It's April, the second quarter has begun, and spring is here! Springtime isn't just a great time to put your winter clothes away and clean your a garage. It's also a great time to review and refresh all of your social media channels, especially if you haven't reviewed them since after the holidays. Here's a quick guide:
0. Q1 Assessment / Q2 Goals
Before getting started, take some time to review the first quarter performance of each of your active social media channels. Which networks drove the most traffic and conversions? Which are underperforming? Sit down with your analytics and isolate areas which need improvement, and set new goals for the second quarter. Pay particular attention to content type, voice and frequency.
1. Review Text Descriptions
An often-neglected aspect of corporate social media profiles are the text descriptions or "About Us" sections. When was the last time you updated the written copy here? If it's looking a little out of date or stale, give it an update that more closely aligns with your latest marketing or customer service messaging. Keep an eye out for references to 2012 (or earlier).
2. Review Graphics
When was the last time you updated your avatars, cover photos or backgrounds? Challenge your graphic designer to put a bright, fresh face on your brand for the spring months.
3. Review Share Buttons
Your Q1 assessment should include an analysis of the performance of social media share buttons on your blog. If they're underperforming, consider altering their layout and positioning. Take this opportunity to remove buttons that your community doesn't seem to be using, and test new ones. Amazon recently released a "Send to Kindle" button for those who would rather save an article to read later on their Kindle.
4. Identify Dormant Accounts
Did you perhaps jump on the Pinterest bandwagon without a strategy, and now your boards are looking a little empty? A dormant account can look worse than a complete absence from a social network, so re-evaluate and either shut it down or make an effort to utilize the account.
5. Take Advantage of New Channel Layouts / Features
YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest released significant updates to their layouts in the first quarter of 2013, all of which are available to users today.
- YouTube: the new YouTube One Channel brings uniformity to all channel layouts, and includes new features like banner images, channel trailers and bulk meta data editing.
- Google+: enlarged cover photos now dominate Google+ profiles. Be careful not to upgrade until you have an optimized image ready.
- Pinterest: the new Pinterest layout is mostly superficial, but their free analytics tool allows marketers to measure the performance of their boards and pins.
All three networks should prompt you to upgrade upon login. Don't hesitate to get started!
6. Help (New) Employees Optimize Their Channels
Employment in the social media age means that everyone is in marketing, even if they're in services, IT or accounting. Encourage department managers to perform an audit of their employees' social media accounts, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter. - if, and only if, your corporate culture is conducive to this kind of feedback and oversight.
If they're a newer employee, make sure they've updated their LinkedIn employment status to reflect your company - and make sure that all employees have spelled and formatted your business name correctly, which can drive click-throughs to your business page.
For Twitter, encourage employees to include a link to the corporate website in their bio, and change any mention of the company name to the actual @username (Slingshot SEO vs @SlingshotSEO, for example). If you're into uniformity, consider also supplying them with official branded background images and cover photos, as well as their official corporate head-shots.
Have your blog contributors set up Google Authorship through their Google+ profiles? Encourage them to add their author pages to their individual Google+ profiles under the "Contributor to" field in the "About" tab.
7. Explore New Networks
Early adoption is typically rewarded, so take some time to explore new social media tools like Vine or Pheed. If the functionality or user-base of any new network doesn't quite align with your marketing goals, don't be afraid to bail. Remember: you don't need to have a presence on every social network in existence.
Just a few hours of housekeeping can make a huge difference in the visual appeal of your social media profiles, and improve your chances of making a good first impression to new fans and followers.