Do you want tighten up your social media strategy for 2015?
There's something about the New Year that gets everybody inspired to make a shift for the better in all areas of their lives, especially in business. The social media landscape is always changing so fast that it makes it difficult to move year-to-year without some needed adjustments to stay on course.
This got me thinking about the various rituals I go through each year at this time when re-strategizing for success in the New Year so I decided to compile them in a list here for you. Plus, I added a couple extra tasks to address major shifts in the social media world this year.
1. Find Your Most Popular Posts of 2014
There are three metrics I rely on to find my most popular content: social shares, traffic and time spent on page (in that order). Social shares are the most important to me because people found that content valuable enough to share after consuming it - that's key.
Measuring traffic is important but that really only tells us how good your title is so we have to look at the time spent on page to determine if it was actually quality. Content with multiple minutes spent on page is a great indicator of quality.
Go into Google Analytics and set a custom range to January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014.
Select "Site Content" from the Behavior sub-menu in the left sidebar.
Go through the list and observe which posts are the highest in terms of site traffic and time spent on page. Look at any commonalities between the top 10-20 posts based factors like title, topic, content style (video, audio or text), etc.
2. Update Your Social Media Profiles
Another year has gone by...is the information in your social media profiles still relevant? Here are a few things to consider updating your profiles with at the beginning of each year:
- Add any big achievements from 2014
- Does your copy still speak to the audience you're trying to reach?
- Refresh any custom branded graphics as needed
- Add some fresh testimonials from happy clients you've had in the last 12 months
3. Map Out Your Content Calendar For This Quarter
If you haven't already, create a basic content calendar for the next quarter so you're prepared for any major activities happening inside your business from a social media perspective.
Your content calendar should lay out all curated and original content that is planned for the month. This simply involves brainstorming the topics you'll cover and the major promotions you'll be running in that time.
For a killer overview on how to create a social media content calendar, check out this post from Hubspot.
4. Check Your Mobile Site Compatibility
"Mobile will overtake fixed Internet access by 2014" was Mary Meeker's bold prediction that rocked headlines in 2008. It wasn't a bulls eye but it was damn close!
Check your mobile traffic in Google Analytics immediately (or whichever program you use for web stats) to see your activity in 2014 and compare it to 2013. We were shocked to see mobile traffic rose by 50% in 2014, up from 33% in 2011.
Go into your site's analytics again and select a custom range that compares 2014 to 2013. Here's what it looks like in Google Analytics.
Go to the left sidebar and select "Mobile" under the Audience menu and then "Overview".
You'll now have a snapshot of your year-over-year growth for mobile device traffic. My site's traffic from mobile devices increased by 50% in 2014 from 2013's numbers with a 27% increase in traffic from tablets alone.
5. Challenge A Trend By Going Against It
You should have at least one element to your strategy that somewhat challenges the status quo. The second you try to follow a trend, you're already behind it.
Look in your industry and try something that isn't being done right now. That could mean doubling down on a new, unproven social network like Keek or Ello. It could even mean getting serious about podcasting or creating video content if that's something that still hasn't been pioneered in your industry.
A strategy without risk is one that's setup for failure or, at best, mediocrity.
6. Run Your First Paid Social Campaign
Paid social media advertising is going to be bigger than ever this year as sites like Facebook starting to get less generous with organic reach. I asked 10 experts what they thought the biggest digital marketing trend would be in 2015 and three of them focused on the shift to a more "pay to play" environment for businesses, especially on Facebook.
Rather than looking at this as a negative, take the opportunity to get serious about your paid social advertising strategy because the targeting advantages are enormous and give unparalleled leverage, if done right.
7. Prioritize 1-on-1 Communication
It's fantastic to get posts with lots of shares but what are you doing to consistently engage your target market on a more personal level? Your social media strategy needs a component and a process for engaging your ideal prospects on a one-on-one basis.
If you're a B2B marketer, I highly recommend you check out the following articles:
8. Strategize For More Email Subscribers
If you're already building an email list then it's likely you have some sort of incentive available for new subscribers, whether it's a free report, eBook, video, etc. If it's been a year or two since you put it out, it might be time to offer something new to both existing and prospective email subscribers.
This is especially true if you're in an industry that's rapidly and consistently evolving, like the marketing industry. You might be alright if you're a plumber and your main incentive is a free video on how to fix a leaky kitchen faucet.
9. Think Quality, Not Quantity
The reality of social media marketing in 2015 is that there are more businesses than ever before fighting for the same amount of attention. I don't think businesses are serving themselves well by putting out social media content that is half-baked only to meet their self imposed deadlines.
10. Survey Your Audience
I recently polled my readers to find out what type of content they want to see more of and the answers were revealing and very critical in adjusting my 2015 social media strategy. If you have at least 500 email subscribers, you need to create an incentive for them to fill out your survey and blast it out in your next newsletter.
One idea I'm really fond of is offering a special webinar or online training class that only survey participants can access. The information you'll gain will be worth its weight in gold, PLUS you will identify some of your most loyal and helpful subscribers in the process.
Here's a few sites that create custom surveys easily:
What Are You Changing In 2015?
How are you adjusting your social media strategy for 2015? Whether you're starting a podcast or deleting your Facebook account, we want to hear about it in the comments below.