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How to Use Social Proof to Fuel Engagement and Sales




Social proof starts when you’re envious of Little Johnny’s new kicks in first grade and ends… never. It’s the secret sauce in every successful marketing campaign. As marketers, we often measure KPIs like engagement rate, net follower gain, and reach without once thinking about the main driving force behind all of these: Social proof.

As in, the reason why someone takes the time to engage, follow, or even sees your social media content in the first place.

Before you have any followers to count, you’ll need to create an environment that makes people want to follow, engage with, and — eventually — buy from you. Social proof creates that environment. Here are 15 ways to build social proof into your marketing, and our top tips for the best results.

Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients.

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Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that leads people to look at what others are doing or saying to guide their own actions or beliefs — especally when they’re unsure about something. It taps into our innate desire as social beings to fit in and connect with others.

The term ‘social proof’ first appeared in psychologist Robert Cialdini’s 1984 book “Influence,” detailing his decades-long research into the relationship between human behavior and persuasion.

In marketing, social proof persuades someone to interact with or purchase from you.

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Examples of the influence of social proof in marketing include:

  • Customers checking online reviews before making a purchase.
  • Thinking of a company with a large/active social media audience as more legitimate.
  • Feeling comfortable paying via credit card if a website uses a payment processor known for security, such as Shopify or PayPal, or displays other security icons.
  • Instantly having a positive opinion of a company you haven’t heard of before because you saw them mentioned on one of your favorite social media accounts.

1. Customer reviews

One of the most basic and most important forms of social proof are good old-fashioned customer reviews and testimonials. Companies that put reviews from satisfied customers in the spotlight have an average 17.4% higher conversion rate than those who don’t, with some categories having a much higher rate, such as instruments at 47.3%, electronics at 38%, and gifts at 32%.

While reviews should feature heavily on your website, don’t forget your social media channels. Ask for feedback, then paste it into a branded template to share with the world.

2. Comparison websites

Reviews from actual people are always the most powerful, but comparison and review sites websites also hold sway. Which site to get featured on depends on the business you’re in. Capterra is a well-known place to compare software, for example, whereas NerdWallet reviews financial products.

Some comparison websites accept sponsored, paid posts and others don’t. At the very least, be aware of the relevant ones for your industry and where your target audience gets information. Then, do your best to get featured there.

most recent video user review for Hootsuite via Capterra

Source: Capterra

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3. UGC content

UGC, or user-generated content, is organic content created by your customers. Yep, it’s really that simple.

The power of UGC content is in its simplicity: People are more likely to think UGC content is authentic compared to traditional paid advertising or influencer campaigns. That authenticity, combined with the fact that 76% of people use social media to search for new products, means UGC content is a key sales driver.

The easiest way to generate UGC content is to ask your audience to post a photo or video using a specific hashtag. You can run a contest to encourage entries:

Or, create a long-term UGC content strategy with a hashtag people can use anytime, like KitKat’s #HaveABreak:

Just back from the shops.

Who’s for tea 🍵 or ☕?#HaveABreak

— 1️⃣9️⃣8️⃣0️⃣s Rewind ⏪ (@1980sRewind) April 25, 2023

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4. Awards

Try not to come across too full of yourself, but showcasing your award wins or other notable recognition goes a long way toward building trust with existing customers and leads.

5. Case studies

Think of case studies as a really in-depth customer review backed up with data. A good case study needs to be relatable to a segment of your target audience, illustrate how your product or service solves a business problem, and highlight the awesome results they got from working with you.

The bulk of a case study’s content will probably live on your website, but consider:

  • Repurposing it into a video for your YouTube channel. (Bonus: Get your client on camera for an interview if you can!)
  • Turning that YouTube video into several small segments for TikTok or Reels.
  • Pulling out quotes for graphics or carousel posts for social media.

6. Customer results

Another way of proving your results besides customer testimonials and case studies is using cold hard data to communicate the benefits of working with you, or buying from you.

Universities use this a lot to attract prospective students by listing the impressive places their graduates go on to work, or how many grads find jobs in their field after graduation:

Vancouver Film School graduation prospects

Source: Vancouver Film School

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How do you get this data? Talk to your customers.

Run surveys, collect feedback you get in one-on-one interactions, and leverage the information you already have from current case studies or other sources.

7. Statistics and data

What sounds more impressive to you:

A. “We help small business owners speed up accounting.”

B. “We help 100,000+ small business owners save 10 hours/week on accounting.”

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B, right? Right.

When you read the second one, you instantly and automatically assume a few things: The company must be at least sorta good to have 100k customers, they’re not going to go out of business anytime soon, and that it would be amazing if their product saved you 10 hours a week, too.

The best part is you already have this kind of data. Big or small, obtaining a number of how many customers you’ve served is as easy as pulling up your invoicing software (or asking Bill in Accounting…). As for how many hours you save customers, run a few in-house experiments comparing how long it would take to do a task manually vs. with your product or service. Boom, there’s your stat.

8. Endorsements

Have any celebrity friends? Kidding. But maybe someone famous once said something about your product in an interview or on a podcast. Use it!

