Once again, it is that time of year: the beginning of something digital.
While many are thinking of New Year’s resolutions concerning health, wealth, or relationships, with this blog post I propose that you consider adding digital to the New Year’s mix.
Instead, I have chosen to write about social media and what I want to learn or improve upon in this New Year of 2014.
To showcase my commitment, I will call them my Social Media New Year’s Resolutions.
A Glance Back
The year of 2013 was kind of a big year for me concerning social media marketing and personal branding.
1. As a marketing professor, I taught my first undergrad course in Social Media Marketing.
2. In August, I launched this blog: a Digital Self Marketing Advantage, about using social media for personal branding, job search, and life-long learning.
3. All my social media profiles and social sharing content were strategized and optimized (SEO & SMO) to reflect my professional career focus of social media marketing and personal branding.
4. My academic presentations and research/writings were also focused on these subjects.
No doubt, 2013 was a career transition as I jumped head first and whole hog into social media marketing and its use for personal branding and job search (PB&J).
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson Click to Tweet
A Leap Forward
Nonetheless, as much as I have learned about social media for teaching, writing/research, and practice, at best I learned Four Simple Truths About Social Media Education:
1. The social media space is constantly changing;
2. Keeping up with these changes requires: time, patience, and a good personal learning network (PLN);
3. You can never know or do it all when it comes to social media;
4. But, it sure is rewarding and a lot of fun trying to do so.
As I have recently told my students in my e-Marketing and Social Media Marketing courses:
“I am a bit envious at the career potential that social media and social media marketing offers to those with an entrepreneurial spirit, a passion for learning, an enthusiasm for experimentation, and a drive for career advancement.”
So, as Social Media New Year’s Resolutions go, here are mine:
1. Learn more about Google+.
Sure, I have had a profile since it was called Google Profiles, but I have yet made a grand effort to use it for social sharing, engagement, and relationship building.
There is plenty of evidence that social sharing on Google+ will enhanc my presence in a Google search. Duh, this is why everyone with social sense and desires for personal branding or company/product branding is going there.
2. Get more visual.
I want to go beyond my previous efforts of mining the web for Creative Commons photos from others, and venture into creating more original photos for my blogs and social sharing on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.
It is also a creative thing. The knowing of my need for original photos will prompt my observation to search my everyday surroundings for unusual and innovative things to photograph.
Click! I recently photographed a stand out pink car surrounded by a sea of less than colorful cars in the parking lot at work for my future blog post on differentiating yourself.
Click! A few days ago I snapped a photo of the colorful street art splashed across the side of an older downtown building. It was of Einstein and his memorable quote that “Imagination if more important than knowledge.” This is a good visual for a future blog post on developing creative skills.
Uh huh, now that I am accumulating a wealth of original slideshows for my digital marketing courses, I would also like to adapt many of them for social sharing on Slide Share.
3. Repurpose for blog content.
I read a lot. I read a lot about social media marketing (SMM) and personal branding and job search (PB&J). Of course, this triggers a lot of original thinking and thus why I love to blog and why I love to teach and develop my own course materials.
With this New Year kicking off my second semester to teach a Social Media Marketing course, I have quickly realized that a lot of my original content from this course (and other marketing courses I teach) contain a lot of inspiration and content for new blog posts.
“Ten reasons to do this” and “six steps to do that” are easily repurposed to guide other audiences beyond the students in my marketing courses.
4. Be a more social engaging fellow.
With social media, it is far too easy to set it and forget it, especially when social sharing with the Buffer App or HootSuite Hootlet.
Well, that is not social engagement.
So, in this New Year I will make an extra effort towards social media engagement:
I will thank each Twitter follower that retweets me or adds me to a list.
I will respond to each comment left on my blog.
I will try to retweet as thanks to anyone whom follows me (if their content matches my content focus).
I will add more @ mentions in my Tweets and more + or @ names in my Google+ posts.
I will make it a point to learn more about social engagement from those on the social web who do it well.
5. Practice what I preach about social annotation.
No doubt, I am sometimes a lazy content curator and this is one obstacle to accomplishing number 4 on my list of New Year’s social media resolutions.
Therefore, I resolute to: (1) not auto-post from Twitter to LinkedIn or Facebook, etc., and (2) not copy-post the same content to multiple social media platforms.
Yes, I will add more social annotation to my social shares and provide others a reason to click through and learn from my quality-rather-than-quantity of curated content.
6. More focus on strategy.
From an educational perspective, social media marketing needs more emphasis on the overall planning process and development of a strategic foundation. This is especially true concerning personal branding and the job search.
While social media platforms and their tactical use will continue to evolve, a core strategic framework is needed to guide those tactics and integrate with existing marketing and business practices.
As I continue to develop this topic for my Social Media Marketing course, I also plan to share my thinking on this blog and perhaps with a longer form e-book.
In summary, a social media glance back and a leap forward is quite a good self-learning experience.
Whether you are a professor, student planning for a career, entrepreneur, business professional, or a community or social media manager, social media is likely an important part of your future.
I sincerely wish you a happy and engaging Social Media New Year and hope you will add a digital or social media category to your new year’s resolutions for 2014 and beyond.
What are your Social Media New Year’s Resolutions for 2014?
Image credit: adapted from photo by Leland Francisco on Flickr
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