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The Best Social Media Channels for Marketing in 2022, According to Company & Consumer Data

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The Best Social Media Channels for Marketing in 2022, According to Company & Consumer Data

Every day there’s something new on social media.

Recently, Twitter introduced Twitter Blue, a premium subscription-based version of its platform.

TikTok took the social media world by storm back in 2020 and still remains the most downloaded app of 2021, according to Social Media Today. Instagram is regularly adding new features to its platform, recently testing a new affiliate tool for influencers.

The question is, how are these changes impacting how consumers behave online? Are users moving away from Facebook?

Let’s see what the data says and what it means for brands.

We surveyed 301 people in the United States and asked, “Which social media platform do you spend the most time on each week?” The response was kind of surprising.

Where users spend the most time on social media

Despite YouTube’s steady growth over the past year and the rise of TikTok and Clubhouse, Facebook remains the top social media platform. YouTube follows, with the gap between the platform and Facebook much smaller in larger surveys.

So, what does this information really mean?

Well, in a broad sense, it means you should consider having a presence on these platforms. However, don’t delete your Instagram account just yet – better yet, don’t delete it at all.

I’ll explain why later.

Which Social Media Platforms Marketers Are Prioritizing

In 2022, Facebook is the number one social media platform marketers are focusing on, according to HubSpot Blog Research.

When asked which social media platform they plan to invest the most in for 2022, 25% answered Facebook, 20% said YouTube, 16% said Twitter, and 15% said Instagram.

Facebook seems to generate the highest quality leads for marketers, according to the data, which explains why marketers are leveraging this platform the most.

TikTok is another popular platform that 52% of marketers surveyed plan to increase their investment in. There are two reasons for this: The first is that short-form video is growing and increasingly becoming the number one content format. In fact, it’s the format 26% of marketers are leveraging the most in 2022.

In addition, 46% of marketers surveyed said that TikTok offered the highest ROI among other platforms like Twitter and YouTube.

When it comes to emerging platforms and/or features, marketers are keeping an eye on YouTube Shorts. According to 2021 HubSpot Blog Research, 83% of marketers plan to increase their investment in the short-form video feature, a TikTok competitor.

Facebook Live Audio and Twitter Spaces are also top features marketers plan to increase their investment in for 2022.

This focus on audio and short-form video platforms reflects 2021 HubSpot Blog Research that revealed that marketers are investing most in short-form videos and live audio chat rooms in 2022.

According to the data, most marketers (over 60%) say short-form videos are the most effective format and offer the highest ROI, followed by live videos and live streaming. As for audio, 44% of marketers plan to leverage it for the first time in 2022.

The key takeaway is that audio and short-form video platforms will play a much bigger role in marketers’ strategies in 2022 than they have in the past.

Which Social Media Platforms Are Losing Steam

When Clubhouse first launched in 2020, it gained steam very quickly with its unique live audio concept. Its invitation-only model also helped build excitement around the platform.

Today, the platform is open to the public and seems to have lost its edge, as other (and bigger) social platforms launch their own version of live audio.

HubSpot Blog Research conducted in 2021 found that 15% of marketers plan to decrease their investment in the app for 2022.

Snapchat is another platform that marketers are divesting from. Our research found that when it comes to influencer marketing this year, 20% of marketers are planning to decrease their investment in Snapchat.

It also revealed that Snapchat offers one of the lowest ROIs, behind Pinterest and Twitch.

So, does this mean you should stop marketing on Clubhouse and Snapchat? Not if your audience lives there and your brand sees an average to high return from it.

Take this data as a guide to keep you informed on industry trends and insights, not a strict playbook. So, if your data suggests that these platforms are worth investing in, continue to do so.

Should brands limit their efforts to the most popular platforms?

There’s no single, clear-cut answer to this… but typically, no.

While most consumers may spend most of their time on Facebook and YouTube, that doesn’t mean you should dedicate all your efforts entirely to those platforms.