Endorsements are organic, non-paid brand recommendations. Not to be confused with influencer marketing, which are paid campaigns.

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Just make sure to reach out to the person to ask permission to use their quote and/or likeness in your marketing materials. Yes, they may have said what they said “in public” but it’s polite to ask before using anything to promote your own business.

This strategy is also easier with physical products, where you can try sending samples to notable people in your industry, or even celebrities.

For example, sustainable cleaning company Blueland went viral after a celebrity endorsement from Kim Kardashian.

Who else watches the show Shark Tank and orders the product online? I just saw these good cleaning products and I hope they work! They seem amazing and exactly what we need for our planet! Gonna send you a link to see if anyone has tried them. I want to know if they really work.

— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) December 30, 2019

9. Influencer marketing campaigns

Earlier I mentioned how most people think UGC content is more authentic than influencer marketing campaigns, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore influencer marketing.

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Influencers won’t be your main source of social proof. Everyone knows it’s a paid ad campaign, right? But influencer campaigns are effective for brand discovery.

Plus, they still have tons of social proof potential, as long as the influencers you partner with are known for being honest in their reviews and endorsements.

People find out about you on their favorite influencer’s profile and think, “Hmm, okay, that sounds pretty good,” so they click over to your website or social media channel. It’s there that the rest of the social proof puzzle clicks into place with your case studies, statistics, and yes, your general “authentic-ness vibes.” Now you’ve got a new brand fan, and likely, a potential customer.

Lara ate and left no crumbs. 💅 Shot by @Lara Jackson #600mmF4 #nikon #nikoncreators #wildlife #wildlifephotography #camera #MuskOx #Dovrefjell

♬ Snow Flakes – Colo Colo

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10. Social media presence

Some marketing strategists may tell you size doesn’t matter. Yes, your audience appreciates you for your personality but honey, when it comes to social proof, size matters. #HardTruth

A decent number of social media followers makes you look legit.

You don’t need 100,000 followers or even 10,000 and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to exactly how many followers it takes to “look legit.” As with a lot of things on social media, it’s kinda a vibe thing (another thing marketing strategists don’t want to hear).

Just… maybe wait on plastering your launch promos everywhere until you’re past the 10 follower mark, okay?

Need help scaling up a new account or your existing channels? Follow this 5 step process to update your social media strategy and watch the new followers start rolling in:

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11. Proof of purchase

You know when you’re browsing a sales page and that little popup comes up saying so-and-so in Nowheresville just bought the exact thing you’re looking at? Wow, what a coincidence.

It may seem gimmicky, but that little reminder subconsciously reinforces the basic principle of social proof: Someone else thought this was worth spending money on, and that means it’s more likely I’ll think it’s worth it, too.

Source: The Luxe Lens

12. Media features

You’ve seen this everywhere: The logos of TV networks, magazines, newspapers, or other reputable media properties underneath a heading of “Featured In.”

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Saying you, or your company, has been featured in a recognizable publication adds legitimacy to your reputation. The assumption is if these large or prestigious media organizations took the time to cover your story, then you’re worth paying attention to.

Heyday by Hootsuite AI feature

Source: Heyday by Hootsuite

13. Memberships and certifications

Usually displayed in a website’s footer, certification logos are big trust signals. Some common ones are displaying your Better Business Bureau or TrustPilot rating.

There are countless others that may also apply to you, depending on your industry’s licensing requirements. Those could be displaying your HIPAA compliance or membership in a national standards organization.

Stahl’s, a printing industry supplier, displays their relevant memberships to Promotional Product Professionals Canada and the Sign Association of Canada, along with payment provider and a security seal.

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Stahl’s printing industry supplier memberships

Source: Stahl’s

14. Security icons

E-commerce is so common nowadays, it’s easy to assume everyone’s comfortable paying with credit cards online. But the truth is online payment fraud is still a big problem and estimated to cost businesses $343 billion between 2023 to 2027.

And people worry about becoming one of those fraud victims: 59% of shoppers are more worried about payment security now than they were a year ago.

Displaying security icons helps people feel comfortable shopping with you. They’re really a must-have if you take any type of payment online. Common ones are showing payment methods that don’t require storing a customer’s details, like PayPal, and any software you use to keep customers’ data secure, such as Verified by Visa, or others.

security verification icons Visa

Source: Temu

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15. Word-of-mouth referrals

While this isn’t a “thing” you can add to your website, encouraging word-of-mouth referrals is still an important part of a modern, successful marketing strategy. Ideally, you want people to talk about your brand online on social media, and also offline, in what’s known as dark social: text messages, emails, face-to-face conversations, and more.

You can’t track all word of mouth, but you can use Hootsuite Insights to monitor brand sentiment, mentions of you from millions of online sources, and help identify opportunities to stand out from your competitors.

Insights - Brandwatch

1. Be proactive

Instead of waiting around for a customer to say something nice so you can use it, go out and talk to your customers. Of course, you need to make the interaction mutually beneficial. Why should your customer give up their time to give you marketing soundbytes? What’s in it for them?

Invite your top, most loyal, or longest subscribing customers to a VIP focus group. Everyone likes being asked to join a secret club — another form of social proof in action, really.

Offer something in return for their participation: gift cards, product discounts, free swag, etc.

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Also ensure you’re collecting both positive and constructive feedback. You don’t want your top customers to feel like their concerns are being ignored. Everyone has room to improve, and their constructive feedback should be equally, or even more, valuable to you.

Besides a VIP group, you can be proactive at getting social proof by:

  • Sharing and repurposing social media comments as testimonials.
  • Sharing UGC content from your customers.
  • Running a contest where people have to leave a review to enter.
  • Replying to all comments and DMs, even the negative ones, to establish your reputation as a brand that cares about all your customers.

2. Measure your results

How can you know what’s working if you don’t measure it? You’ve heard that phrase before, and you know it’s true, so if you’re still not tracking analytics or key objectives… why not?!

Analytics can be easy. Hootsuite Analytics tracks the performance of all your social channels in one place. Use our built-in reports, or create your own, to find out anything you need with just a few clicks — from a bird’s-eye view all the way down to single-channel specifics.

Analytics - Brand Awareness Report

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As for what to track and how often, watch this to copy our entire analytics reporting process and learn everything you need to be a pro at turning a bunch of data into real, powerful insights.

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3. Communicate with your audience

Social proof isn’t all about bragging, and neither is social media. Lasting brand recognition and loyalty comes from building relationships with your audience. That doesn’t mean you need to be their new BFF, but focus on connecting more often than converting.

Connection is what makes people want to talk about you — on social media, to friends and family, and everywhere else social proof lives.

An easy way to connect more? Track social mentions with Hootsuite Streams and reply to posts, share content, and measure engagement right from your Hootsuite dashboard.

Streams - Mentions, Tweets, Scheduled Tweets

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4. Repurpose social proof

Hot tip: you don’t need to make a social media post showing the payment and/or security icons from your website footer. Not too exciting, and not needed there.

But testimonials? Five star reviews? Award wins? Plaster that all over social.

Stuck on how to rewrite content to fit each platform? Want to make old news fresh again? Let OwlyWriter AI take over and save you up to 16 hours a month:

5. Quality is better than quantity

This rule is true for most things and social proof is no exception. Focus on building a library of the strongest social proof you can. Court big, reputable organizations for media coverage instead of sprayin’ n’ prayin’ to every PR contact in the world.

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Promote one amazing, detailed, wildly raving customer review as an ad instead of ten mediocre, one-sentence reviews. You get the idea.

You can start using social proof in your marketing without any testimonials or fancy media coverage. Start by adding security icons and proof of purchase popups to your website. Try working with a few influencers or industry experts. Ask customers for reviews, or hold a contest to get a bunch. Soon enough, you’ll start getting social proof to work with.

What is an example of social proof?

Social proof examples include customer reviews, media coverage, influencer marketing campaigns, UGC content, and more.

What are common types of social proof?

Common examples of social proof are social media comments, testimonials, payment trust and security icons, proof of purchase popups on ecommerce websites, UGC content, and more.

What is an example of social proof in psychology?

Social proof in marketing is based on the psychological principle that, when in a new environment, people subconsciously observe others’ behavior first in order to adjust their own to fit in.

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Think of the last time you went to a party where you didn’t know many people. You walk in, look around, get a sense of the general atmosphere, and either adjust your conversational tone to be more formal or informal, depending on the party.

Plan, schedule, and manage all your social media accounts from one user-friendly dashboard with Hootsuite. Build and engage your audience and report ROI and wins to your boss, in the same place. Do it all, better, with Hootsuite. Try it free today.

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Do it better with Hootsuite, the all-in-one social media tool. Stay on top of things, grow, and beat the competition.

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5 B2B Social Media Marketing Tactics That Actually Work





B2B social media marketing can be an effective way for brands to build awareness, strengthen relationships, and close sales. But B2B social marketers face unique challenges when it comes to tone and content mix.

So, how do you use social tools to bring in (and keep) followers, create engagement, build brand awareness, and fill your funnel? Read on for all the tips you need to build an effective B2B social media strategy.

Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients.

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B2B social media marketing is the use of social channels to market products or services to business clients and prospects. (B2B stands for business-to-business, as opposed to business-to-consumer or B2C.)

Marketers at B2C companies use social channels to reach consumers and influence purchases. Effective B2B marketing requires a different approach. B2B marketers have to think more strategically to reach business owners and decision-makers. They then nurture relationships that can lead to large purchase agreements.

All social channels can have a place in B2B marketing. But the balance and type of content will look different for a B2B social media strategy than for a consumer-focused plan.

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B2B social media success begins with a sound B2B social media strategy. Here’s how to build one for your brand.

 1. Align goals with business objectives

Just like a good B2C strategy, every B2B social media plan should answer the following two questions:

  1. What are the company’s business objectives?
  2. How will B2B social media marketing help achieve them?

But the similarities mostly end here. B2B and B2C social media marketers use social platforms for different purposes. B2C social media campaigns drive sales, while B2B social is more “top of funnel.” Social media goals for B2B marketers should likely focus on longer-term business objectives.

In fact, the top 3 overall goals for B2B companies are:

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  1. Create brand awareness
  2. Build trust and credibility
  3. Educate audiences

Generating sales or revenue comes in at number 8.

Those top three goals all contribute to social media B2B lead generation. Successful B2B marketers also use content marketing to nurture subscribers, audiences, or leads.

Our blog post on goal-setting can help you establish the right goals and objectives for your B2B social media plan.

Don’t forget to include internal objectives and goals within your plan. According to research published in the Journal of Business Logistics, social media can help account managers increase both product and competitor knowledge.

2. Know your audience

Your corporate structure probably caters to various client personas. Or, at least, different client categories.

For instance, a design firm might work for commercial, public, and residential customers. It likely has team members or verticals that specialize in each category.

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Your B2B social media marketing strategy should do the same. Focus on building fleshed-out buyer personas of your ideal customers. These will allow you to create social media content that speaks to real people.

Understanding your audience also means understanding which social channels they use. As a general rule, you should be where your customers are. Not sure where that might be? Start with the overall social media demographics. Then, dive into some audience research.

Almost all B2B content marketers (96%) use LinkedIn. They also rated it as the top-performing organic platform.

organic non paid social media platforms B2B content marketers used in last 12 months

Source: Content Marketing Institute

For paid social media posts, the picture for B2B social media platforms is similar but not identical. LinkedIn again comes out on top (78%). But Instagram outranks YouTube and Twitter (a.k.a. X) is down at the bottom of the pack.

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paid social media platforms B2B content marketers used in last 12 months

Source: Content Marketing Institute

Separate channels may also be relevant for different verticals, products, and markets. Depending on the industry and size of your business, you might want to consider:

See also  How Brands Can Support Indigenous Communities on Social—the Right Way

Or any other account that speaks to a specific audience within your niche. Make sure you’re delivering the information your target audience wants in the right place and at the right time.

Keep in mind that B2B social marketing will likely become even more personalized in the future. Account-based marketing (ABM) will become the norm. In ABM, sales and marketing teams work together. They personalize outreach and marketing to decision-makers at target companies.

Social media is a prime tool for ABM. For instance, social listening allows you to keep tabs on your most important prospects.

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3. Understand the competition

While you never want to copy the competition, it’s always useful to know what they’re up to. Understanding what the competition is doing helps you understand your own specific niche.

Start by benchmarking your current social media performance against your competitors. Hootsuite Analytics has a built-in benchmarking tool that shows how you stack up against others in your field.

industry benchmarking profile impressions audience growth rate and post engagement rate

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You can get an even better understanding of the competition by using social media listening to monitor their social media activities, so you can gain insights from their B2B social media examples. Such as:

  • When and how often they post
  • What kinds of voice and tone they use
  • What kind of content gets the most engagement
  • Specific customer pain points that may be unaddressed

You can use this information to guide your own social strategy. Especially before you have enough data to get meaningful insights from your own social posts. (More on that later.)

Want more details on competitor research? We’ve got a full blog post on how to conduct a competitor analysis on social media.

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4. Create a content calendar and content library

Once you understand your customers and the competition, it’s time to think about what and when you will post on social media.

First, you need to plan your content calendar: What you will post on each of your social accounts and when. Deciding on the right content mix is an important part of this step, as no one will want to follow you if all you do is promote your products. We’ve got some content ideas for you later on in this post.

A social media management platform organizes your content calendar so you can create and schedule content in advance. And 76% of the most successful B2B businesses do so.

Hootsuite’s Composer allows you to schedule all of your social media channels from one screen. You have a holistic view of your content distribution. This advance planning gives you time to use the built-in content approval workflows. Composer also recommends the best time to post on each platform based on your past performance and selected goals.

Hootsuite Composer new Twitter post Hayward School of Finance

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Hootsuite’s content library is another important feature for B2B marketers. You can use the library to store pre-approved content and brand assets.

This protects your brand identity and reputation while making life easier for all members of the content creation team.

5. Analyze and refine

​​Almost all (87%) of the most successful B2B content marketers say they measure their content performance accurately. Compare that to only 19% of the least successful.

This makes sense. How can you know how well your social content performs if you don’t measure with clear metrics and KPIs?

What metrics and data should you monitor? This depends on your business goals. You might focus on response time, impressions, engagement rate, conversions, sales, and more. The important thing is to set benchmarks and achievable goals.

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Don’t ignore barometers like customer satisfaction ratings, qualitative reviews, and your Net Promoter Score. Look at reductions in recruitment and customer support costs as well. All of this contributes to return on investment.

Be realistic about what efforts you’ll have hard numbers for and which will be trickier to quantify. Remember, just because you can measure something doesn’t always mean you should. And just because you can’t measure something (easily) doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile.

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Your best ally in building out a performance measurement plan is a good social media analytics tool. Hootsuite Analytics gives you one-screen access to performance data from every social network, including easy-to-understand graphics and charts.

