I’ve never been very big on New Year’s Resolutions. If you’re going to make a change, there’s no time like the present – regardless of whether it’s January 1 or June 23. If the new year is still fresh when you’re reading this post and you feel inspired, fantastic! But if it’s not, don’t be afraid to take a few of these social media resolutions, which range from small and simple to more time consuming, and put them into action.
7 Social Media Resolutions to Enact Right Now
#1: Locate influencers
There are a couple of reasons why it’s good to have some influencers among those you friend and follow across the social sphere.
First of all, when you build a genuine relationship with an influencer (genuine relationship – not one that you force just because you’re hoping they’ll do some favors for you), you are, in essence, making a friend. Friends help each other out, so whatever you can do to help, you will. And if you’re lucky, your new friend – connected as he or she may be – will help you out too. This means collaborating and promoting each other, but it also means being around during the “down time” – checking in to say hello and see how they’re doing.
So yes, there is the possibility that they could help bolster you.
But you also stand to learn quite a bit from them. Influencers didn’t get to be known as such because they stood back and listened to someone else do the talking. They step up and share their knowledge. Let yourself learn from them.
This is not to say you need to start trying to connect with every big name you hear. Do some research (personally, I’ve been loving commun.it lately as a free tool to help me identify influencers) and find out who the influencers are in your particular niche. Just because a person doesn’t have several hundred thousand followers doesn’t mean he isn’t influential – and it’s often much easier to make a connection with someone who has fewer followers.
#2: Be polite
Whether it’s in blog comments, Facebook comments, or Twitter updates, if you want to be taken seriously as a professional, you should always be polite. Say please when you’re asking for re-tweets. Say thank you when someone shares your content.
These is not a complicated resolution, meaning that it’s perfect for a social media newbie, as well as for a more seasoned veteran. Oh yes, social media vets – I’m talking to you. Sometimes you get a little too comfortable in your space and you forget your manners.
#3: Be kind
Technically, yes, this could be the same resolution as being polite. But…
There are a lot of bullies out there. There are a lot of people on social media who have found success and suddenly forgot what it’s like to just be starting out; to be the little fish in a big pond. These people could be as knowledgeable and noteworthy as anything, but it still won’t change the fact that they aren’t always nice.
I recently read C.C. Chapman’s new book, Amazing Things Will Happen. C.C. is a pretty well-known guy by this point, so I would understand if I reached out to him and didn’t get a response. That’s never been the case, however. In his book, he notes that it only takes a few minutes to send an email – and even less time to send a text or a tweet. But it can make a big difference.
The point? Don’t ignore people just because you think you might have gotten “too big” for them. While it’s true you might not always be able to respond to everyone, you should try to at least acknowledge them.
#4: Let your personality shine
You can’t fault anyone for wanting to be careful when it comes to social media. After all the Twitter mishaps we’ve seen lately, especially, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
While you should be well versed in your brand voice, it’s also important to let your own personality shine. Understand your boundaries and the impact that your words might have, but be who you are. It’s much more interesting to follow someone on social media when they show a human side and make some jokes than it is to follow someone who is monotonous or shows a poker face all the time.
Be smart, but be yourself.
#5: Devote a little time each day
To really make an impression on social media, you need to participate, and you need to be there regularly. If you’re not, you’re out of site and out of mind.
We’re all busy, but what separates those who are successful at social media and see its value from those who aren’t and don’t is the amount of time they spend on it. Even devoting 15 minutes of your time in the morning, 10 minutes over lunch, and 15 minutes in the evening can make a sizable difference. If you don’t get out there and get involved, you’ll never build the kind of following and have the kind of interaction you want. Without that, social media will surely seem pointless to you.
#6: Become a regular in a Twitter chat
There are so many Twitter chats happening every day. Find one within your niche and use TweetChat to follow the conversation. This will help you to find people (including influencers!) who have similar interests and concerns as you and connect with them. This is often a good way to start talking to some of the same people regularly, thereby increasing your chances of organically building relationships.
This also helps you to learn from a wide variety of people, share ideas, and network. Bonus: if you’re ever lacking ideas for new content, I’ve found that participating in these chats can be really intellectually stimulating, and they almost always inspire some ideas for a new blog post.
My personal recommendation is the very popular #blogchat, which is held every Sunday night at 9pm (eastern). If you can keep up with #blogchat, you can keep up with anything. Nothing like diving right in!
#7: Stop making it all about you!
We’ve all encountered those individuals and businesses who, for whatever reason, are hell-bent on sharing only their own personal news. “Here’s our company’s top 5 blog posts, written by us, in the last 6 months.” “Here’s my personal top 10 favorite tweets of all time.” “Here’s what my company is doing today. And tomorrow. And next week.”
Your clients and customers probably do want to know what you’re up to – to some extent – but making everything all about you all of the time makes it hard for anyone new to get in. It seems too much like a members-only club.
This year, resolve to stop putting all of the emphasis on personal and company news, and place it on your clients’, customers’, and fans’ interests. What do they want to learn? What do they need to know in order to have an enriching brand experience? Thinking about this will help you to tailor your social content.
Included in this resolution is also sharing others’ work more than your own. If you only ever show up to Facebook or Twitter once or twice every few months, and it’s only to promote yourself and your work, people are going to stop paying attention to you (they’re probably going to forget all about you, too).
Try to share others’ work more than your own. For some people, it helps them to set up some kind of system. For example, each day, maybe you share work from three other people, re-tweet three other authors, and share one of your own posts.
What are your social media resolutions for 2013? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
photo credit: marketing savant