It's that time of year when we get our social media marketing plan together and commit to making this the best year ever. Each new year brings the promise of being more organized, more productive and more successful in our careers or businesses. We start with the very best intentions to keep up these new habits throughout the year, but then life gets in the way. We get too busy to file something and set it aside for later. We change a password on one or two accounts and tell ourselves we will get a system in place to keep track of all of them…as soon as we finish this big proposal we are working on. We commit to blogging a little every morning…starting next week!
Well we may not have the answer to your filing system, but we do have several tips here to start the year right with your social marketing. Let's get going!
Take inventory and organize your social media platforms
I am amazed by the number of clients we work with that don't remember passwords to their social media accounts and they don't remember who set them up in the first place. Another problem is being locked out of your own social media accounts by a disgruntled employee who was the sole manager on the accounts. Your social media sites are to be as protected as your website, so here are a couple safeguards you need to put into place right away:
- Make sure you have more than just yourself or that one team member as an admin or manager on each of your social media accounts. On Facebook and Google Plus you can add multiple admins/managers. You don't want to add so many people that you forget who has access, but you should definitely have more than just one. Also, before you let someone go, even if you are parting ways on good terms, remove them from all social accounts and change your passwords. (see FIRED RESTAURANT CHEF USES TWITTER ACCOUNT TO GET REVENGE if you need motivation) On Twitter, Hootsuite, Sprout Social or other social sites where there is a single password to get in, be sure and limit the number of people who know this and make sure you always know what those login credentials are.
- Open up a word document and list all of your social media accounts, website logins, Mail Chimp or Constant Contact logins, etc. Put each login and password in this document. Now save it in a private dropbox folder or similar cloud based service and only share that folder with the one or two people who NEED access to the accounts. Again, before you let people go, remove them from the shared folder and change passwords to accounts. Update them in this document and save it. By keeping this document updated regularly, you will save hours of frustration that comes with resetting passwords and looking for scraps of paper that you know they were once written on.
Now that you are set up, organized, and secure with your passwords lets set some goals for your social marketing.
Make a commitment to content creation and curation for 2014
The biggest complaint I hear in the form of a question is, “What is really necessary in regards to content that a busy person can actually do?” Well the reality is, content creation (writing original content in a blog and social media posts) and content curation (collecting content from other sources that compliment your own content) is a necessary part of doing business today. Old school SEO tactics such as building backlinks and stuffing keywords all over your site is no longer bringing the results they once did. Google is now rewarding those who put out regular content that is helpful and interesting to the audience that is searching. Quit trying to game the system and quit looking for the easy button. You will have to wake up a little earlier or hire someone who can help with this task. Blogging and writing social media posts that are engaging, not just constantly pumping out the same promotional content, is the new inbound marketing task that must be handled by someone.
Commit to pumping up your social media posts. One or two tweets a day is not enough to engage or grow a social community. See if you can write and post up to 10 tweets a day, 2 posts on Google Plus and Facebook and at least one on LinkedIn each day.
Commit to creating more video pieces each month. that might mean you put out ONE a month for a while. Keep them short. Write down your top 10 frequently asked questions and then create a one-two minute answer for each. You can edit right in YouTube so you do not need expensive or complicated software to edit anymore. I have committed to hiring a part time video editing person since this is where I tend to get sucked into the time trap. I can create the video rather quickly and then I open up Camtasia for Mac and end up spending hours editing when I should be doing other things. Plan this out now and commit to finding help if needed so you don't let this drop off your radar. Video and photo storytelling for brands are the hottest trends for 2014!
Take the 30 day Blogging challenge with one of our marketing partners, Hubspot and commit to blogging as often as you can from January 2- January 31 to possibly win some pretty awesome prizes, not to mention more traffic and leads to your website! There are several groups doing a 30 day challenge to write 1000 words per day. I am in for both of those and know it will take discipline and tweaking my schedule a bit. Join me and let's hold each other accountable to creating more content this year! (I'd love to hear in the comments if you are doing this and leave us a link to your website or blog so we can all follow along.)
Hiring (or outsourcing) social marketing help
This might just be the year that you need to hire a part time marketing person. I am a firm believer in hiring help before you can afford it, to get you where you need to be. Many small business owners try to do everything and because of this, many things fall by the way side. Marketing and sales tend to fall first, and if you want your business to grow, you need to put more energy and focus on these areas. If you are outsourcing, start by making an extensive list of everything you want done. Are you looking for someone to simply post content and photos that you provide them? Are you wanting someone to write content and monitor those sites for comments as well as grow the communities by getting you more followers through strategic conversations? Different skills. Ask anyone you are bringing on, how they will do that specifically. Anyone can just post content, but it's likely you need more than that to get results. I drive a car every day and have for over 30 years, but that doesn't mean I know how to do any work under the hood of one. Just because someone tells you they have been on Facebook for years, doesn't mean they understand how to build and nurture a social community. Ask lots of questions and get it all in writing.
Let's Do It!
As with any goal or New Year's Resolution, it takes having a plan, changing behaviors and schedules to accommodate new activities and a little accountability to make it stick. So let's do this together. Reach for the BIG GOAL!
We'd love to hear your social marketing goals for this coming year and cheer you on. Share them in the comments below!
Begin the year with a strong Social Prospecting plan to convert more of your social media connections to leads and customers!