Hootsuite Analytics performance measurement plan ROI analysis

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Speak to humans, not businesses

Remember that you’re not talking to brands – you’re talking to the people behind those brands. Likewise, they want to do business with the humans behind your brand.

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In the LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact study, 64% of executives said they prefer “a more human, less formal tone of voice” over “an even-toned, intellectual voice.”

And you’re not just talking to CEOs and purchasing officers. Younger people will move up the ranks and be making purchasing decisions within a few years. It pays to nurture relationships with industry pros at all stages of their careers.

One simple way to break out of the boardroom with your content is to get your employees involved. Tell their stories. Highlight their accomplishments. Real people make your social media presence and brand voice appear more human and boost your recruiting efforts.

Tip: You can easily build a streamlined employee social program using Hootsuite Amplify.

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Help your audience do their jobs

Think about ways you can make your followers’ (work) lives easier or more enjoyable. Provide content and resources that delight them in some way. Think how-to information, industry news, trends, tips, strategy, and so on.

Thought leadership is particularly important. 61% of decision-makers say thought leadership can be ”moderately or a lot more effective at demonstrating the potential value of its products/services compared to traditional product-oriented marketing.”

In content that does specifically promote your product, focus on how it will directly benefit the customer in real business terms. The latest Linked-in-Edelman B2B Thought Leadership Impact Report found that non-business-critical suppliers can best increase their chances of making a sale by:

  • Proving they will increase a prospect’s profit margins or minimize losses
  • Showing they can increase the likelihood of the prospect retaining customers and clients during a downturn
  • Showing they can help the prospect outperform competitors

Use humor your followers will understand

B2B social media is about starting conversations and building relationships that lead to sales in the long term. That “long term” part is key, though. Followers aren’t going to stick around if your content doesn’t interest them.

So don’t let B2B’s reputation for boring content hold you back. Humor is an import tool in your content-creation toolbox. You just have to find the right tone.

What kind of humor speaks directly to your audience? Is there an inside joke that only industry pros will understand? A pun that will amuse your followers while highlighting your product benefits? Signal to your audience that you understand social media is primarily a platform for content that entertains and delights.

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Respond to DMs and comments

If we were to highlight the most important component of a B2B social media strategy, this would probably be it. Anyone who comments on your content or sends you a DM is expressing interest in your brand. They’re practically raising their hands and shouting, “Hey! I’m a lead!”

That said, it’s easy for comments and DMs to get lost when you’re juggling multiple social platforms, each with its own inbox. A consolidated social media inbox like the one built into Hootsuite makes sure you never miss a thing.

Hootsuite Inbox also speeds up your response time by automatically routing messages through to the most appropriate person on your team. This ensures potential sales don’t get bogged down in the customer service queue.

Reduce response time (and your workload)

Manage all your messages stress-free with easy routing, saved replies, and friendly chatbots. Try Hootsuite’s Inbox today.

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B2B social media tactics and content ideas

1. Share a free resource

A free resource like a white paper or report can be a valuable way to earn the trust of your B2B social media followers. But only if the report provides quality information backed up by reliable data and research – and offers real-world suggestions for how to incorporate that information into operations.

See also  How to Create a Social Media Calendar and Stay Organized

Two of the main qualities business leaders look for in thought leadership content are “robust research and strong supporting data” and “concrete guidance on how to respond to the issues or opportunities discussed.”

For example, here’s the primary and secondary data information for the Hootsuite 2023 Social Media Career Report:

Hootsuite 2023 Social Media Career Report survey and respondent data

And here are some of the ways Hootsuite shared the report on social media:

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But how much asking is too much? 🤣

All kidding aside, this is why you must ask for the damn raise already! You deserve it for so many reasons.

Discover the most convincing reasons, and build up the courage to ask with insights from our career report:

— Hootsuite 🦉 (@hootsuite) September 19, 2023

2. Crack a joke

We talked about humor earlier in this post. Here’s where the rubber hits the road. From a tongue-in-cheek play on words, to a funny meme, to a straight-up dad joke, tickle your followers’ funny bones from time to time to keep them coming back for more.

The level of humor can vary with the platform, and should be based on audience research. For instance, you can likely skew a lot more silly on TikTok than on LinkedIn.

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@artandsuchevan finds creativity in the tiniest and most unexpected places ✨

♬ original sound – Adobe – Adobe

Keep a close eye on your analytics after posting anything outside the norm for your brand to see how your audience responds. If they love it, give them more. If the response is tepid or you see an unusual number of unfollows, rethink your strategy and try a different approach to humor.

3. Join a relevant conversation

We talked about social listening above in the context of competitor research. But it’s also a great way to find conversations relevant to your industry and your brand.

Simply add relevant hashtags and industry terms to your Hootsuite streams. When you find a relevant conversation, pop in with helpful information (never a hard sell). This is all about building relationships and creating brand awareness.

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For example, when Patrick Mahomes was caught correcting an awkward grammar mistake on Twitter (shout out to the edit button!), both Grammarly and Merriam-Webster jumped in.

Patrick Mahomes grammar mistake correction on Twitter post

Source: @PatrickMahomes

The edit deserves a touchdown.🏈

— Grammarly (@Grammarly) September 12, 2023

Proud of this edit.

— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) September 12, 2023

4. Share some stats

We’ve talked about the importance of thought leadership already. Quick stats and infographics are an easy and effective way to share thought leadership on social media without requiring followers to dive deep into a long report.

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Infographics are snackable and highly shareable, meaning they can help your content spread well beyond your own social followers.

5. Empathize

Business can be tough, and you can gain a lot of brand loyalty by showing you understand the difficulties employees face. Remember, you need to win the hearts and minds of future business leaders, not just those who are making purchasing decisions today.

We hope this message finds you well. Unless you’re on PTO. In that case, we hope this message does not find you; we hope you find yourself with a fully recharged battery. 🔋

— Slack (@SlackHQ) September 19, 2023

Easily manage all your social media profiles using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts, engage your followers, monitor relevant conversations, measure results, manage your ads, and much more.

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2023 Average Engagement Rates for 13 Industries [STATS]





So you’ve planned and launched a social media campaign, and waited patiently for the likes, comments, and conversions to roll in. Now you’re looking at your performance report, wondering what the numbers actually mean. Is a 2% engagement rate high or low? Did your target audience love your campaign, or was it a flop?

Without social media benchmarks (a.k.a. average performance stats for a social platform or industry), it’s difficult to make sense of raw data. But we got you. In this post, we’ve rounded up average social media engagement rates from 13 top industries to give you a better understanding of where you stand. (And empower you to brag to your boss with data-informed confidence — you’re welcome.)

We’ve even included a simple (and free!) engagement rate calculator you can use to quickly double-check your own performance stats.

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Average engagement rates (September 2023)

Below, you’ll find the latest average engagement rates (per post), broken down by industry and social network.

Where did this data come from? Our team collects and anonymously compiles data from social accounts connected to Hootsuite. Each benchmark is based on at least 100 social accounts, and no data can be traced back to any individual account.

For more benchmarks (including impressions, audience growth rate, posting frequency, and much more) and insights that will help you improve your marketing strategy, start a free 30-day Hootsuite trial and browse stats from your industry — and hand-picked competitors — in Hootsuite Analytics

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  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.02%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 2.06%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 0.82%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.18%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.71%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Agencies


  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.03%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 3.16%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.63%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.81%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.52%
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Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Education

Entertainment and media

  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.4%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.66%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.09%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.32%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 9.77%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Entertainment and media

Financial services

  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.99%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.87%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 0.97%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.74%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.64%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Financial services

Food and beverage

  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.79%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.49%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 0.71%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.11%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.64%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Food and beverage


  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.33%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 2.05%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.64%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 2.14%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.8%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Government

Healthcare and wellness

  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.92%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 2.28%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.31%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.61%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.75%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Healthcare and wellness


  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.18%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 2.47%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.61%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 2.26%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.63%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Nonprofit

Real estate

  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.81%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.5%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.01%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.68%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.39%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Real estate


  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.87%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 2.07%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 0.82%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.29%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 1.21%


Professional services and consulting

  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.89%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.62%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.05%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.55%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.36%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Professional services and consulting


  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.34%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.47%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 1%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.72%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.55%
See also  2023 Social Media Benchmarks + How to Use Them in Marketing

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Technology

Travel, hospitality, and leisure

  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.32%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.7%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 0.97%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.47%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 6.01%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Travel, hospitality, and leisure

Average engagement rates: September insights

1. Instagram users are the most engaged

Across almost all industries, Instagram consistently has the highest average rates compared to other social networks.

Interestingly, educational institutions generated higher Instagram engagement than any other industry in September. If you run social media for a school, college, or university and struggle to get your engagement rates up to the industry average, here are some tips that will help.

2. TikTok is a great platform for entertainment and travel-related content

Exceptionally high TikTok engagement rates suggest that short-form video is a great way to capture audience attention in these sectors. If you operate in one of these industries and haven’t started using TikTok to promote your business yet, you might be missing out! Our beginner’s guide to TikTok marketing will help you get started and connect with TikTok’s hyper-engaged community.

3. Financial services and technology have a hard(ish) time generating engagement

In general, financial institutions and tech companies appear to generate slightly lower social media engagement compared to other sectors — on every social media platform except for LinkedIn. This might be because these industries deal with complex and technical topics that can be challenging to engage a broad audience.

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Remember: It’s not a product or service that makes something seem “boring” — it’s bad marketing. You can create engaging social content even if your industry has a boring reputation. Not sure how? Check out these blog posts for inspiration:

4. The food and beverage industry wins on Instagram

Restaurants and other food-related businesses see high engagement on Instagram — which makes perfect sense, considering the platform’s focus on visual content (and its users’ obsession with posting pictures of their meals).

See also  How to Use Facebook Custom Audiences: A Step-by-Step Guide

Free engagement rate calculator

Ready to compare your performance to industry benchmarks? Use this free tool to find out your engagement rate by post.

