We’re well into the New Year and people are either making good progress with their resolutions and goals or they’ve dumped them. Now that the pressure to make resolutions and lists has eased up a little bit, think about setting some realistic social media goals for the remainder of 2016. Here are a few ways to clean things up so you can get the most out of your interaction on social media this year:
1. Dump inactive accounts
If you’ve got stale accounts now is a good time to either revive or ditch them – especially if they’re linked to your blog or website. Maybe you thought it was a great idea to try and make Google+ work for you and it just didn’t pan out. That’s fair, but if your G+ profile is displayed prominently on your homepage and you never use it, a new reader may get the impression you’re not serious about what you do.
Use or lose. This is a good time of year to skinny down and decide what you really need.
2. Check the links on the home page of your blog or website
Hopefully you have “follow” buttons for all the social media channels you’re active on displayed prominently on your home page. (If not, remedy that because you’re missing web traffic, business and connections!) Make sure all links work: your “follow me on Pinterest” button should take people to your Pinterest profile, your Instagram button should go to your Instagram feed, etc.
Make sure the links aren’t broken and that accounts are active. This is a good thing to add to your quarterly to-do checklist. If you have a Twitter feed linked to your homepage and you haven’t tweeted in three months, either remove the link or make targeted efforts to start using that account. Stale accounts send the message that your page or business is lagging (see #1.)
3. Make sure your social share buttons work
The worst mistake you can make as a blogger or website owner is making it difficult for readers to share your content. If I finish reading something and think, “Wow, that’s awesome,” and I see Facebook and Twitter share buttons, I’m motivated to share your content with people in my circles – and you’ve made it really easy for me.
If your share buttons are absent, the average reader won’t hunt for them. And yes, you need share buttons in addition to the “follow me on social media” buttons.
4. Clean up your profiles
Your profiles across all media accounts associated with your blog or business should be consistent. The tag lines should be the same. Your avatar should be the same. Your Facebook and Twitter cover pages should be the same (or at least very similar) to your blog or website’s cover. If you have a logo or particular colors and fonts you use on your website, those should show up on your social media accounts.
Your end result is to project a consistent brand across your digital spaces. While you blog cover and social media covers may look slightly different, the same colors, fonts and logos should be present throughout, which gives readers the visual clues that it’s your material.
5. Evaluate connections
Are you interacting with the kinds of accounts you need to be following to reach your goals? Follow people you enjoy or learn from and don’t miss opportunities to connect with potential clients, mentors and co-collaborators. If your Twitter feed is full of accounts you have no interest in interacting with then it might be time for some cleanup, followed by some targeted searching of accounts you do want to interact with.
6. Set goals
Do you want to focus on growth? More engagement? Connecting with brands? Learning to navigate a new platform? Consider setting monthly or quarterly goals.
Plan your year of conquering social media in easy-to-manage increments and then celebrate your success! Happy cleanup and don’t forget the social in social media!