Blame it on the cyclical nature of the holidays, but the coming new year has me thinking about self-improvement and resolutions, not just personally but also professionally. As such, I’m going to attempt to shoehorn my personal resolutions into social media marketing recommendations for 2014. Wish me luck.
New Year’s resolutions are always an opportunity to take a cold, hard look at finances. Not necessarily how much you spend, but how you prioritize the “nice to haves” against the “gotta haves.” Marketers also go through a similar exercise around this time of year, justifying each line item and fighting for their 2015 budgets.
Now that the dust has (hopefully) settled on this marketing exercise, it’s time to check our allocations. Are you spending more (time and money) to create and manage organic content or paid social ads? Marketers need to dramatically shift their attention and budgets to reflect the drop in organic reach. In the halcyon days of free fans and reach, marketing departments and agencies built up a huge industrial complex to support the volume of content required to feed the social media beast. It’s time to retrofit those resources and deploy them to support paid social media, where ROI is increasingly created and measured.
Cut Out The Empty Calories
The parade of sugar cookies had to end at some point. The instant gratification has worn off and we’re left with empty stomachs and fuller waistlines.
As with a quick sugar high, marketers have crashed on vanity fan and follower metrics and empty rewards. It’s time to start filling up on more-substantial metrics. Use smarter targeting to find customers who will provide lifetime value for your brand, and urge them to take actions that matter, like visiting a site, watching a video, or completing a purchase.
So many of us resolve, each year, to invest more in our relationships with family, friends and even co-workers. These are the people who stand by you through thick and thin.
Stealing a page from LinkedIn’s book, take stock in the fact that relationships matter in business as they do in life. Your frequent customers and brand advocates are your biggest asset in social media marketing. Use your CRM data, website data and mobile application data to run campaigns specifically tailored to people who engage with your brand.
Learn Something New
Every Jan. 1, there are a few million more aspiring guitarists, chefs, and runners. We all commit to learning something new and have the best intentions to see that through.
The new year is a great time to take stock in your skills and proactively pick up new ones. Your value to your organization is shaped by many internal and external factors. In social media marketing, for example, having paid media skills is rapidly becoming very valuable. This is a function of changing market dynamics, so don’t take it personally if you’ve build your career around the priorities of the last few years. The good news is that it’s a new year, many of those skills are transferable and many opportunities abound for training up and becoming paid media specialists.
Changing habits is a marathon, not a sprint, so take it one step at a time. Even if you can’t find the willpower to pick up the weights and put down the gingerbread cookies, you can still start thinking about your professional resolutions for 2015. Now if you’ll excuse me, I still have a few days of indulgence left in 2014.