Five new year resolutions for a social media marketer in 2017

Like every year, you would make a ton of resolutions in the next week, mostly to sigh at them by the end of January. I make them too, and mostly succeed. This year, I want to share some resolutions I made professionally and succeeded at. It helps that I'm a part of a great team, which makes things happen quickly and effectively. More than anything else, we demonstrated value of social media to the business over and over again.
Here are my five new year resolutions for social media marketers:
  • Get your CXOs to use Twitter: I still can't believe I have to add this a resolution for 2017. Donald Trump mostly won the presidency of the United States using this one platform! From Baby-boomers to Gen Xers, everyone needs to be on Twitter if they meet customers and prospects. Help them think about this: today, the average CXO pitches their product to a much larger group at their customer's company. If they aren't visible to each member of that heterogenous group on various platforms, they are losing out. You meet a person ABC from company XYZ at a sales pitch, and there's a 100% chance you'll look them on social media before the meeting, there's a high chance they'll look you up afterwards. And because your CXO will likely not have anything apart from a little box on your company's About us page, and a LinkedIn profile (hopefully), there is barely anything about them on the internet (and that's not a good thing). Stop pitching Twitter as a micro-blogging service. Start pitching it as a personal microsite for your CXOs. Also, please do it for them if they can't do it themselves. Just as your CXO receives PR support, they should receive social media support.
  • Make a content calendar at the beginning of the year, and stick to it: This isn't about saying how many tweets, blog entries or campaigns you will cover. Start January with a bang- develop ideas for e-books, video content and awareness initiatives to give your business a large top line funnel to work from, both in terms of leads and cookies. Hubspot has a decent template if you're unclear about where to start.
  • Start sharing more 3rd party content: Remember that one friend everyone hates because all they do is talk about themselves? Don't be like that on Twitter. While you have a firehose of content, no one wants to hear about your great products all day long. Curate content from various sources, and make them a significant part of your content calendar (see point one above). If left up to me, the golden ratio for content is 70% curated content, 20% own content and 10% pitches. Use tools like Feedly or Twitter Lists to add sources you can quickly scan, and help people discover great content about topics they care about. That's when they'd truly like to follow you.
  • Learn more from your brethren in SEO, web operations and display advertising: Social media marketers often get lost in the new shiny thing everyday. SEO and display advertising continue to be workhorses, and if you've seen an analytics report lately, you know social still generates a small sliver of the traffic. Learn what makes your website thrive. Get your colleagues in the SEO team to review your post copy. See what display ads are doing the heavy lifting, and start joining the dots. It's amazing what you can learn from people who look at real website traffic numbers all day long. And because no other social media marketer will ever say so, I will: each website visit is infinitely more valuable than a like.
  • Challenge yourself to produce new creative options: It is easy for everyone to just dismiss these as new bells and whistles. Facebook especially iterates on this almost on a monthly business. Canvas ads, Live video, Carousel ads- there are a number of new options it threw at us this year. With new options, comes great visibility. As customers spend more time on the platform (and grow jaded), they will notice these new formats, especially if you execute them well. Challenge your team to break the status quo, and be first out of the door. On social, you can always iterate over time. Our team at HCL Tech
It would give me great satisfaction if you went along this article thinking 'Tell me something new'. If not, I hope it is good intellectual fodder as you head into the holidays. If you've had recent success using some of these already, I look forward to your thoughtful comments here, or on twitter at @ironymeter.
Note: The views in this post are my personal opinion and do not reflect those of my employer.


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