Get Your Social Business In Order and Start the Year Right

social media marketing goals for 2014

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:

  1. 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.   
  2. 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.social media marketing password security

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.

social media content creation blogging

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!

social marketing goals

We'd love to hear your social marketing goals for this coming year and cheer you on.  Share them in the comments below!

@GinaSchreck

social media marketing small business, hotels, social business

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Create a Digital Will: 6 Things To Do While You’re Still Alive

What Will Happen To Your Social Media Accounts When You Die?

digital will social media after someone dies

We never want to talk about death or dying but we know it could happen at any moment, and today we need to plan more than just who will get our eclectic collection of birdhouses, and treasured lasagna recipes when we are gone.  While I have always joked that I will keep tweeting from heaven when I am gone, this is a serious matter.  Many of us have known someone who passed away and their Facebook became a memorial page, or after someone dies, Facebook keeps wanting you to invite the deceased to LIKE your business page or LinkedIn continues to suggest them as a connection to those in their network.  

 LinkedIn suggesting connections that might have passed away, digital will

My youngest daughter (the Schrecklet, who is now 19) and I had made a pact years ago about knowing how to get into each others’ social media accounts should anything tragic happen to either one of us.  She knows my password formula and she has told me hers, although I can never remember it.  We also took it one step further and wrote our passwords to each account on an index card and placed it in an envelope—I told her she could seal hers and sign her name across the back so she would be assured that I wouldn’t use it for evil should I snap one day and turn all Mommy-Dearest on her.  That was almost five years ago, and while we still know each other’s passwords, our social channels have gotten more complex and I have now given it a lot more thought, even thinking of my other family members who use social media even occasionally.

social media and digital media will

Social media is an integral part of many of our lives and we have information on multiple channels—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, Google Plus, WordPress, About.me, Rebel Mouse, MySpace, and the list goes on and on.  IF something were to happen to you or a loved one, your personal information could be exposed to identity thieves or just creepy spammers and people that start leaving random or hurtful messages on an abandoned profile.  You can decide how long you want a person’s profiles to remain open to allow friends to post thoughts and comments, but there will come a time when you might want to shut them down or memorialize the account.   Facebook allows loved ones to request a profile be MEMORIALIZED, however, they still need information such as the email address used to login to the account, link to the profile page and proof of death.  So, as you plan for your physical assets, take some time to make a social media plan, or as many are calling it today, a social media or digital will.  We found a few templates that you can use if you are a do-it-yourselfer.  Here is one from RocketLawyer.com.

digital will how to prepare your social media before you die

Here are a few things to do while you are still alive and tweeting:

  1. Make a list of all of your social media accounts.

    You may need to Google your name and dig a bit to find them all, if you are like me and sign up for lots of services. Encourage your entire family to do the same. Include those old accounts that you may have already abandoned.

  2. Recover passwords that you may have forgotten.

    This is somewhat of a pain, but it will be worth it to get your digital afterlife in order now! Get these passwords and shut down accounts you are not using.  This is a good opportunity to do a bit of clean up.

  3. Create a central password document.

    Write your passwords to each account you are keeping open and be sure to update this if you change them along the way. Whether this is kept in a secured folder on your computer, or printed and kept in a lockbox, just be sure you have directions on where to find this and how to gain access should you not be here to tell someone where to look.

    Our family has always kept a file with sealed envelopes containing our passwords.  And if you or your kids are really concerned about someone in your home getting into it, sign your name across the envelope so you can see if it has been jeopardized, or better yet, place them all in a lockbox or safety deposit box.  It may seem silly now, but these are important issues when you are gone.

  4. If you have a blog, decide what you want to do with your content.

    If you leave the blog, perhaps you have someone who will take over or you may want to turn off the ability to comment to prevent spammers from running wild.  Some say they have created a “Last Post” that they want loaded after they are gone.  Just give thought to how you want to say goodbye to the fans and followers of your blog.

  5. Set up an INACTIVE ACCOUNT PLAN with Google.

    This covers your Gmail, Blogger accounts, YouTube, Google+ and more.  If your account is inactive for 3 months (or a time period that you determine), a designated person will be notified with information on how they can access your content.  You can also set it to simply DELETE all of your accounts if you are abducted by aliens and your accounts become inactive!

  6. Let your family members know about this plan.

    Just like becoming an organ and tissue donor, just because you want something done, doesn't mean it will happen this way if you haven't talked to your loved ones about how to carry out these wishes.  If you have a written will or advanced directives, be sure to add in a “social media” clause to take all of this into consideration.

Julie Myhre wrote a great post on The Next Web, “How to Delete and Protect the Digital Identities of the Deceased.”   There is great information with more information to specifically contact each of the big social media sites should someone in your family pass away.

The bottom line is, we have created digital footprints all over the place and when we are gone, we want to make sure we leave things as tidy and manageable as possible for our loved ones.

What are your thoughts on this?  Have you done anything to plan what you want done with your social channels after you are gone, and tweeting in heaven?  We’d love for you to share your thoughts with us.

 

If you need help managing all of this while you are ALIVE, we can certainly help you with that as well.  Contact us today.

Gina Schreck 

social media, social marketing, social media management

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