It’s that time of year. It’s when we all take stock of how we did and make plans for the future.
How do you know if you won social media? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself.
- What platforms are you on and why?
Be clear on which platforms you’ll be on, why you’re there and how much time you’ll allocate to each.
Here are my reasons for being in these social networks:
LinkedIn is all about work. It’s for connecting with other professionals, learning from others and sharing knowledge. And after attending an event, I send personalized LinkedIn invitations to stay in touch with people I’ve met.
Twitter is mostly about work. It’s for news and real-time information. It’s how I share what I’m reading and thinking about. It’s endlessly entertaining during big events. Think Super Bowl, Academy Awards and favorite TV shows.
Instagram is mostly about friends and family. It’s a way to experiment with images and learn more about visual communications. This is especially important as the world becomes ever more visual.
Facebook is all about friends and family. It’s about how you connect with the special people in your life for personal Facebook accounts. Just remember that some of your work colleagues may be in on it too. Keep it professional.
Snapchat is all about fun. It’s for learning to express yourself in new ways. My daughter keeps me endlessly entertained with her story and her snaps. It’s a way of lightening up about the world and having fun.
Blogging is about learning and discovery. It’s about writing until the “a-ha” moment, says career blogger Penelope Trunk. She’s right.
On that road to discovery and some professional twists and turns, my blog has evolved from corporate communications to lifelong learning to social media.
- How did you perform against your goals?
You did set goals, didn’t you? If not, this is a great time to think about your goals for the coming year.
One data point to help with the process is the analytics on each of your social media platforms to see which posts created the most engagement.
My goals were to blog twice a week, continue building a presence on Twitter and LinkedIn, and develop visual skills in Instagram.
How did I do?
With blogging, I posted more frequently this year than last year, although the average was just under 1.5 per week. That’s progress, though, and there’s more to be made in the new year.
With Twitter, I’m still attracting followers, but not as quickly as I’d like. I learned some things noted below that I’ll apply in the new year.
In Instagram, I posted more photos this year than last year. And more people commented this year. So that’s one way to show improvement in my photography and editing skills. And I’m ever thankful to a former colleague Joe Szopa for giving me a photography tutorial.
From blogging, I learned that the area I most want to explore is social media.
From Twitter, I learned that tweeting during company and professional events with the right hashtags and @mentions increases engagement and followers.
(Here’s where I remind readers that opinions expressed in this blog and other social media are my own.)
From Facebook, I learned that the personal and nostalgic wins the day.
From Instagram, I learned to use as many relevant hashtags as possible. Each post can have up to 30, so I keep lists on hand by topic that I can easily cut and paste. I also learned how to regram posts.
From Snapchat, I learned that I have a lot more experimenting to do!
Here I’m inspired by Wharton’s Adam Grant and his philosophy of helping others.
Social media is a great place to share good content. In the process, you can help others get their content to reach a broader audience.
As an example, a colleague Carlos Botero has been posting great insight about people and HR in LinkedIn.
- What would you do differently in the year ahead?
Here’s my short list:
- Keep up with changes, since social media is constantly changing, writes Guy Kawasaki in The Art of Social Media.
- Create a more efficient social media calendar for professional and personal posts.
- Blog more frequently about social savvy for professionals and better share it.
It’s also important to think about what will change in social media for professionals in 2017 and how to factor that into social media goals. These will be the topics of upcoming posts.
How did you win social media this year?