followers. On Instagram, using the official Collaborator tool makes the post visible to both your audience and the collaborator’s audience.

collab example in Spotify

“SEO” in Social Media

This might come as a surprise, but using hashtags is not nearly as effective or important as it once was. While the use of a few relevant hashtags is worthwhile still on places like Instagram and TikTok, the days of 25 hashtags for the sake of increased exposure are no more. Instead, shift your focus to keywords. Include keywords about your topic in the caption you write, the words you speak, and the subtitles included. These keywords will help inform the algorithm who your content should show up in front of.

Tips For Implementation: Working Smarter

  • How often should you post
    • Posting frequency is not an exact science but you might be surprised by the ideal number of posts per platform in 2024. It is important to note that almost no businesses utilize all of these platforms to their full extent simultaneously, and the recommended post amounts per platform vary drastically based on a number of factors like a client’s industry and goals. This is why consulting with a social media expert when planning your social media strategy can be very valuable. Here are platform-specific posting guidelines for 2024
      • Instagram Feeds/Reels: 1-2 per day
      • Instagram Stories: 2 times per day
      • X: 3-4 times per day
      • Facebook: 1-2 times per day
      • LinkedIn: 1-2 times per day
      • TikTok: 1-4 times per day
      • Pinterest: 15 pins per day
      • YouTube Shorts: 1-3 videos per day
      • YouTube: 1 video per week
  • Why frequency & consistency matters
    • Posting consistently keeps your audience engaged, your brand at the forefront of their minds, and the algorithm happy. Posting inconsistently can impact post performance. With that having been said, posting at all is what is most important. You are better off posting once a week than not at all so don’t let the recommended post volume discourage you from getting started.
  • How to maintain a consistent posting schedule
    • 1. Plan out a day-by-day schedule of content for an entire month
    • 2. Schedule a day (or two) to gather, film, write, or design all content you will need according to your monthly plan
    • 3. Take the next day to edit any content to get it fully ready to go live
    • 4. Schedule out content using a scheduling tool

Even with a plan, social media marketing can be very daunting. Trusting the experts is the best way to set yourself up for success while simultaneously taking the burden off your own shoulders. Consider partnering with a skilled digital marketing agency that can help you streamline your social media, unify your strategy, and grow your business online.

About Shannon McNeal

Shannon McNeal joined the Mannix Marketing team in 2023 as a Digital Marketing Strategist. Shannon graduated with a bachelor's degree in Music Business from Middle Tennessee State University in 2019 and worked in-house for a music studio before going independent in the digital media space. She has worked with a wide variety of clients including restaurants, non-profits, musicians, realtors, and small businesses and she loves helping brands grow in the highly lucrative digital landscape. Her experience includes paid and organic social media strategy, content marketing, website design, and PPC advertising - including certifications in both Google Ads and Google Analytics