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Issue: 73 - Jan 15, 2015
New Year’s Resolutions for Your Clinic’s Social Media Presence
By: Martha D. Jack
Econverse Social Media Consulting Inc.

It's that time of year again...time to recharge, regroup and re-evaluate the choices we've made over the past year. While you may have made some personal resolutions (and may have already made a few gym trips or gone to bed a little earlier to start out on the right foot), it's also a great time to make some resolutions for your social media presence and where you would like it to be this time next year.

Here are some ideas for tasks and areas of concentration to really kick your likes, retweets and pins up a notch in 2015:

1. Three Little Words - Part of the difficulty of New Year's resolutions is they don't really take into account the thousands of decisions we make over a year and instead focus on something specific like "unplug more" or "be more organized". To really help you focus on your goals for the year, have a look at Chris Brogan's blog on "Three Words". Following this method with give you three words to help guide every decision you make about your clinic’s social media this year. Post them in your workspace to remind you and the rest of your team to use these words to actively strive for your 2015 goals.

2. By the Numbers - If you're not actively and regularly pulling reports on your social media activity, start today. Decide what metrics will let you know if you’re reaching your clinic’s goals and objectives and create a template to complete on a regular (I like monthly) basis. Put a repeating calendar entry for the first of every month as a reminder to complete this task.

3. Use your Tools – There are lots of social media tools out there, evaluate what you are using with the goal of making your life easier. Try tools to schedule posts, monitor mentions, measure engagement, track most popular posting times, etc. Be sure that you are using the measurement tools right within the platforms (get familiar with Facebook Insights!) and tracking tools such as Google Analytics to track how much traffic is being driven from your social media accounts to your clinic’s website.

4. Ask a friend – Use veterinary social networks, Twitter and in-person networking experiences to connect with other veterinary professionals and discuss your strategies, triumphs and challenges of using social media effectively.

5. Sit in the Audience - This may technically fall under "personal" New Year's resolutions, but I encourage you to follow other social media accounts to gain a better understanding of how communities work from a user's perspective. I'm a firm believer in knowing your audience in order to shape every decision you make in your community (more on this in an upcoming blog post), so try being the audience for a change and see what you love/hate about the social media experience from the audience perspective.

Let's make 2015 the year of the organized, goal-oriented, efficient and energized social media manager!