Note: If you’re calculating your account’s total engagement, include information about all your posts (e.g total number of posts published, total number of likes, and so on). If you’re calculating the engagement rate of a specific social media marketing campaign, only include the details of the posts that were part of the campaign.

Engagement rate calculator

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If you’re looking for more detailed data or you want to calculate different kinds of engagement (like engagement rate by reach or engagement rate by impressions), download our free spreadsheet calculator that will do the math for you.

Or, better yet, start a free 30-day Hootsuite trial to easily track the performance of all your social channels in one place (so you can replicate what works and get more engagement). Hootsuite’s social media analytics tool collects your stats from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok.

Start free 30-day trial

With Hootsuite Analytics, you can also:

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  • Find out when your audience is online
  • Get personalized recommendations for your best times to post for each of your accounts
  • Easily view industry benchmarks and see how you compare to competitors

Use Hootsuite to track and improve engagement rates across all your social media channels. Try it free today.

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How To Save Tons of Time With Instagram Auto Reply





Responding to messages quickly is a huge part of social media customer service—and it’s no different whether you’re dealing with messages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. Luckily, Instagram has an easy-to-use option that can cut down on your team’s time responding to questions.

With Instagram auto reply, you can easily set auto-responses to common questions and messages. This feature cuts down on the time your social media support team needs to spend monitoring and replying to customers.

In this article, we’ll talk more about the Instagram auto reply feature, how it can be used, and a few message examples for inspiration.

Bonus: Get a free, easy-to-use Customer Service Report Template that helps you track and calculate your monthly customer service efforts all in one place.

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What is Instagram auto reply?

Instagram auto reply is a feature available in your Instagram message settings that allows you to send automatic responses to frequently asked questions.

For example, if you regularly get a question like, “Do you offer free shipping?” your team can set up an auto reply that will answer the question instantly rather than forcing the customer to wait for a real person to respond.

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There are a few different ways you can do this:

  • Instagram tools: Set automatic responses for frequently asked questions or craft canned messages that your team can easily send out via Instagram DM.
  • Meta Business Suite: Set up messaging automations for both Instagram and Facebook.
  • Third-party inboxes: Use tools like Hootsuite Inbox to easily monitor and manage your Instagram direct messages and comments.

Learn more about how a social inbox like Hootsuite’s can help streamline your social media communication in this video:

There are several ways to take advantage of Instagram’s auto reply feature. Here are just a few types of automated responses you might consider setting up:

  • Welcome messages
  • Away messages
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Share contact information
  • Share business hours of operation
  • Provide shipment and payment details
  • Offer discounts
  • Explain wholesale pricing information
  • Tell customers how to handle issues with their orders
  • Share links to additional resources

Pros and cons of using Instagram auto reply

So why use Instagram auto reply? Is it the best option for creating automated responses and freeing up your team’s time? As always, it depends on your needs.

Let’s cover some basic pros and cons to help you decide.


  • Make a good impression. Instagram shows your followers how quick your team is to respond. A faster response time is a better look for your business.
  • Answer questions before they’re asked. Create an auto-responder that gives your customers a clear idea of when they can expect to hear from a real person—unless your auto replies can give their answer immediately.
  • Save your team time. Stop writing the same reply over and over again. Automated messages give your team more time for escalated messages and other customer support issues.
  • Never miss a message. You don’t have to worry about time zones when you enlist auto reply. Even when your team isn’t working, customers can get answers as soon as they send a message.
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  • Only for Instagram and Facebook. Instagram/Meta’s built-in features only work for these two platforms. You’ll have to enlist the help of external tools for other social media platforms—don’t worry, we’ve got more on that below.
  • You have to connect your Facebook and Instagram pages. In order to access some of the more advanced tools, you must use Meta Business Suite, so you’ll have to connect your Facebook and Instagram pages.

Reduce response time (and your workload)

Manage all your messages stress-free with easy routing, saved replies, and friendly chatbots. Try Hootsuite’s Inbox today.

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15 Instagram auto reply message examples

Not sure what types of auto replies to set for your Instagram messages? Here are 15 examples to help inspire you.

Welcome message

Send one of these options to all new incoming Instagram DMs whenever your team is unavailable for a quick response:

  • Thank you for getting in touch! Our team is available from 10am-3pm CT. We’ll get back to you within those hours!
  • Hey there—thanks for reaching out! Your message is important to us. Someone on our team will get back to you within the next 12 hours.
  • Sorry we missed you! Our team is currently unavailable, but we’ll be back around 8am GMT.

Basic business information

Use one of these when someone messages you on Instagram to ask about hours of operation or contact information:

  • Our hours of operation are 11am-11pm ET Monday through Saturday.
  • To get in touch with a representative directly, please give us a call at [###-###-####].
  • To learn more or request a demo, email us at
  • Our offices are located at 1234 Business Street.

Frequently asked questions

Here are a few common questions and answers you might want to incorporate into your Instagram auto replies.

How long does shipping take?

