As 2013 comes to an end, it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll take advantage of the 365 days 2014 has to offer. Social media should absolutely be a part of your new year. Not only should your business have a presence on social platforms, its presence should be clearly defined and aligned with your business goals so your efforts pay off.
This week’s Friday Five is designed to help you get started by setting 5 social media goals that will boost your business in 2014.
1) Align Goals With Objectives
Businesses that hope to leverage social media in an effort to build brand awareness, amp up sales and increase customer loyalty must first reevaluate their social media goals. Social goals and expectations must be closely aligned with overall business goals and objectives. Failing to do so will most definitely result in less-than-optimal results.
The number of Facebook Page “likes” you have, the amount of content you push out and the tally of your social “interactions” only illuminate a small fraction of what’s really going on. Without first identifying what it is you hope to accomplish, the types of actions (likes, comments, mentions, retweets, etc.) you will track and how these actions get you closer to your goals, you will struggle to glean any true meaning from your social results.
Once your social media goals align with your business goals, it’s time to execute your social strategy.
2) Increase Consistency
A key component of every social strategy must be consistency. Social media platforms have become more and more widely used – great for businesses looking to engage with large audiences. However, with increased usage you can also expect a surge in content sharing. This means your content must be both on-message and consistent. Otherwise, it is unlikely the right people will consume the content you’ve worked so hard to create.
By posting consistently, you’ll increase the likelihood that people will see your content. Avoid over-posting, however. I recommend posting at least once a day on all major platforms. Twitter is the one exception: Consider posting five to 10 tweets per day.
3) Engage More
One of the most common mistakes made by businesses on social platforms is publishing content with little to no real-time engagement. Sharing content is a necessity. However, it is also important to pay attention to your social platforms and engage with those who’ve taken the time to respond to your content: Thank people, answer questions and continue the conversation.
Social media works because people want to connect with brands and businesses. If you’re only publishing content, there is no real way for your social community to engage with you.
4) Consider New Platforms
New social platforms (and additional features on existing platforms) are always popping up. But you ought to ask yourself whether you would do well to invest time and energy in every new social technology that comes down the pike.
Early adoption may reap large benefits, but you shouldn’t jump on every new thing you find. Instead, take the time to consider whether new platforms and tools will help your business reach its social media goals.
5) Keep Learning
The social media world is fast-paced and extremely competitive. No matter how much you think you know, there’s still much more to learn! Things change, new features are added, analytics discovered, different approaches tested. Find a few blogs and thought leaders who you respect and keep an eye on how they use social platforms for business success.
What are your social media goals for 2014?
If you’re looking for advice on leveraging individual platforms we recommend the following reading: