2014 Social Media Diet, err…Resolutions

2014 New Years ResolutionsWhether you are a small business, a big B2C retailer like Nordstrom, or a B2B business like Intel — every business has fallen into a few social media traps. It’s time to go on a social media diet and invoke some 2014 social media resolutions. 1. Stop being on every social network. Seriously, this might be my #1 pet peeve of businesses in 2013. In this eco-system of information overload that we’ve created for ourselves, all businesses are spending more and more money to try to get in front of their key audience. But herein lies the problem. You think I like microchips because my friend asked me to like his company’s business page on Facebook. But I really don’t. You think I like Fiji water, but the truth is I only liked that brand’s Facebook page or followed them on Twitter because I wanted to win that trip to the island of Fiji. I didn’t care about what a tweet, follow, or like cost me. But it apparently cost me my relevant news feed because businesses are clogging it with advertising that is not relevant. 2. Stop looking at the numbers, you’re beautiful just the way you are. The only people who care about how many fans or followers you have are the CMO and the CEO because they know absolutely nothing about social; or worse, think they know everything about social (but really don’t). It’s the quality of that fan/follwer and that goes back to your call-to-action and your social media goals. For example, do I want you to share this post? Sure. But web/blog traffic is not my goal. My goals are thought leadership and revenue. Yes, I will gain thought leadership by you sharing the post, but I’ll only gain revenue if you decide to hire me or Social Strand Media. However, my call-to-action needs to be more than just, “please share this post” and I need to be able to track it. So maybe I put a link in this post at the bottom that says, check out and download the Facebook for Brands Tutorial. Then you click there and for $1, you purchase it. Then, and only then, have I met both of my goals and I’m able to track it because I know where the click to that page came from (this blog post). 3. Get organized. Set a schedule and stick to it. By sticking to a schedule it will help you not stressed out when you run out of time because you got sucked into exploring on Pinterest. To set a schedule, see this example of Snapshot: Day in the Life of a Social Media Marketer. 4. Prioritize what’s most important. Often times in social media it becomes super easy to get wrapped up into the latest and greatest fad or some fire drill emergency that has happened. The only way to combat this is to make a list of what you’d like to do this year in 2014. Start out by reviewing your social media goals: why are you on each particular social network again? Did they generate brand awareness, thought leadership, referrals, revenue, etc for you last year? And how much did all of that cost you in money, time, and sanity? Was it worth it? Now look ahead, what do you want to achieve in 2014? Do the social networks you are on and the schedule you’ve set for yourself lend themselves to achieving these goals? For example, here are some of my goals that I’m toying around with right now:

  • This blog: should I continue to write it daily or scale back? Should I gate the content so that people have to subscribe to read it?
  • The newsletter: should we continue with the newsletter, which has fallen off it’s regular schedule as of late?
  • Should I only post on LinkedIn and Twitter, since that where my clients and prospects are? And forget about Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, and StumbleUpon?
  • Should I hire another part-time contractor?
  • Should I start saying no to new clients that are in niches I’m not familiar with? I’ve already started saying no to 1:1 trainings. I only do workshops for groups of 3 or more now.

5. Save money by scaling back on social advertising. This is every marketer’s easy answer on how to get your content in front of the people who matter. But 1) it’s costly if you don’t know what you are doing and 2) how accurate is it? Looking back at the first resolution, my likes and follows might not be 100% accurate because my motivation for liking, sharing or following may have been skewed by shiny objects. Hence, social networks came up with re-targeting ads. Really? Because my friend and I were having a conversation on the phone and she told me about this ornament she got for Christmas so I looked it up on the web to see what it looked like and then I went to my Facebook page where I was then served ads from Hallmark. But I don’t buy Hallmark cards or ornaments. I shop at Papyrus for all of that stuff. Now if Hallmark keeps invading my news feed, eventually I’ll just start clicking on the ads so that it costs Hallmark money. This is what a lot of spammers or angry folks do on Twitter too. How valuable is that click now? What resolutions will you be making for your business in 2014?

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.