Nathan Mendenhall is a social media professional with both B2B and B2C experience. He has worked with brands in a variety of different industries to create actionable social media communities and dynamic content strategies.
The New Year brings resolutions about weight loss, relationships and other often abandoned goals. However, how many of us resolve to get our social strategy organized or re-organized? The holiday season brings chaos to all sects of marketing, so use these steps as a checklist to refocusing your social strategy for 2013.
1. Reevaluate your Goals
In my humble opinion, goal setting is the most important part of putting together a social strategy. Goals should have three elements. They should be challenging, attainable and realistic. The start of a new year is a great time to revisit your previous set of goals and reevaluate them. Were your 2012 social media goals realistic, challenging and attainable? Did you meet your goals? Whether you did or did not meet your (or your client’s) expectations in 2012, you should always be upgrading your goals as your social accounts and experience grow.
2. Content Strategy Audit
After you have you have reevaluated where you want to socially go in 2013, now it’s time to think about how you will get there. If you have ever ready any of my blogs, I am constantly preaching the importance of quality content. Use the New Year as an opportunity to go through your content hits and misses in 2012 and filter out what didn’t work. Cutting that content fat will help get your content strategy lean and mean for 2013 (notice the rhyme). Identifying what content didn’t really work well will allow you the opportunity to improve it, which further helps you keep your finger on the pulse of your social communities. Also, knowing what kinds of content got the most attention will help you create more great content. Auditing your content strategy is not only a fun process, but is extremely educational.
3. Community Manager/Admin Audit
Since we are taking a deep look at our content strategy, let’s also critically analyze our community managers. Don’t look at this as a gripe session; this is an opportunity to identify strengths and weaknesses. If YOU are the community manager, this step is even more critical. It is often very hard to analyze yourself, but try your best. Have there been any instances in the past year where you felt unprepared or overwhelmed? Can you clearly communicate monthly performance? How do you battle through writers block? These are all questions to ask yourself or your community manager. The quality of the worker is as important as the tools they are using. Identify those strengths and weaknesses of your community manager so that you can build on the strengths and improve those weaknesses.
4. Analyze Last Year
We have looked at different portions of what happened in 2012, but overall how did your social communities perform and grow? Looking at the previous year from a macro level can help you identify trends and opportunities. You might notice that your engagement drops during the holiday season or that fan growth slows during the summer. Noticing trends of 2012 can help you prepare for them in 2013. While some might say that year over year social comparisons aren’t very helpful, I argue that your overall business will see trends, so it is likely your social media campaigns may as well. It’s better to be prepared. Your perspective of your social communities will become clearer with every yearly comparison.
5. Spring into Action
You have your goals refocused, your content strategy dialed in, your community manager up to speed and your year over year data. It sounds like you are ready to put everything together into a shiny new social strategy for 2013!
We hope you have found these steps helpful and that everyone has a very successful 2013!