January is normally the time where we look back on the last twelve months and decide what we want to improve. Cue promises that we'll go to the gym more often, quit smoking, learn a new skill or language and so on. However, not only is it difficult to keep up any new changes, but the chances of you reverting back to your old habits increases with every new promise you take on.
Therefore, whether it's for yourself or for your business, a clear plan of action is required if you want to make these changes a reality. It doesn't matter how ambitious or modest your ambitions are, so long as they're important to you, that's what matters. While it can be difficult to get started, all big aims start with small steps so keep these in mind when you're putting your plan together.
What Do You Want To Achieve?
The best and most straightforward way of solving this is to get all of your thoughts down on paper. Yes, it's a low-tech solution but there's something about having your ambitions and aims in physical form that makes it more real.
Once you have your general aims written down, it's time to break it down into more manageable chunks. It's well and good that you want to increase page views or improve interaction, but how are you going to achieve this? The trick is to break it down into more manageable goals that you can achieve in the short-term, while keeping your long-term goals. This gives your goals a clear path for you to follow, and the sense of achievement you'll feel from completing these mini-objectives will ensure that you complete them.
By extension, putting together a social media strategy can help you out in the long-run too. Knowing what questions to ask yourself can sometime be just as important as the answers you provide so think about what you want to offer and what you want to achieve.
Social Media Profiles
So you're looking at your different profiles and you feel that things are getting a little stale. Maybe it's the content you publish, or how the page is presented, or maybe it's just a number of little things. Whatever the reason is, there are a number of different things you can do to brighten up your profiles.
Update & Modify Your Profiles
Maybe your Twitter bio has gotten a little stale, or your LinkedIn profile might need to be updated to match your experience and skill set. Either way, why not take a moment or two to go through your main profiles and see what you can change or update.
The easiest way to do this is to change what images you use. The majority of sites make use of cover photos so it's a good time to update it. Never underestimate the power of imagery, it's a brilliant way of communicating the direction you or your company is going and will freshen things up a little.
After that, it's worth looking through the 'about' section of your pages and general information to see what is worth updating. Companies change and develop as time passes so showing all the services you offer in a concise manner is important. If the last update took place longer than six months ago, it's worth reviewing it and deciding if there are any areas that need updating.
Spring Clean Your Profiles
Chances are you have subscribed to a number of pages and apps that you quickly used and forgot about, which is clogging up your news feed. In other cases, you could be following people that you aren't as interested in. For Facebook alone, there are a number of ways you can tidy up your profile so that you only see the content you want, while for Twitter, there are a number of apps that can help you reduce the number of people you follow so that your feed isn't as congested. A good one to start with is ManageFlitter which lets you manage your followers and identify inactive accounts.
Manage Multiple Accounts Together
If you're managing multiple accounts and finding it difficult to keep on top of them, you're better off bringing all of them together on the one dashboard to keep things simple
. If you crosspost content regularly, then there are a number of different dashboards that will help you out. However, the functionality tends to be somewhat limited so if you regularly use more advanced features like promoted posts or targeting, it's better to post directly from the site.
If All Else Fails, Prioritise
Sometimes our ambitions can get the better of us. We make promises and start new things without really considering how much time or effort you have to invest into it. If it's a case that you've too much to update, you're better off temporarily dropping excess accounts and focusing on two or three main accounts instead. The more time you're able to spend on a platform, the better quality you will be able to provide, especially if you use these channels exclusively for customer service.
While it's easy to put all these changes into action, you need to make sure you can dedicate a regular amount of time to these tasks. If you're struggling to find time to keep this up, it could be your organisation and timekeeping that's holding you back.
Create A Timetable
No matter what day it is, there are certain tasks that you need to complete on a daily basis. Things like replying to emails, meetings and brainstorming sessions are accounted for in your day. So why don't you schedule a time to complete social media tasks?
While it's tempting to just schedule an hour a day to check your accounts, resist the urge to do this. The major flaw to this is that if a person replies or mentions you after this, they will have to wait 23 hours before a response. A good response is a quick one so instead you should set times throughout the day for checking your account.
A better strategy is to break this hour down into smaller sections throughout the day. As social media updates in real-time, it's better to dedicate three 20 minute slots to replying, monitoring and posting content. That way, you will be aware of any changes and will be able to react accordingly.
Also, for your Twitter account, putting office hours in your bio shows your followers the best times to get in touch with you. If you have an international audience, put down the time zone you're in to avoid confusion.
Social media is a real-time resource, we've been pretty much conditioned to post updates as they happen. That's the way it should be, but if we're going to be realistic, you're not going to be beside your computer 24/7 and there will be times where you will be away from the office. If this is the case, then get into the habit of scheduling tweets and updates.
Doing so is relatively easy and the only thing you need to make sure of is that the content you're posting isn't time sensitive. A news article will only have a lifespan of a few hours at best, while a feature or opinion article will be relevant for longer. This is handy if you have followers from different parts of the world, especially for Twitter where tweets can be easily missed. Alternatively, you can use apps like Buffer which will post content at times your audience will see them.
Become More Organised
If you're not organised or prepared then the chances of you accomplishing anything gets lower. If the simple pen and paper isn't doing the trick, there are a number of apps that you can download for free. If you're focused on completing goals, then an app like Astrid will help you out, while Remember The Milk is useful for when you're breaking down tasks into more manageable chunks.
If you're looking for something more suited to team organisation, there are similar mobile and cloud apps
out there to help you out. Services like Basecamp will help you out with general projects, while creative and design related projects would benefit more from a service such as Cage.
All images via The Noun Project.
- Internet by Fernando Vasconcelos
- Euro by Vinad Khanna.
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