If you’re like most technology marketers, you probably go a bit “dark” when it comes to customer facing marketing this time of year, which makes this a GREAT time to do some housekeeping. Of course you’ll want to look at your whole marketing plan and your all-up results, but there are also some must do’s just for social media that will help you build a stronger online presence in 2015.
Pretty pictures matter
We’ve been hearing about the importance of images for the last year (or two) and that’s as good a place as any to start with your review. Unlike your website, your social properties are stand-alone, making them easier to tackle with a “refresh” and provide a great place for your creativity. Make sure you look at all your images including your banners or cover pages, thumbnails, icons and avatars.
Need some inspiration? Check out this great SlideShare from Hubspot for LinkedIn ideas (that you really can use across all your networks). Need help with image sizes? Download this cheat sheet with image dimensions for the most used social networks.
Fill in the blanks
This is also a perfect time to review your bios or profile details. Keep in mind:
- Is everything filled in? It’s pretty common to see social “bios” with big gaps so go back and make sure the most important fields are complete.
- Is all your contact information correct? Email, phone, address? Are all your physical addresses in place and does the email alias go to a person (not email@example.com)?
- Are the products and services accurate and reflective of your most important solutions and marketplaces and are you using current keywords and phrases that map to your messaging?
Review your performance (and revisit your strategy if necessary)
Now is a great time to look back over the year and see how well your social media has been performing. Working on the assumption that most technology marketers reading this will not have rich reporting that ties social media back to sales, there’s still value in the basic metrics including how often you’re posting and your overall network growth, along with engagement statistics like comments and shares.
If you’re not posting regularly and you’re seeing limited growth, consider the following:
- To drive network growth:
- Promote your social networks everywhere. Consider custom icons. We’re becoming a bit immune to the standard images so a fresh look to your social sharing buttons will attract more attention (and hopefully followers).
- Follow others so they follow you back.
- Cross promote your posts. Not all of them but it’s definitely okay to share your blogs and point to LinkedIn articles or discussions on any of your other networks.
- Are you ENGAGING your followers or just posting ads for your business? Ask questions in your posts and start conversations. Consider a plan for engaging customer advocates on your social properties in 2015.
- Are you doing too much? If YOU are your entire marketing department, you may be struggling keeping up with multiple networks. Far better to be active and current on one (most important) site. Your big change for 2015 might be to do less (and ultimately – get more).
Look for new opportunities
If you weren’t able to stay on top of new trends in social media marketing, the end of the year can also be a good time to look back and see what’s new. Two new trends you’ll want to look at in more depth are:
- LinkedIn Publisher. This new feature was released this year to some members with the roll out continuing and all users promised access in the next six months. With LinkedIn Publisher, you can publish “long form” posts that become part of your professional profile and automatically shared with your connections and followers. Read more on LinkedIn.
- Social Media Advertising. There’s been a steady move away from the old pay-per-click banner ads to re-targeting – ads that are served up only to previous visitors to your website. Now social networks are following with more targeted advertising opportunities. This feature allows you to target your ads to a prospect list or a site’s demographics. Check out the ad centers for the major networks for more information.
One final note. Although we typically think LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter when talking social media with our clients – social DOES include your blog. So everything that we outlined above applies there too.
With that, I’ll close with my favorite year end quote (with thanks to Oprah): Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right!