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End 2012 Right and Start 2013 Off With a Bang!

With the end of 2012 quickly approaching it’s time to evaluate the year, take inventory, and plan ahead. Like any strong business reviewing your checks and balances will make sure you’re ready for a good start in 2013. Ask yourself a few questions – where are you with social, what has been gained, and where are the pain points?  Now that social media has become an integral part of many marketing departments, setting up metrics to understand your efforts is an important step.

If social media metrics have not been introduced yet, this is your first step in the final days of 2012. Consider data points such as number of tweets, number of followers, Facebook posts per week, number of likes on posts, comments, retweets, hares, and the list goes on. Manually gathering this information can be tedious so consider your need for a social media management tool like Viralheat for 2013.

Once the data is laid out, take notice of any successes you could be having. Perhaps your growth and engagement on Twitter far exceeds other social media channels. Also pinpoint areas of struggle. Little to no engagement on Facebook might be due to post content or the time of day you’re posting. Knowing this information will shape how you plan for 2013.

Going into 2013 there are a important aspects of social media to consider when building your strategy. Whether you’re looking for increased engagement, more mentions of your brand on social, the ability to identify influencers, or just understanding your user base, planning for the future is imperative.

Increase Engagement

Engagement is now thought of as the most important metric in understanding the success of a company’s social media efforts. Increasing engagement can be a difficult task if you haven’t reviewed past performance. Since engagement is typically connected with the type of content that is being shared it’s important to try different approaches to learn what works for your community. Vary your posts with content curated from across the web and content produced from your company; share images, links, videos, and questions so that your followers can engage with different types content. Overtime, a clear content leader will emerge.

Greater Mentions on Social Media

Social media is a powerful word of mouth marketer. Allowing social media to work for you is important but many times it needs some help to get started.  Network with people who have similar interest, start conversations, provide useful content, and share experiences. More mentions will come, once you’ve made your presence known.

Identify Influencers

Social media has given us an unique opportunity to identify people who are shaping conversation around a brand. Identifying these people and leveraging them as influencers can help to establish greater social media mentions. Using a tool like Viralheat, identify influencers by impact and volume and then reach out to these brand stewards, establish a relationship, and learn about them. Using influencers as part of a marketing strategy is budget friendly and helps to establish a strong online community.

Understand Your Users

Use social media to your benefit by listening to the conversation about your brand. Understand your followers interests, the demographic you are most popular with, and their geographic location to strategize the most important and interesting content. This information can also help the entire marketing department as the followers on your social pages may not be who you think are your key audience.

With these final days of 2012 winding down take some time to set yourself up for 2013. Establish important social media metrics to focus on in 2013, decide on a social media tool that works for you, and prioritize what you want social media to be for you. With simple steps like these, you’ll be off to a better start than you were before.

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