Yes, we’re a little late with the resolutions post…but maybe setting our intentions for the year in early February might give us a better chance of sticking with them, right? Either way, we want to share some social media habits we resolve to uphold over the course of the year to optimize engagement and set us up for a wildly successful year.

Set benchmarks and map strategic goals

While native metrics provide enough insights for basic analysis, if you want to take things to the next level having the proper systems in place is a must. We recommend SproutSocial, Social Report and Minter.io.

If you already have tools in place, analyze the past year. Then the past six months. Then the past three months. What trends do you see? What does your audience growth look like, are certain periods more active than others? Is there a shift in your engaged demographics? Notice any patterns around content and engagement? Now is the time to be honest and assess what’s working and what’s not. This is YOUR brand and using a critical lens can only lead to a stronger year ahead.

Map out some themes and highlights for 2017 in tandem with your overall marketing goals. Social does not exist in a vacuum; it has to be in sync with all other PR and marketing activities or your efforts won’t yield the highest returns possible. Social is an extension of your brand; your presence and strategy should align with any key announcements, product launches or events and not feel like an afterthought. All communication channels work together to reinforce your message and reach your target audience effectively.

Commit to being more social

If your business relies on customer service, it’s even more important to be there to field questions, comments and complaints and use monitoring tools so every incoming communication is seen. If you’re asleep at the wheel, it’s pretty obvious to your fans and followers, and potential customers will head elsewhere. There’s no excuse in 2017 for not being more engaged and present. A successful company is a social company. And if you’re worried about being there 24/7, you can start experimenting with chatbots.

If carving out time in your day seems daunting, stick to a schedule. Make it a point to spend even 5-10 minutes two or three times throughout the day checking in on your channels, scheduling or liveposting a few updates, and respond to a few people. It’s amazing how even such a small time investment can yield results and help grow your audience organically.

If you’re interested in upping your content game, check out some tips for creating killer content for social.

Post more video

In case you haven’t heard yet, video is the dominant form of content on social media in terms of views and engagement, especially amongst millennials, and is only expected to gain traction with live video offerings across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, not to mention Snapchat where the live video craze was arguably born.

Gone are the days where video requires big budgets and professional studios; virtually anyone with a smartphone and wifi connection can participate. This presents unlimited opportunities for savvy brands and marketers; in order to come across as genuine and relevant however, how this technology is used is paramount. We suggest carefully mapping out a strategy ahead of time and knowing what you want to do, where you want to do it and when, as well as who your content is designed for, before hitting that record button.

One thing’s for certain; these platforms favour video content and prioritize it ahead of other forms so it’s a surefire way to get on the newsfeed and interact with your audience. The flip side is that our digital world is growing increasingly noisy and competitive so you want to make sure your content is compelling and serves a purpose or else there’s no point in joining the conversation.

Monitor analytics

This seems like an obvious one but it’s always good to have a reminder: pay attention as you go. It’s a good practice to set a monthly date and review key metrics to ensure you’re on track. You may find you want to test out different posting times, boost more posts on Facebook, increase Twitter engagement for example, but you won’t know how to tweak your strategy if you’re not monitoring.

Record key metrics in a spreadsheet for handy charting and measurement. This is also a useful practice to help field random requests from colleagues about a campaign’s performance or audience growth during a certain period and saves you from having to go dig up retroactive data.

Use your blog

Have a blog? Don’t let it wither and die! Blogs are still a great tool for building strong SEO and serve as versatile content for you to share across social channels. You can easily plug a new post 2-3 times over the course of a week as long as you modify the copy and accompanying image to avoid possible fatigue. Regular blogging is a great way to build a rapport with your clients and customers as well as showcase your expertise.

One of the biggest mistakes we see companies fall into is having a blog take up important real estate on their website yet discovering there have been no updates in over six months. It’s much better to keep posts up-to-date versus labouring over super lengthy posts and not posting at all.

Let’s crush it this year!

We all start off the year with high hopes in terms of resolutions; it’s sticking to them that can be challenging. We encourage baby steps and not being too hard on yourself if developing a new positive habit takes time. The important thing is being open to improving and learning new tricks and techniques to help you and your social following grow.

Do you have any personal social media resolutions for 2017? Is there a certain platform or tech skill you’d like to learn better or use more? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.