As 2019 comes to an end, we’re almost to my favorite activity of the year: making New Year’s Resolutions. Some of you may already be busy thinking about planning your business’ branding, social media and content to start brainstorming your resolutions, but hear me out. Each year, the majority of Americans make variations on the same five basic resolutions:
Sound familiar? I know I’m working with at least two of these in my personal life, but what if I told you they can also apply to your business’ social media strategy for 2020? Let’s take them one at a time.
Much like the human body, social media accounts need consistent and intentional activity to stay in good shape. When managing social media, it’s important to remember to check your accounts on a daily basis, monitoring activity and responding to feedback in no more than 24 hours.
If you’re already doing this (and I hope you are), try to increase the challenge for yourself. Flex your social muscles by allocating time each day or week to explore other businesses in your community, city or industry, and use your brand to engage with their social media channels.
Leaving simple, positive comments will get their eyes on your page, as well as catch the attention of potential mutual followers. For example, if your company makes wedding cakes, commenting on a recent picture by a nearby florist could catch the eye of both the florist and a bride looking for reliable local vendors. You might gain a follower, or you might plant the seed for a long-term business relationship.
Here at Three Girls, we believe that all bodies are awesome and valid, and that’s totally not the kind of weight I’m talking about. The weight I’m referring to is the extra stuff you don’t need, that’s holding you back from operating as efficiently and impressively as you know you could be. Are you still getting emails from that “super-exclusive” social media platform that was supposed to be the next big thing… five years ago? It might be time to leave that membership in 2019, or at least talk to your manager about what it’s really bringing to your social media presence.
Let’s say you check Facebook on a daily basis, even twice a day, but you still receive an email every time someone interacts with your page. That’s an example of a redundant notification that’s not only unhelpful, but a barrier to performing your best work as a social media manager. Redundant notifications become irritating, and that irritation turns checking both email and Facebook (critically important tasks) into a chore. Over time, you start to assume that whatever you’re looking at is something you’ve already seen, which reduces your attention to detail. Taking just a moment to change your notification settings could keep you from overlooking a more important email later on.
As a matter of fact, there’s a lot going on in your inbox that’s contributing little more than clutter and anxiety. Take the time to go through and unsubscribe from irrelevant newsletters and ads, or use a free service like Unroll.me to clarify your subscription status. As for the emails being sent by real people with real requests, responding within 24 hours will keep recipients happy and your inbox free of clutter.
While tweets, posts and images can be deleted when mistakes are made, a big part of successful social media marketing is ensuring that content is created and released as smoothly and effectively as possible. Unless you’re an absolute organizational dynamo (in which case, my hat is off to you), chances are that you’re open to fine-tuning your system in the coming year.
If your posts have to go through corporate compliance before publication, I recommend batch working, the art of doing the same thing over and over in one sitting and working way ahead in one area at a time. It’s the enemy of fruitless multi-tasking, and you can read a great article about it here.
If you post a lot of industry-related content, Google Alerts can help you find relevant links and articles via daily or weekly digest (depending on your preference). This can save hours of searching and inspire story angles you might not have otherwise considered. Receiving those updates in your inbox every week will keep the task at hand in the front of your mind, and might even help you create a vault of pertinent articles to use for future posts.
If you keep losing Post-It reminders, try an app like Microsoft To Do (formerly Wunderlist) or a service like Trello where you can make a digital to-do list. If you keep forgetting to check your apps, try a paper planner with unique sections (I like the Lion planner), or a lined notebook where all your notes can stay in one place. Whatever the reminder is, keep it front and center. You’ll be amazed how much you can accomplish.
Is there something your business’ social media could use, but you’ve been holding off because you lack skills or training? Maybe your Instagram followers voted “yes” when you polled their interest in a possible podcast or you want to save money by coding your own website. With platforms like Instagram rapidly changing their algorithms, wouldn’t you like to hear an expert speak in-depth about what’s going on, and your best practices for response?
A great thing about the Internet is that there are so many incredible ways to share knowledge; what would have been an expensive sit-down class just a few years ago is now available in a variety of formats that fit your schedule and budget.
Take a few minutes to write a list of what your business could really use this coming year. When you’ve chosen your top priority, think about what skills you need to make those dreams come true, and then search for educational resources to help you get there.
LinkedIn Learning offers a 30-day free trial followed by a monthly fee of $29.99 for their video courses. There are relevant TED Talks, blog posts and even paid consultations from experts like our CEO, Erika Taylor Montgomery, that can help you expand your horizons without leaving home this year. Investing in your own learning will help you keep up with trends, putting out diverse and interesting content throughout the year.
Bad habits—we’ve all got them. In this case, I’m referring to habits that you know go against best practices, but for whatever reason, you keep going back to them. Maybe it’s linking Instagram and Facebook (despite the damage it can do to your engagement), or maybe you just don’t have the energy to follow the 80/20 rule (so much talking about things that aren’t your brand!). While these missteps might seem harmless in the moment, they form habits that can dramatically hurt your brand and negatively alter the way your audience engages with your posts.
So many of these mistakes come from cutting corners. As my middle school gym coach liked to say, “Practice makes permanent.” The best way to undo the damage is to take your time; if you don’t have the time, finesse your schedule and find five minutes. It’s in there somewhere, and it will make a world of difference.
Maybe you need to make similar images in Canva so you have separate posts for Facebook and Instagram. By doing them in the same sitting, you can guarantee they deliver the same point without double-posting to two platforms. As previously mentioned, Google Alerts is a great tool for finding relevant content to fix that 80/20 problem, and the headlines are delivered right to you! If you practice doing things correctly, you’ll be back up to speed in no time, and the results will be much more impressive than before.
As with New Year’s Resolutions, it’s important not to try and do everything at once. Take things one step at a time, focus on the next right move for your current situation, and don’t be afraid to ask for help! We’d love to discuss ways we can assist with your company’s social media strategy. Get in touch today to schedule a complimentary, no obligation consultation, which is a fantastic way to start the conversation!
Want to read more about improving your brand’s social media? Check out these articles from our blog: