With 2017 fast approaching, now is the perfect time to start planning your social media activities for the new year. You can certainly carry on with the same approach you’ve had for the last 12 months, but you unfortunately can’t expect to get different results. On the other hand, if you want to see more followers, brand awareness, engagement, web traffic or sales in the new year, it’s time to make some important changes.
Not sure where to start? Here are 8 steps for you to follow:
Review your activitiesTake some time to look back over what you’ve done over the last year. Scroll through your posts and delve into your analytics to see what has worked well, what posts received the most engagement, what campaigns exceeded your expectations and what didn’t perform as well as you’d hoped.
See what competitors are doingGetting insights from your competitors can help you improve your own social media. Visit each of their social media accounts and see what they’ve been posting, what’s working well and what hasn’t performed as well. You could also dig a little deeper, looking at how frequently they post, what times they post, what type of content they share, their tone of voice etc. Once you’ve collected this information, the important thing is to learn from it, not copy them.
Create a social media strategyMany businesses avoid creating a social media strategy, despite its benefits. But now, as we approach a new year, it’s the perfect time for you to get started. Decide what your goals and objectives are for 2017, then set about planning activities, to help you achieve your targets.
It’s easy to write your Twitter profile, or complete your ‘about’ section on Facebook and then forget about it. However, it’s important to revisit your profiles regularly, to check the information is correct. New fields may even have been added since you last updated it, so you should ensure your profile is complete too. Don’t forget to include keywords, as this can help people search for your profile. Plus, if you’re a local business, make sure you have included your opening hours, address and contact details where possible.
Update your information
Check your brandingMake sure you use the same profile picture across all your accounts, so customers can easily identify your brand. Your cover images should also be similar across each of your accounts, however, you’ll need to ensure you stick to the guidelines and dimensions specific to each platform. Don’t forget to regularly update your cover image too, perhaps seasonally, or when you’re running a key campaign.
Map out your contentStart planning your 2017 content now. It can help to look back at the content you published throughout 2016 first. Next, build upon the information you’ve discovered from your activity review and competitor research (step 1 and 2). If there was something you did well, you may want to consider repeating it, or doing something similar again. However, make sure you keep things fresh, so come up with some new campaign ideas too. If you’re struggling for inspiration, you could get some colleagues together for an impromptu brainstorming session.
Try out useful toolsSocial media management requires a lot of hard work and can also be extremely time-consuming. For 2017, why not make things a little easier for yourself, by using various free (and paid for) tools. For example, you could use Feedly to find new content to share, Buffer to schedule your posts, HootSuite to listen to conversations or Sprout Social to manage customer comments.
Social media is constantly developing and so it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest networks, tools, tactics and best practices going forward. More recent developments which you should monitor or incorporate into your activity plan for 2017 include Snapchat, live event streaming on Facebook, social advertising, chatbots for improved customer service and even Workplace by Facebook.
50 Social Media Tips to Help You Promote Your New Brand in 2017Click image to enlarge+
What do you think is the most important thing to do to get your businesses social media ready for the new year? Leave us a comment in the box below or tweet us @digitaliworld.
Elizabeth Harmon is a writer for Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online education providers. She is a Social Media Consultant with a number of years’ experience in the field. She has worked with a growing list of clients around the world, helping to build successful social media strategies, create effective content and much more. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Harmon.