So a couple of days ago I shared the results of my inevitable (inebbitable?) end-of-year musing on the lessons of the past 12 months as we get ready to close out 2011. And now it’s time to look ahead and see how we can apply those lessons in the coming year.
1. Stop assuming “everybody knows”
Sure, you told all your offline friends, customers, and colleagues about your blog, your Facebook Page, and your other social media outposts when you first set them up, but have you mentioned them lately?
If not, mention them again … and again … and again. Try to work your social endeavors into every conversation and every interaction. The way to do this without sounding pushy or desperate is to place it in the context of what matters to the person you’re talking to. “Oh, you want to know how to protect your tomato plants in cold weather? I just published a YouTube video about that; let me send you the link.” Get the idea?
2. Use your tools—all of them
A couple of decades ago, I worked in the field office of an insurance company, and one of our sales managers had a favorite riddle he would ask the new recruits:
Q: You’re stranded on a desert island, and you have a hunting rifle, a spear, a fishing pole, and a knife. Which one do you use to hunt for your food?
A: All of them.
A simple concept, but a true one. Of course, none of us has the time to utilize all the marketing tools out there, but if you’re stuck in a rut of using just one or two, you’re probably missing out on some opportunities.
In 2011 I made the mistake of relying too heavily on social media, a faux-pas I intend to rectify in 2012 by adding email marketing, online lead generation, and other tools of the trade to my repertoire. How about you?
3. Measure, improve, repeat
It’s a well-known fact that you can’t improve what you don’t measure. Fortunately, measuring the results from your various social media initiatives isn’t nearly the Byzantine mindbender it used to be.
My personal favorite source of easily digestible social data is TwentyFeet.com, which lets you pull in data from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and even Google Analytics from one easily navigable source. There is a charge for the service, but it’s based on a credits system; you only pay for the data you need, and the rates are quite reasonable.
Of course, the best data in the world is useless if you do nothing with it, so use your findings to evaluate what’s working well and what needs improvement. Check out Facebook Insights to see which posts got the most buzz and which ones fell flat. Check your Twitter app (I heart HootSuite) to see which tweets got the most RT’s. Approach it with an inquisitive attitude and you might be surprised at what you come away with.
OK, so now you know my resolutions. Care to share yours? If you’ve got big changes planned for your social presence in 2012, let us know in the comments—we’d love to hear from you!