The word “resolution” is heard so often around the beginning of each year it’s become almost meaningless. They are half-heartedly made and quickly forgotten. These resolutions are different, though. They’re ones you do want to make, and with that whole fresh-new-clean-slate feeling that comes with a new year, now is as good a time as any to implement some of them.
Your 10 social media and marketing resolutions for 2011, in no specific order:
Use a social media dashboard. I love Hootsuite, but TweetDeck and Seesmic are also super popular. It doesn’t matter which you use, though, just pick one so you can better manage Twitter, Facebook, and the other social media platforms you use.
Get active on LinkedIn. Finish filling out your profile and keep it updated. Go through your business cards and connect with the people you really want to keep in touch with. Link your Twitter account to your LinkedIn account so the blog posts and other useful information you post on Twitter is seen by your network. Answer questions via LinkedIn Answers. And the list goes on.
Create a custom landing page for Facebook. I used Hy.ly, which is free and really easy to use (read more about it here). A custom landing page is a memorable way to welcome new people and give them a reason to “like” you.
Join conversations on Twitter. I know you know social media is supposed to be used for engagement. But you probably don’t take full advantage of Twitter to build a community and start discussions, do you? (Don’t feel bad, I don’t either, so this really is one of my resolutions.) Search for hashtags (#) of terms you use and want to talk about. Pull up the list of tweets that use those hashtags and jump into the conversation (just use the hashtag in your tweets).
Add calls to action to your website. To convert your Web visitors into leads, add prominent messages on your website that offer something of value. It could be a white paper, free consultation, eBook, or special discount for new clients. The call to action can be a button or link; the person will click on it and get redirected to a form where you’ll gather their contact information before sending them what you promised.
Add video to your website. Search engines love videos, so by adding one to your website, you will greatly improve your chances of being easily found during an online search. The video need not be long, but it should be fun, engaging, and professionally produced.
Start blogging already! You know you should blog, so start. Make sure your blog is integrated into your website (in other words, it looks like another page of your website). Put together an editorial schedule of what you’d like to write about. You don’t need to publish every day, but at least twice a week is preferable, and your blog posts need not be long, just full of useful info.
Analyze your website. Check Google Analytics and Website Grader on a regular basis so you know how you’re doing: what pages people visit the most, what information they download from your site, how long they stay on your site, what blog posts generate a lot of traffic, etc. Use this information to improve your marketing and social media efforts.
Optimize your website. Stop procrastinating and hire an expert to optimize your website so search engines can find you. Not all SEO “experts” are created equal, so ask around to find someone with the experience and methods to get you the results you want.
Repurpose content. Reuse the content you have already written for other purposes. Turn blog posts on a certain subject into an eBook. Use short articles you have written for your newsletter for your blog. Break down a white paper into a few blog posts.
Good luck! And Happy New Year!
Image by Flickr user draml (Creative Commons)Google+