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4 New Year’s Resolutions For Social Media Marketers

John Patterson.

This time of year every agency and publication will post their predictions for 2014. Predictions are great, but they don’t drive results and unless they have some sort of social media crystal ball we don’t know about, their predictions are at best an educated guess. At worst they’re total BS used to get you to click a link. So this year we’re not making predictions. Pause for the exasperated gasp…

calvin-hobbes-new-years-resolutions

This year we’re going to take a look back and make some resolutions for things we’ll stop doing and do better in 2014. You know, like real marketers should. Let’s get started with our list of new year's resolutions for social media marketers.

Resolution 1: I Will Stop Trying to Figure Out How to Make Snapchat a Marketing Tool

Before you post pictures hanging me in effigy, hear me out. Does Snapchat have an audience? Yes (26% of 18-29 cell phone owners say they use the app, according to Pew). Is that audience highly active? Yes. Have one or two brands done something minorly successful? Yes. Let’s look at the bigger picture though. Snapchat is an untested platform that offers NO measurement or analytics tools and serves a limited (albeit lucrative) demographic.

I say leave the work to Snapchat to figure out how it appeals to marketers. If they figure that out before the demo moves on then we’ll talk. Otherwise you might spend time and money creating strategies and content for something that will be old news by the time you publish it.

Resolution 2: I Will Up My Content Game

Shhhhh. It’s okay. I know you create the most wonderful Facebook posts and your tweets are even better. Except, they’re not. Think about how much time and effort your brand puts into traditional campaigns. The perfect image, the perfect script or copy, millions to place it in the perfect place. All with the hope that someone doesn’t DVR past it or flip the page. Try reallocating just 10% of your marketing budget for 2014 to creating dynamic content for your social channels (Great copy, awesome visuals, exclusive video etc). Then measure the real results and compare the cost of impressions.

I think you’ll be surprised by where you get more for your coveted marketing dollar. Not to mention that social media allows you to have a two way conversation. So not only will you know if consumers like it, they’ll pass it along on their own at no cost to you. It’s a marketing holiday miracle! Free impressions!

Resolution 3: I Will Learn Where My Audience Lives and I Will Live There Too

This isn’t hard. Look at the numbers and stop spending your time and money on channels where you audience doesn’t interact. It takes time and money to build a community. Focus your efforts where your demo is already engaged. Building new communities should be secondary to activating your current audience. That is, unless you have no current audience then you’ll have to build and activate simultaneously.

Resolution 4: I Will Learn to Move Faster

I can hear you screaming at me already. "But John, the pace of social media is so quick and our resources are so thin and blah blah blah." Most of what I’m hearing is "blahs" like when the adults talk in Charlie Brown.

I understand the reasons why you think you can’t move quickly. The trick is that you’re thinking of trying to move quickly in your current slow, and let’s face it, outdated process. Moving more quickly means you need less time and less resources. The trick is you need the time and resources from people at higher levels in your organization. Streamline your process to remove the people who are just checking the box. Then, only include content creators and decision makers, set a regular content review and approval time, and get content published when it’s actually still relevant. I don’t care how large your brand is, if the CEO needs to see a Tweet then you’re doing it wrong.

So after you’re done ranting about what everyone else says might happen be sure to take some time to ensure these four things do happen in 2014. I hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday and a fantastic engagement and impression filled New Year!

Think I missed a must have resolution on the list? What’s your social media marketing resolution for 2014?


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