It’s that time of year again! Time to take stock of our businesses and establish goals for the year ahead. Whether you’re determined to drive more sales, boost clientele, or expand your market, it comes back to a commitment to get the word out. Social Media Marketing is not only the norm now, but is becoming more and more sophisticated and complex by the day. No need to worry! These Social Media New Year’s Resolutions will keep you on the right path all year round.
1. Post regularly and consistently
A lapse in posts is a kiss of death to your Social Media Marketing. It doesn’t matter if it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+. When people find a Page that no one has posted on in weeks (or worse, months) and sometimes several months, they assume it’s no longer active and move on. You’re better off not having a Social Media Page than having one that’s inactive
2. Lay off the sales pitches
Social Media is not meant to be a billboard. Social Media is meant to be… well… social. It’s an extension of your business. If someone were to walk into your store or office, you wouldn’t go straight into a sales pitch, would you?
A continuous stream of self-promotion may attract some of your current clientele but does little to generate new followers (aka new business). Even your most diehard fans will get bored with uninterrupted posts about sales, products, and pleas to come visit.
3. Keep it interesting to keep them coming back
Figure out who your demographic is and what interests them, and then post about that. Say you own a children’s store. Your target market may be interested in more than your new shipment of stuffed animals. They may be interested in healthy recipes for the kids and fun activities that keep them moving.
This may be a good opportunity to take on the role of educator. Share interesting facts and resources. Pretend you own a winery. You could post interesting facts about the history of wine, feature articles about the proper way to taste wine, make wine pairing suggestions for specific meals.
4. Acknowledge your fans
Social Media is not a one way street. Elicit fan posts with questions, polls, competitions and more. Respond to every comment promptly. When you build relationships with your fans, you’re also arming them to be your biggest evangelists. Consider this: Every time a fan comments on your Wall, it appears in their stream for all their friends to see. Talk about word-of-mouth!
5. Market your Social Media Pages
Unless you have an extremely well-known brand, people will not just FIND your Social Media Pages. This is the year to develop a strategic web strategy and attract new followers. Mention your Pages in online forums, share the links whenever possible, and incorporate them into your other marketing efforts.
6. Claim your business Google+ Page
Google+ is expected to grow exponentially in 2012. Don’t get left in the dust. If you’re not ready to commit to Google+ just yet, try posting something once a week for now just to stay in the game. This way you’ll be able to transition quickly when you’re ready to jump in with both feet.
7. Measure your results
All the time and effort you put into your Social Media Marketing is worthless if you don’t know how many people you’re attracting and whether they fit into your target market. Learn how to make Facebook Insights work for you. This also may be the year to invest some time and money into a dashboard or hire a Social Media Marketing firm, even if it’s just to measure your results.
A few things you should be measuring: Am I posting at the right times? Am I posting enough? Am I hitting my target market? What posts do people click on? What posts do people ignore?
Commit to these 7 Social Media Resolutions and you will have a successful marketing campaign. The biggest commitment, however, is time. Earmark the time needed to fulfill each resolution. Figure out which resolutions you can realistically make the time for and hire someone to do the ones you can’t. It’s that simple.
Image courtesy of Flickr, Franklin Park Library.