Making Social Media Resolutions for 2011

Posted in: Blog by admin on January 12, 2011

You see a title such as the one leading this post, and no doubt your head fills with all sorts of ideas on optimizing your social campaigns for the coming year. You’re going tweet until your feathers fall off, attract thousands of Facebook fans, and have that blasted Like button on every URL you own from here to xyz.html. These are very admirable resolutions, and definitely if you intend to increase visibility in social networks it helps to be more active. It is more essential, too, to ensure your activity brings the results you want.

How do you make 2011 the year social media turns a profit? First, let’s think about the direction in which the Internet and social networks are moving. They aren’t called “trends” for nothing – you must stay alert at this point in the game. By now you should have your Facebook and Twitter URLs connected from your main site where they are seen, and a YouTube account set up with at least one video promoting your business (if you haven’t gotten your camera yet, play around with YouTube Search Stories for a video place card). You also should have the following:

  • At least one Facebook social plugin implemented on your main site. Run the activity stream from your fan page, or set up the comments box for Facebook users to leave feedback which is also posted to their walls.
  • Mobile functionality set up on your blog, so readers can better access it on their smart phones. If you use Blogger, you can opt-in to the mobile format, and WordPress users can download corresponding plug-ins.
  • Some kind of alert system set up to track the search tags in Twitter that you monitor. This is as simple as collecting query feeds for Twitter search and setting them up in an RSS reader.

Some things you should not worry too much about in 2011:

  • The numbers. If you check your Twitter follower count daily and then your Facebook fans and wonder why the numbers haven’t exploded, you will drive yourself nuts. Your responsibility for the new year is to produce quality content that keeps your numbers stable and encourages sharing and re-tweeting.
  • Joining every thing under the sun. 2010 was an amazing year for social startups – Groupon, Living Social, Square, Fiverr, and others enjoyed traffic. The future promises more great stuff to suck away our time – already I’ve seen one site called Phile.com that looks promising. Unless you have a task force behind you in the social media department, however, don’t feel you have to leap on every beta site you hear about. You need to be where your audience hangs out.

To reach social nirvana in 2011, you ought to try:

  • Learning from your mistakes. Did you do anything bone-headed, like post something on your Facebook wall that generated a lot of bad mojo. Maybe you deleted something from a naysayer from your wall and therefore missed an opportunity to display customer service. People may argue that computers are perfect, but we still have flaws. Don’t dwell on past errors, but don’t forget to not repeat them.
  • Learning from your successes. Take a look at your Facebook wall, and consider the posts that generated the most likes and comments. Which of your tweets were passed around the most? Trace back the events that spiked traffic to your main site. Process that information and apply it toward more winning campaigns in the future.
  • Blogging and making videos. At the end of the day, it’s all about content. People need something to tweet and share, and if you’re not giving it to them you won’t get the traffic to your sites or profiles.
  • Being mobile friendly. More people are accessing the Web through iPhones, iPads, Androids, and BlackBerries. If you pull up a regular website on one of these tiny screens, you’re turning off a potential customer. Making your site mobile friendly wins you friends. Adapt, adapt, adapt.

Most importantly, don’t stop. Two minutes a day to write something on your Facebook page status – and forwarding that to your connected Twitter account –  is better than saying nothing.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and Facebook marketing. Clients include vendors of cloth diapers and organic mattresses, travel companies offering cheap European hotel reservationsVirginia health care servicesNorfolk Realtorsglobal trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.