• Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Getting it right: 5 things to tick off your social media checklist for 2013

As 2012 fades into our rearview mirrors, it is time to reflect on the past year to identify what we did right (and wrong) and changes we need to make in 2013 to derive more value out of our social media efforts. I have listed a number of behaviours below which I have noted on a number of platforms which people should either do more of or stop immediately. By doing so, it will make these environments better for all.

Broadcast vs conversation

Twitter was developed specifically to support online social interaction. This implies bi-directional dialogue between many or multiple entities. Twitter is NOT an advertising billboard and people who use it to constantly broadcast advertising material should desist from doing so immediately. In order to maintain the integrity of this environment, this type of behaviour should result in Twitter accounts being closed down or blocked. I am not saying that broadcasting should stop but there has to be a healthy balance between broadcasts, retweets and conversation.

Keeping things current

I have followed links from person’s LinkedIn and Twitter profiles to “dated” blogs and websites. It is difficult to build online credibility when a person visits your blog and your last article was published three months ago. I am not saying that you need to publish daily but attempt to publish regularly. This needs to be applied to all the platforms you participate on.

Appropriate content

If anyone wants to be blocked and deleted from my LinkedIn groups, post a job advert or promote yourself, your company, your products or your services on a discussion forum. Keep your updates relevant to the platform and the subject in question. If the LinkedIn group is titled “Executive Leadership” the discussion should revolve around “Executive Leadership”.

Keep the right company

As with all social interaction, like-minded people tend to hang out together. It stands to reason to apply the same principle on the digital platforms you are participating on. Make it very clear on your Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ profiles, LinkedIn groups and blog your “online commitment” to your connections, followers, friends, etc. and ensure that your content supports it.

Reciprocate appropriately and regularly

For those of you that publish content on a regular basis and want to extend your reach to a wider audience through social media influencers and brand advocates, reciprocation is very important. As you develop online relationships, it is possible to reach out to individuals every now and then (not too often, mind you) to ask them to retweet, share or promote a blog post, tweet, LinkedIn update or LinkedIn group discussion. If they agree to do this, please ensure that you do the same for them when they ask you.

If the person has a bigger online presence or influence, it is a good idea to promote their content way more than they did for you. If you have your eye on a particular social media influencer or celebrity who MAY support you, you may have to court them for some time before they notice you.

To summarise

To maximise the return on you 2013 social media efforts, focus on keeping the right company, ensure your profile reflects your commitment to your audience, make sure your content is relevant and appropriate and work hard in identifying the right supporters and reciprocate when they help you promoting your content.

Author | David Graham

David Graham
David Graham's passion is business-to-business digital marketing with a specific focus on value networking and inbound marketing. He consults on business-to-business digital marketing strategy and execution, with an emphasis on building sales pipelines and generating new prospects More
  • All of the above are great tips. Add one more: Be consistent in your subject areas. – the focus on a subject area makes for enjoyable interaction. I follow subject experts to gain insight and knowledge on topics I’d never learn about. In a sense, endeavor to be an expert. I post a lot of mobile tech, but my side passion is about zombies! Write a clear bio on yourself, so readers know what you’re about.

  • Good advice, thank you Adrian!

  • Great post David, thanks. I may have added something about a multi-channel approach. Not just for the sake of it, but it’s important to engage where the audience/market is, and they may only be using certain channels. Or they may be using all of them, which translates into more work but broader reach. Thanks! :)

  • This is of great value to every brand and individual, and I hope we see these vital points adhered to in this year. My only addition (and it’s very personal) is my belief that to lead, you must follow. I can credit a huge portion of my success in social media on my following back (with scrutiny of course) and I would truly like to see more brands follow their clients back.

  • David

    Your list is on point. It actually lists most of the best practices imdividuals and brands should follow.

    The only thing I would add and you touched on it. “Let people have their opinions” too often I see debates turn into high school fights amongts grown adults. Debate is ok, but being right at all cost is childish and can hurt your online presence.

  • Stellar Post as always David a few suggestions we’d make:

    1) SEO
    is still critical to brands using social media. Content should be
    keyword optimized, all content should be cross posted via all social
    accounts to generate visibility and Google rankings (Google “sees” these
    social signals).

    2) Blogging is still the most fundamental
    social media marketing activity; should be keyword optimized, an
    editorial calendar should be developed for 30-90 days out with topics
    that incorporate targeted keywords.

    3) Content Syndication is
    also becoming more critical as “noise level” increases – we have our own
    methodology for using WordPress as a core platform and then syndicating
    out to all social platforms. Important to share core content across all
    social platforms, rinse and repeat using a content syndication platform
    like HootSuite or Cadence9.

  • Excellent tips! In addition I recommend the following 4 strategies:

    Strategy #1: Scan, bookmark and share 200 headlines in 15 minutes a day

    I scan headlines of over 60 sources of blogs, news feeds and twitter accounts every day with the mobile app called PULSE. I look for posts that would be relevant to my target audience –a nd interesting to me. I bookmark those I think with INSTAPAPER and share them on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/Google+.

    Strategy #2: Set up a personal homepage for all your social media channels

    I recommend setting up your personal homepage as central page for all your social media
    activities. My homepage http://www.oliverbussmann.com is using the about.me service which link smultiple online identities, relevant external sites, and popular social networking websites such as Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Tumblr. It is characterized by its one-page user profiles, each with a large, often-artistic background image
    and abbreviated biography.

    Strategy #3: Focus on your social media profiles

    Make sure to update your profiles to show them that you’re on the cutting edge of your
    field and on top of social media. Post quality industry news on your social sites. In addition to LinkedIn, I recommend to use http://www.vizify.com – Vizify creates a series of interactive infographics that show the best of you based on your social media sites e.g., http://www.vizify.com/oliverbussmann

    Strategy #4: Google yourself and manage your social brand

    Know what is going to come up when your name is typed into Google. It’s best to be aware
    of this because most, if not all social media followers will Google you.
    Therefore I recommend using http://www.brandyourself.com to make sure search engines find and rank your most relevant results at the top, improving your personal brand.

  • This is GREAT advice. Thank you Oliver !!

  • I couldn’t agree with you more Lee. Thank you for the superb advice.

  • Thank you very much for your comments Karima. Much appreciated.

  • Thank you Jodene. You are quite right!

  • Definitely Antony. Our strategy was to ask all our clients what their preferred channel/s are and then to engage accordingly. Thank you for the insightful feedback!

  • Fred Felton

    Wonderful post there David, some great advice from you.

  • Great post and points, David. Some valuable tips also in the comments section to adopt. Thank you for sharing your insights.

  • Great list David. Your points about appropriateness and company stood out for me – because they still trip me up on occasion. Thanks for the reminder.

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