3 Social Marketing Resolutions for 2014

By Michele Weisman

After recapping 2013 and making predictions for this year, it's time you should focus on a fresh start. It's 2014 and chances are you've considered a number of resolutions you want to follow through with in the New Year. In fact, the most popular New Year's resolutions include lose weight, get organized, spend less and save more, quit smoking, stay fit and healthy and spend more time with family.

However, you shouldn't forget about your professional resolutions. Think about what you can accomplish in 2014. Are you looking to increase your customer base? Do you wish to improve your social content engagement? Here are three resolutions I recommend that you follow to make 2014 your most successful year yet.

1. Accept that social media is not free (and budget accordingly). Setting up a brand page doesn't cost anything, but getting people to see what you post does. While it may not be as expensive as a 30-second Super Bowl TV spot, social media takes planning, creative insight, project management, and additional internal resources. All of these things come at a cost. Think about it - these companies need a way to drive revenue. Facebook and Twitter are now public companies. Google+ and Instagram have introduced ads last year and LinkedIn now offers promoted updates. In order to get consumers' attention in social media, it's becoming increasingly competitive. Our Chairman, Dave Kerpen, predicts this as "pay to play."

2. Prepare to adjust your social content strategy as needed. As new platforms emerged like Snapchat and Vine, we witnessed 2013 as the golden year for short-form content. Brands took advantage of these networks by sharing brief yet powerful stories. It's important to stay on top of network changes as well as investigate your analytics on a monthly basis at the minimum. If you think the social web is noisy now, in 2014 you'll see more content than ever before. Businesses need to create more engaging,  fun, and valuable content in order to be noticed and to truly benefit from social media.  To plan and organize your content effectively this year, check out our template here.

3. Research which networks relate to your target demographic. Do you ever find yourself asking, "What networks should my brand be on?"  For marketers, the challenge is being seen as an innovator in the space with an active social presence on eight or more social networks. On the other hand, social media takes a lot of resources, and it can be very taxing to try to manage content and communities on networks you necessarily don't need a presence on. It's important to remember, if your brand is trying to reach teens, focus your marketing efforts on Snapchat and Tumblr. Be active on Facebook and Pinterest, if you're connecting with women or want to increase web traffic.

What is your New Year’s marketing resolution? Share in the comments below!