The Holiday season is upon us and 2018 is almost gone. This is a busy time for marketers. In fact, it reminds me of an old Christmas poem my grandmother used to read to us on Christmas eve.
We’d gather around the gleaming tree that, at the time, looked taller than a redwood, our little brains pregnant with anticipation. As the fire popped and sizzled and we sat there, fighting to keep our eyelids from succumbing to the Sandman, old mee-maw would prattle-off this yuletide rhyme to stoke our excitement:
‘Twas the night before Christmas and on the internet, people were still complaining, with zero regret.The marketers’ campaigns were planned for one last-ditch shove, in hopes that their fans would show them some last-minute love.
Their Facebook advertisements were tweaked for the season, while moms gave 1-star reviews, for what seemed like no reason.
Instagram engagement was high – a positive fact, but they were losing an uphill battle getting views on Snapchat.
While the holidays are typically the busiest time of the year for most business owners, now is the time to begin thinking about your strategy for the new year. Growing your brand is a constant process and it’s important to periodically look back at the goals you’ve previously set, give an honest appraisal of how close you’ve come to achieving them and depending on your findings, set new goals or realign your efforts to realize the goals you haven’t quite reached.
Audit the past year’s social media efforts
It is crucial that before you start setting lofty goals for your brand in 2019, you look back at what you set out to do this year. You should separately appraise the metrics from each social media channel you used in 2018 with respect to the specific objectives you hoped each campaign would achieve.
Likes and shares play an important role in building your brand, however, you must be objective when analyzing performance. Don’t view your efforts through rose-colored glasses. It’s crucial that you’re paying attention to concrete metrics. If the primary purpose of a particular social media campaign was to generate leads – that is what’s going to determine whether or not you were successful.
Define what you’d like to achieve on social media in 2019 based on broad, company goals
Don’t just set goals arbitrarily because you think it’s “what people do”. Ask yourself how your company can improve over the next year and that should inform the objectives for your social media campaigns.
For example, if after you’ve looked at your numbers from 2018 and determined that you’re not getting enough repeat business, a logical goal to set on social media for the upcoming year would be to increase recurring customers. You’d then look at the platforms where you’re seeing the most reengagement after a purchase was made.
Set specific, measurable goals.
The easiest way to underachieve on social media is to set goals that you’re incapable of measuring. If you set out to simply “make more money,” which is virtually everyone’s “goal” in marketing, you’re not going to have any way of mapping out your plan for success. You should instead, set a goal along the lines of, “increase the number of online sales by 20% in the first quarter”. You now have a deadline, a set measurement that defines success, and a specific place where you’d like customers to end-up online.
Define your audience
Understanding who your audience is and where they’ve been engaging with your business online is the key to successfully executing every social media marketing campaign. The end of the year is the perfect time to take stock of the people who are engaging with your business so that you can attempt to tailor your social media efforts to engage with them more frequently.
There’s not just one type of person that is paying attention to your business – it’s likely an amalgam of people from all walks of life. It’s important to identify different groups of people that make up your audience at large. These specific demographics will inform your strategy for each platform you’ll be using to engage with them.
Take a look at what your competitors are doing
It’s important for you to recognize who you’re up against in 2019. After all, these are the people trying to engage with your customers before you do. Head to social media and do an audit of your competitors’ social media performance. What are fans saying about them? What social media channels are they using to connect with customers? What are they doing that you’re not, and vice-versa?
All of these questions can help you better define your goals for the upcoming year and gain an alternative perspective of your industry.
There’s obviously a ton of important things to appraise and consider for your 2019 social media strategy. However, approaching social media marketing with a concrete plan in-place can allow you to zero-in on specific pain points and objectives.
A clear set of goals for the new year will ensure you hit the ground running with a series of small, calculated tasks rather than a giant, year-long guessing game that’s not really aiming to achieve anything specific.
Grow your business the right way by putting a plan in place for the new year. Even if you don’t reach your goals, you’ll become infinitely better at marketing your brand because of it.
Ready to start planning for 2019? We can help! Our marketing consultants are standing by to help you develop a winning social media strategy for the new year. Capture more customers and grow your business — contact us today!