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How Social Media Use is Like Your New Year’s Resolution

The first week of 2014 is officially behind us. For those of us, who have made resolutions, this means that we 51 more weeks in which to reach our goal.

Social media use can be just like making a New Year’s resolution. Both require:

  1. Defining a clear and reasonable goal: Not having a clearly defined a goal or setting exceptionally high expectations can set you up for failure fast. Consider smokers – it’s easier to cut down to one pack a week than it is to quit smoking cold turkey. For social media, really think about what it is that you want to do: raise money, grow your email list, etc. If you’re just getting started, define a realistic objective that you can achieve with the resources you have at hand.
  2. Developing a plan of action: The person training for their first half-marathon will need to develop and stick to a training schedule so they will be prepared come race day. Similarly, a social media or marketing manager, should implement a social media plan that will accomplish the desired goal. The plan should cover who is responsible for social media-related tasks, what channels will be used, what content will be required, and when content will be posted.
  3. Tracking your progress: According to studies by the National Weight Control Registry, one of the secrets of people who lose and keep the pounds off is that they weigh themselves at least once a week. Success with social media also requires regular measurement. Only by keeping track of your metrics can you understand not just whether you’re doing well but where you might not be doing so well.
  4. Adjusting your strategy: Social media users, like dieters who hit a plateau, can get easily discourage. For dieters, it’s usually a matter of changing up their diet or exercise routine to get back on track. Similarly, social media users will have to reexamine and adjust their strategy on a continuous basis. A regular look at your social media data, will help you understand what’s working and, most importantly, what’s not working. Fixing what’s not working might require such things as creating new messaging, updating your content strategy, or adopting new platforms for audience engagement.

Succeeding at fulfilling your New Year’s resolution or at social media is possible. Not only are there examples of success out there to be inspired by and learn from, there’s also the whole rest of the year ahead of you. Good luck!

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