Social Media Pledge for 2013I’ve seen quite a few changes in the social media scene over the past year. Could this be that social media methods and technology are maturing, or is have we become so comfortable with it that it has become a natural part of our lives. Whatever the case, as content creators and promoters we need to change our course and adjust to how we present our media for consumption. In that regard I propose the following resolutions for the coming year. All of these tips will help you build and grow an engaging and organic fan base.

I will stop mindlessly posting and start engaging with my audience

Give your fans and followers a reason to like your posts. Ask a question, include in image, share a relevant insight. In today’s social media scene, it’s not the volume of posts you create, but their quality that counts.

I will use automation is a tool, not an excuse to be lazy

Automation is great, I frequently schedule posts so that I don’t have to sit on Facebook all day long. Automation allows you to build a plan and time your content to make the best impact to your audience. But automatic post recyclers, drip feeders, content scrapers, and the like do nothing for creating engagement. Run away from anyone that suggests that they will give you the secret to “get 10,000 fans while putting your site on auto-pilot.”

I will accept that my content will not be seen by all of my audience

If there is one thing to take away from this pledge, this is the one. Not all of your followers are online all at the same time. You will only reach a certain percentage of your audience based on the type of content, time of day, and fan interaction. Quit whining about the Facebook conspiracy theories that are silencing your posts and put your best content forward. If it is relevant to your audience, it will be seen and shared.

I won’t post pictures of kittens and unicorns but instead use engaging and relevant images with my content

Select imagery that reinforces your point. Product shots, what’s new in the store, favorite customers all will do well for your fan base. Kittens are nice, but unless you’re a pet store, you probably don’t need to share your favorite kitty pictures four times a day.

I will understand that social media marketing is not free marketing

I think this may be the most important of any of the resolutions. Social media isn’t free. To make it an effective marketing tool, it will either cost you time or money. Ask yourself, what is the time value of money; would it be better for your marketing goals to invest in an advertising budget or pay to promote your posts? If you have no budget, do you have the time commitment to make a consistent effort at developing your social media base?

I will experiment with one new social channel to see if it’s a better fit for my needs and goals

General rule of thumb is to use the social media channels where the people are. If everyone is on Facebook or Twitter, you should make an effort to be on those channels. But maybe you should also check out the up and coming platforms like Google+, Pinterest, Youtube, LinkedIn, or Instagram. Maybe blogging or email marketing is better for your business goals. But you won’t know until you experiment. You don’t need to do it all, just try one and measure the results.

Do you have a social media goal for 2013? Why not share it with us.