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  • You can expect your items to arrive within 3-5 business days of your order.

How can I cancel my plan?

  • To cancel, go to the “Account” section of your dashboard and find the “Cancel plan” button.
  • We’re sad to see you go! To cancel, please call one of our representatives directly at [###-###-####] or send an email to

Do you offer any discounts?

  • We love that you asked! Use promo code INSTA for 10% off your purchase.
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What services do you offer?

  • We offer accounting services for small businesses.

How much do your services cost?

  • We work on a monthly retainer basis. Packages start at $1,000/month and go up to $15,000+ depending on your needs.

Are you taking new patients?

  • Yes, please head to our website to fill out the form for new patients.
  • Unfortunately, our therapists are fully booked at the moment. Please check back next quarter to see if any spots have opened up.

There are two ways to set up auto replies on Instagram. The first is pretty easy—do so right inside the Instagram app. The second involves digging into the Automations option in Meta Business Suite.

We’ll walk you through each process.

How to set up auto replies via the Instagram app

First, open the Instagram app. Tap the messages icon in the top right corner of the home feed. Then, tap on the ellipses in the top right corner of your messages dashboard and select Tools.

Select Tools in the top right corner of your messages dashboard.

Here, you can set either saved replies (canned responses your team can tap on to send manually) or auto replies for frequently asked questions.

The Tools section of Instagram settings include response suggestions, saved replies, frequently asked questions, and message controls

Tap on Frequently asked questions to access the auto reply feature. Instagram will typically include a few starter questions. You can customize these or use them as is—just add answers.

Add as many questions as you want. You can even show these questions in chat, so customers who want to message you have options to choose from.

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How to set up auto replies in Meta Business Suite

If you have your Facebook Business Page set up and optimized and your Instagram business profile connected, you can use Meta Business Suite to create automations like this.

First, head over to your Facebook Business Page, then click on Meta Business Suite in the left-hand sidebar.

The back end of Facebook/Meta Business Suite

You’ll then be taken to the Meta Business Suite dashboard. From here, click on Inbox in the right-hand sidebar.

The left hand sidebar of Meta Business Suite shows Inbox (among other options)

This inbox section will hold all messages and comments from Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. If you’re looking for a single place to manage these, Business Suite is a great place to do so. The biggest downfall is that those are the only platforms you can monitor here (more on that later).

To set up your auto-reply messages, click the atom icon to access Automations.

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The automations option is highlighted in the top right of the Inbox screen

Here, you can set up a number of automations relating to your direct messages across all of Meta’s platforms. If you haven’t previously set up Frequently asked questions, it will appear as one of the Suggested for you options. Click on it to get started.

The Inbox Automations menu shows suggested options, including Instant Replies and Away Messages

Select your Instagram account from the list of places you want to turn this automation on. Then, start adding questions. You can preview them in the left-hand sidebar.

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The edit automation screen in Meta Business Suite allows you to write your own text for an Instagram auto reply

Once you’re done, click Save changes and toggle this automation into the On position. And voila! You’ve got your frequently asked questions set up.

Other automations you can create are:

  • Away messages
  • Instant replies
  • Follow ups

How to auto-respond to messages and comments on Facebook, Instagram, X, and LinkedIn

We mentioned that Meta Business Suite is great for managing your messages and comments on Facebook and Instagram. But if your brand uses other platforms, like X (formerly known as Twitter) and LinkedIn, you’ll need additional support.

Good news—you’re in luck! With Hootsuite’s Social Inbox, your entire social media and customer support team can monitor, manage, and respond to messages across all social media platforms in one space.

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Hootsuite Inbox

You can store information about various customers so you never start a new interaction as strangers, helping customers feel seen and valued. Assign messages and interactions to certain team members so the most-equipped person can handle each specific issue.

Use Hootsuite Inbox as your social media help desk, resolving messages as soon as they’ve been responded to and keeping notes on customer issues.

Hootsuite Inbox

Create auto-responders for every social media platform you manage with Hootsuite.

Book a free Hootsuite demo and try Inbox today

Why should you use Instagram auto reply?

Instagram auto reply is a great way to minimize wait time for frequently asked questions. If you know common questions your audience has, and there’s a set answer you can provide, set it as an auto-response.

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This saves your team time and ensures your Instagram followers don’t have to wait for a response.

How do you turn Instagram auto reply off?

There’s no quick on-off toggle for Instagram auto reply. Instead, you’ll have to go into your Instagram messaging tools and remove any frequently asked question responses you’ve input.

What is a saved reply on Instagram?

A saved reply is a similar tool to auto replies. Instead of sending instantaneously, though, saved replies are simply stored in your Instagram messaging settings for your team to manually send out. This works if the question someone asks has different answers depending on the time of year. You can save replies for a quick response, but you don’t want to have the response be automatic.

Keep your customers happy with faster message responses, thanks to Hootsuite. Respond to questions and complaints, create tickets from social conversations, and work with chatbots all from one dashboard. See it in action.

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Save time on social messaging with automated responses, smarter workflows, and friendly chatbots — all in the Hootsuite Inbox.

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