Here’s to Better Social in 2015: 5 Ways to Improve Online

January 1, 2015

[ikon images/corbis]
[ikon images/corbis]

This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared on the One Guy’s Journey blog on Dec. 9.

So, here we are at the start of another new year. Already?! It’s a time to celebrate accomplishments and the good things we’ve done. It’s also a time to take a hard look at ways to improve for the year to come.

I’m sure that whether you are a business or an individual, there are things you’d like to do better in 2015. Maybe it’s improving your bottom line or repackaging your current brand.

Every December, I love to take stock of where I stand, personally and professionally. It gives me a chance to take a critical look at how I’ve served my clients and whether I’m growing. I want to be better, as a business owner, a person and a professional. These improvements also include social media.

There’s been good social and bad, just like every other year. However, I hope that in 2015 we see social media improve. Here are five ways to do that:

1. Be smarter with your posting.

Far too often this year, we’ve seen mistakes by brands and individuals. There are more “gotcha moments” (see James Franco) and hitting the send button before really looking closely at a post (see U.S. Airways).

Don’t rush to update your Facebook page or that Instagram photo because you want to be funny or beat another brand to the punch. Think your posts through. You’ll be better off in the long run.

2. Don’t cross-post from Facebook to Twitter.

Or vice versa, for that matter. Regardless of how many times one of my colleagues or I say that Facebook and Twitter are different social channels, there’s always a brand that decides they are too lazy to come up with separate posts.

Cross-posting from Twitter to Facebook shows that you don’t really care about your audience, your message, or frankly, your brand. People notice and they’ll eventually stop listening.

3. Don’t be so “salesy.”

By now, you’ve probably seen that Facebook is going to get tough on businesses, big and small, that have posts that are heavy with sales speak. While some businesses are worried, they shouldn’t be.

A smart business strategy on Facebook should involve posts that speak to fans, not sell to them. If you follow a brand on Facebook or Twitter, then you probably like the product. Brands need to remember this and speak to customers as people, not numbers.

4. Take the time to understand your audience and customers.

This should really be a no-brainer, but sadly, it isn’t. There are still plenty of brands that would rather treat their followers and fans as numbers, instead of as an important part of their business.

Social media isn’t just a platform to get your messages out, it’s also a chance to connect with your audience and make them more of a champion for you. Don’t look at followers as numbers. View every one as a prospect!

5. Plan ahead.

Remember the old saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” This is absolutely true when it comes to social. A social media posting plan is something that you need to have. No questions asked. Now, when I say plan ahead, it doesn’t mean that if you schedule posts, then you are in the clear. If you are a social media manager, then it’s important that you keep your eyes and ears on the news and what is going on around you. Scheduled posts can come back and bite you if they don’t fit the tone of the day.

The bottom line? Have a posting plan, but be ready to change at a moment’s notice.
 
Social media is still growing and it’s important to understand that we can all be better at posting to the large number of networks that exist today. Make 2015 that year to be better, more strategic and more focused. Here’s to your social success!

Jason Mollica
Jason Mollica is the president of JRM Comm, a public relations and marketing consultancy. Reach him at Jason@JRMComms.com and Twitter: @JasMollica.

Comments

John Senall says:

Great insights, Jason. One other one for us all-- make sure we educate our clients and companies about ever-changing social media habits and trends and exact demographics using each social channel. Often, a lot of work is almost a waste of time for both you and a client (or internally) if you are not actually where people are who want your service, product, organization--or where their decision-maker family members are. Regardless if one channel is emerging as "the place to be" for other audiences.

Jan. 11, 2015

Jason Mollica says:

Thanks for the comment, John! You are right, more work isn't always a good thing. Using your time strategically is better!

Jan. 12, 2015

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