SOCIAL MEDIA: Staying on the straight and narrow

Social media columnist
Social media columnist
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You’ve probably seen a lot about New Year resolutions already, but it is a great time to take a fresh look at what you’re doing with social media in your business. Or the perfect time to get going if you haven’t started already.

I always advise not to treat social media like gym membership or a diet. You know the score, you join or start in January full of good intentions and have usually fallen by the wayside before the end of the month!

To be successful on social media you need to have a clear focus, be consistent and be disciplined.

Hopefully my suggested resolutions will help keep you on the straight and narrow:

1. Update and modify your social media profiles

One thing that is constant in the social media world is change. You’ll see from my ‘Breaking News’ section that there’s always something changing on one or other of the social platforms. I’ve seen one pundit predict that Facebook will change every six weeks in 2015!

However, it’s not just the social media companies that change but your company or business may have gone through changes last year; maybe you’ve won some awards, landed some major clients or expanded your services – you need to let your clients and your followers know about these important updates.

2. Use more visuals

Make you sure you update your profile photo and cover photos as well. Last year, almost every social media platform added larger cover photos so make sure you portray your business or brand well.

Don’t stop there though. Use more visuals all over your social media posts. Don’t forget video too.

3. Combine all in one

You may be managing many different accounts at the same time and having a hard time keeping on top of them. I recommend bringing them all together in one efficient dashboard; I use Hootsuite but there are a number of others on the market that may suit you better. Most of them have a free sign up period so you can test drive a couple to see which ones offer the functionality you want.

4. Schedule your time, get organised

It’s really easy to waste a lot of time on social media thinking you’re working as you get distracted by something ‘really interesting’. Contrary to what most people think, I don’t spend all day on social media as I have a business to run and it’s too distracting.

I get alerts via email or text of relevant things happening on my accounts and those I manage, and pop on two-three times a day to respond. I also try to limit the time I spend there when I do go into my accounts . . . I have to admit not always successfully.

5. Remember it’s called social media for a reason

Although social media has become different things to different people, engagement remains at the core of it. As I said in my last article, the goal of social media isn’t to sell directly but to create engagement and build relationships.

Get social and don’t go too far in automating your responses as you do need to go back in person and respond to your fans and followers.

If you can stick to these resolutions, you will see social media success in 2015. By the way, how is the new diet and exercise programme going?

BREAKING NEWS

Facebook

You can now create a review of your Facebook posts in 2014 by going to go to www.facebook.com/yearinreview, where Facebook displays the photos it has selected to highlight. Clicking the ‘Customize’ button at the bottom allows users to select photos, remove sections altogether and choose a theme.

Google+

With one click, you can enhance the lighting, color, stability, and (coming soon) speech in your videos. Here’s how it works:

– Use Auto Backup to securely store the videos you shoot.

– Google+ will automatically analyze picture and audio quality. For best results make sure you have Auto Enhance turned on.

Learn more at http://goo.gl/ycYHV4

Pinterest

You can now easily move groups of Pins to new or different boards:

– Go to any of your boards on your account

– Click Move Pins

– Select up to 50 Pins to move

– Pick a new board for them

You can also copy Pins or delete groups of Pins if you’re in clean-up mode.

They are also planning a series of webinars and other online learning tools for small businesses.