Why? That may not be where your audience lives.

Generality is the enemy of marketing. Imagine running a social media ad that targets everyone. Or having a target audience comprising all of Gen Z.

This sort of one-size-fits-all isn’t conducive to your brand’s growth. In fact, it is likely keeping you from making progress, as you waste time and resources on broad strategies that may not work for your specific market.

It’s like going to a party and only getting an address for the neighborhood. Sure, you could drive around and knock on every door until you find the right one, but by that point, you might be tired, hungry, and out of gas.

When you zero in on a specific audience and strategy, you can gain more valuable insights and get a higher return on investment.

Data, just like the one above, should be used as a general guide to understanding consumer behavior. However, it shouldn’t dictate your entire strategy. Your own consumer data and user persona(s) should.

For instance, let’s say you’ve discovered through market research that your audience enjoys consuming information mostly through blogs and podcasts. That’s a good indicator of where you should focus your efforts. In a few years, that data may change, in which case, your team should be flexible and move to where your audience is going.

Here’s what you should consider when determining where to direct your efforts:

  • Where your audience lives
  • The type of content you’ll be creating
  • The channel that converts the best

There are a few ways to figure out where your audience “hangs out” online. First, you can check the demographics by platform – this will give you a general idea of the audience.

For instance, TikTok mostly caters to a younger audience between 10 to 29 years old while most Instagram users are between 18 to 34 years old.

You can also reach out to your target audience directly through polls and survey to find out where they spend their time. In addition, look to your competitors.

See where they’re focusing their efforts and if they are successful, that may be a good indication of where you should be. Like when you’re not sure you went to the right place but see someone you know parking and you can let out a sigh of relief.

Next is the type of content you’ll be creating.

Say your audience enjoys video content the most (think webinars, lives, video tutorials). In this case, your audience would be well suited for YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, all of which have video editing and publishing features. You can then repurpose your content for each platform.

Another factor to consider is how each channel is contributing to your goals. This is where the importance of data comes in.

You may be posting every day on TikTok and find that the rare times you post on Facebook, you get much higher engagement and conversion rates. While there could be several reasons for this, you may want to redirect your attention to Facebook as it is providing the best return on investment.

Next, we’ll cover what software can help you keep track of your social media data.

Top Social Media Analytics Software

1. HubSpot

With HubSpot’s social media management software, you can track your social strategy from beginning to end.

HubSpot social media software

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With a user-friendly dashboard, you can see exactly how your published posts are performing, which channels are bringing traffic to your website and generating leads, and more.

You can also filter your reports by campaign, account, and date range so you can narrow down the exact information you’re looking for.

In addition, HubSpot’s social media software allows you to:

  • Schedule posts.
  • See how your competitors measure up.
  • Track and monitor conversations surrounding your brand on every platform.
  • Export and analyze relevant reports.

The social media tool is available within HubSpot’s all-in-one CRM platform for mid- to large-size businesses.

2. HootSuite

HootSuite empowers your team to make decisions quickly with real-time data on your social strategy.

Hootsuite social media software

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The social media software takes some of the guesswork out so that you can focus on the most important insights. With customizable dashboards, you can also get a quick overview of your key metrics and identify what’s driving traffic and sales.

Ranging from $49/month to custom pricing for enterprise-level businesses, you can find a plan that meets your needs and is scalable.

3. Sprout Social

If you have multiple social channels running at full speed and you’re overwhelmed with the data, Sprout Social can help.

Sprout Social social media software

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The platform helps you manage your data and create ready-to-go reports to share with stakeholders.

In addition, you can use competitive intelligence to benchmark your performance and make informed decisions that will promote your brand’s growth.

Sprout Social’s pricing is based on a subscription model and ranges from $99 to $249 a month.

Now that you know where consumers spend their time online, the real work begins. Experiment with various strategies to see what resonates best with your audience, always using data and your user personas to inform your decisions.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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