After the abundant holiday season feasting, many people start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Independently of whatever you have in mind regarding some of your personal habits, here are my 5 suggestions for Digital Marketers in 2013.
Clean up your social media accounts
Start January by going through your entire social media marketing campaign and removing anything that you no longer need or find relevant.
Focus on Facebook and Twitter, and then apply these guidelines to your other accounts.
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Do you think your clients will trust you to manage their online presence if your own Facebook account is unprofessional?
The introduction of Facebook’s “Timeline” makes it imperative to do a cleanup, especially for your own personal account, and more so if that personal account has any business acquaintances, clients or prospects on it.
Remove any photos that show you drinking alcohol, making rude gestures or involved in illegal activities.
Unsubscribe from groups that are biased or promote illegal activities and join the ones that are positive and whose values you share and you want to share with others. As a rule of thumb, if you’re not actively engaged with a group, unsubscribe. It may save you headaches later on.
Make sure you have a professional looking profile picture and remove your personal contact information.
Be careful about every single photo you post, especially ones where you are with other people and you post without their explicit permission.
It’s great to post pictures of yourself with your friends in positive situations, but make sure you tell them you will be using the photos on your Facebook profile before you post.
Preserve the right of your own children and your friends’ children to anonymity and don’t post their pictures, unless you put them in a locked album with limited access to only immediate family.
If you can’t show focus on your own Twitter Account how can you convince your clients you can manage theirs?
A lot of marketers still think that Twitter is about being popular and having as many followers as possible because they think they will gain more leads and traffic.
If you have done this, you have turned your Twitter account into a mass marketing campaign with little chance of success. 2012 has seen a number of the greatest minds in digital delete all of their Twitter followers and start from scratch. You don’t need to take such drastic measures, but you may want to use “Just Unfollow” or “FriendorFollow”.
These tools help you delete anyone who you follow but who doesn’t follow you back, and select those who you want keep around.
Other Social Media Sites
The same sort of measures should be used for your other social media sites, like LinkedIn and Google+. Go through your friend lists and your list of business acquaintances. Think about who influences you, who engages with you and what benefit (if any) does this contact bring.
Remove anyone who doesn’t add anything to your circle. Be careful about removing connections from your LinkedIn profile. Make sure that you visit the connection’s profile and try to think about how they could be a beneficial business connection before removing.
Improve your personal branding
If you can’t manage your own brand, why should your clients believe you can handle theirs?
Make sure all your profiles are coherent and updated.
Building a personal brand is useless if no one can find you. Many social media marketers build outstanding personal brands but then overlook SEO so that search engines can find them and crawl their content.
Google yourself and make sure all the references to your name are the ones you want to be on the first page of Google.
Apply the basics of SEO you are selling to your clients to yourself.
Use Google’s Keyword Tool. Tailor your content to be keyword specific. Use the keyword tool to see which keywords are obtainable. If you are competing for the keyword phrase “Social Media Strategist” ensure that you use that phrase exactly as you see it.
Concentrate on having a good title for everything you write. Search engines put weight on titles because they are engineered to equate titles as being a good representation of content.
Keep new content coming. Search engines like sites that are regularly publishing new content because it proves that the site owners are invested and are putting more time into the site. Although this takes time on your part it will yield more readers in the long run.
Track your progress. Use Google Analytics to track the number of hits you get to your site(s) on a daily basis. If you don’t track, you won’t be able to determine how your efforts are going.
Remember. SEO is not an overnight process. Promoting your personal brand online will take time. You probably won’t see your efforts having the desired effect for at least 90 days. Keep at it and don’t give up. Building a personal brand through SEO is important and is a big step in increasing your visibility.
You guessed it. The first thing a client or a recruiter is going to do after receiving your application or hearing about you and your services is Google you.
Go back to school.
Prove that you are serious about the profession and not just here for the ride.
Many digital marketers have learned the tricks of the trade at work and may not feel that they need any kind of professional or academic qualification to support their professional credentials.
The digital marketing profession is growing and maturing and although there are an increasing number of opportunities coming on to the market, more and more positions are being handled by recruiters. With the vast number of applications for digital marketing positions that are received over job boards, recruiters have to use filters to come up with a manageable list of candidates to start talking to.
Unless your professional credentials are so outstanding that you are probably overqualified for the position anyway, you would be well advised to get certified or take higher education courses in the field to show that you are both committed and have a structured understanding of both industry tools and your particular area of expertise.
If a recruiter is faced with two candidates that have an identical professional background but one has a professional certification, guess who they will call first?
Clients are also becoming increasingly skeptical of people who present themselves as social media or digital marketing experts. A professional certification can help to allay those fears and make you feel more confident when presenting your services.
Digital Marketers are, by definition, great at sharing content and curating it.
Writing is another story. If you want to get to the top in this profession, you need to create original content and find a niche for yourself. Like it or not, we are all in the content business now.
There is plenty of excellent advice available on internet about blogging and overcoming writer’s block, but if you find writing to be an uphill struggle,the best advice I can give you is “just do it”. Just write. Then come back and fine tune your words later.
Take a Break
Life does not begin and end on a computer screen, a tablet or a smartphone.
The one thing that has not changed with the digital age is that the best people in the business are in contact with the real world. You need to talk to people, meet people in person and realize that not everybody shares our passion for “digital”.
Even so, these are our customers and our clients’ customers and even if they “hate social media” we’re still engaging with them through blogs and other digital media.
Taking a break is also a question of your own sanity and your relationship with your family and friends. You don’t want to be remembered as the person who spent family get-togethers, Christmas and New Year’s Eve texting, tweeting and posting, unless you have aready decided that you want to spend next year’s celebrations on your own.
Excessive smartphone use is already being cited as the cause of breakdowns in interpersonal relationships in an ever increasing number of divorce cases.
Over to you.
So what about you? What New Year’s Resolutions do you have as a Digital Marketer? I look forward to reading and sharing your ideas.