The New Year presents the perfect opportunity to do a complete sweep of your social media profiles and strategies, and improve where you may have been lacking last year. Here are a few ideas to consider, which can be applied to both your personal social media efforts and that of your organization.
Update your bios
Do an audit to see if all of the About Me-type sections on your social media profiles/ website are still accurate. If they are up to date, it can’t hurt to think about sprucing them up a bit. Add new skills or volunteer experience to your LinkedIn page. If you have new mission statements or strategies for 2014, share them!
Scrap the dead platform
If your Google+ activity has dwindled, maybe it’s time to close it down and set up an Instagram account instead. It’s better to be on the right mediums for your brand rather than spreading yourself too thin amongst all of them.
Resolve to include an image with all of your posts this year. Whether it’s an infographic, a photo or video, or even a GIF, image-based updates have far higher engagement rates than posts that contain only text. It captures the viewer’s attention and keeps people engaged. Update your profile photos, headers, Facebook cover, etc. New year, new you!
Try something new
What better time than now to give something totally new and foreign a whirl? Have you always wanted to try vlogging? Give it a shot, take a risk. You never know what it’ll do for you unless you try.
There’s always room for improvement when it comes to content. Write thoughtfully, and share resources and articles that you love. Use spellcheck, for the love of all that is good in the world. Proofread everything. Twice. Even tweets! When posting a link to a good article or video, include some context along with it or briefly explain your thoughts toward it, rather than just sending out the link all by its lonesome.
Increase engagement, be authentic
Your friends/followers/fans are the reason for your online presence – keep up with them, ask them questions, truly listen to them. If you tend to send update after update about yourself or your brand, make sure that you're getting a decent amount of pull with all of that push. With that, interactions should be genuine, rather than engaging just to say you did. There's one person who comments on many of my posts, and all he’ll say is, “Cool!” or “Nice read!” One time, he commented enthusiastically, “Awesome!” on a post that linked to a rather tragic article. Fail! You could immediately tell that he wasn't really reading or giving any thought to what he was commenting on.
Purge, make lists
Now’s a good time to clean up your phone/email contacts by deleting connections you're no longer in touch with. Make a date with your Facebook friends list and give some thought to who you want seeing all of your updates. You have the ability to separate your close friends with acquaintances whom you still want to remain connected with to some degree, and adjust the privacy settings to determine what updates they see. It’s okay to unfriend those people you haven't spoken to since university or high school. Same with that random you met at a party or event last year who you never saw again. My personal rule is, if I get the alert that it's so-and-so's birthday, and I feel like I know them well enough to have the decency to wish them a simple “Happy Birthday”, we'll probably survive without this detailed view into each other's life and activities. Same goes for Twitter; are you following hundreds of people/brands you once followed on a whim, whose messages you aren’t all that interested in anymore? Click ‘unfollow’ and clear up your feed for more of what you do care to see. If you want to be able to view their tweets at your leisure, consider using the Lists feature – you can add people to a list without having to follow them, and then you can check the list whenever you feel like it. The purging process can be time-consuming, but it’s always worth it.