What’s the difference between smart social marketers and the ones that struggle? Yes, the smart marketers target a specific audience, leverage best practices, and understand how to set the right social media goals.

But they also build the foundation of their efforts around these five essential social media activities:


1.  Listen to what your target audience is talking about

Like most marketers, you probably monitor your company’s social feed for brand-related mentions. While that’s a start, it’s not enough to generate real customer insights. You also need to have your ears turned to the social conversations that your customers are having on a daily basis. For example, if you sell to the C-Suite then you’ll want to listen in on the top hashtags that CFOs, CIOs, and CMOs are using on social media.


CSuite Hashtags

Source: Social Insights Report on CFOs by Leadtail and Intacct

Want to learn more about social listening? Read: 5 Steps to Doing Social Media Listening the Right Way


2.  Curate third-party content that’s relevant to your buyers

Why share other people’s content? It’s a good way to show that it’s not all about you and to build trust with your prospects. You’ll also be hard-pressed to create enough quality content to feed your social media machine, especially if you’re in the early stages with your social media activities. So why not piggy-back on those already creating content your buyers engage with… like the top publications that Sales Leaders read and share.


15 Industry Media

Source: Social Insights Report on Sales Leaders by Leadtail and Hoover’s

Go ahead and set up a Twitter list made up of the publications that your target audience reads. This is a good place to begin your daily curating activities.


3.  Publish and share compelling brand content

Now that you’re listening in on the right conversations and building trust with curated content, it’s time to grab attention with your brand content. What should you write about? Start with the themes and topics that industry publications are using. For blog post ideas, consider the most popular, trending, and “buzzed” about articles, and then put your own brand spin on them.

For instance, here are five articles that CMOs shared a lot. (See a theme here?)



Source: Social Insights Report on CMOs by Leadtail and Neustar

Remember, it’s all about using your content to connect with your readers. Lead with value and drop the jargon.


4.  Engage prospects, customers, and influencers

The challenge with social media engagement is to make it scalable. After all, you can’t engage with everyone that shares and comments on your social content. So use buyer personas as a road map to decide whom to engage and when to get your sales or customer success teams involved. But don’t forget influencers since they already hold sway over the folks you’re trying to reach and engage. For example, if you sell to digital marketers then you’ll want to build relationships with some of the people on this list for sure!


People Most Retweeted by Digital Marketers List

Source: Social Insights Report on Digital Marketers by Leadtail and PunchTab

Speaking of influencers – did you know there’s more than one type of influencer? There are actually five types of influencers you should consider when it comes to social marketing engagement.


5.  Track and measure social media progress

Smart marketers track their progress. So it’s no surprise that smart social marketers do too! And the specific goals you measure your social media activities against need to reflect the stage of social media your company is in. This will inform whether your KPIs should be about how active you are on social media, the size of your social audience, the level of engagement, or ROI metrics like website traffic and leads coming from social media.

Regardless, there are lots of tools to help you with social media measurement. The key is to make it part of your weekly, monthly, and quarterly activities.

Read this if you want to get insights into which stage of social media your company is in: Social ROI: Are We There Yet?

Are you a smart social marketer? Feel free to share your must-do social media activities in the comments or tweet us @Leadtail!