New beginnings are grand — fresh slate, clean plate, and nothing but an open road ahead. The start of the new year is the perfect time for doing a few short exercises that will increase your chances of success during the year ahead.

1) Create a baseline report with social media and website analytics.

Having a thorough “where we’re at” document allows you to know your exact starting point for the new year. Capture the stats that are vital to your business so you have a snapshot without having to dig through all the numbers.
Ask yourself:
  • What trend lines do you see?
  • What social activity, blog posts, or pages got good traction?
  • What were your conversions and how did they perform relative to your promotional activity?
  • What are your most visited pages and are they the ones that help build business?

2) Perform a content audit on your site.

Content can become outdated quicker than we ever expect, and that’s where a content audit can help. Making sure your website has what it needs and sounds like you want it to sound is important, and doing an annual review helps keep this task reasonable. In fact, these rolling audits can mean the difference between a few edits and an entire site re-write.  
Ask yourself: 
  • Does everything still feel right?
  • Is every page still serving a purpose?
  • Is there any meat you can trim or anything missing? (Errors of omission are the hardest to spot!)
  • Do all your error messages, auto-replies, and small copy still fit the brand?

3) Clean up your social profiles and lists.

Often times, your social profiles are top hits when a new or existing customer searches for your business. They are one of your organization’s front doors, not a side window. When done right, your social profiles provide both information and a little personality. Digging a little deeper into your lists and whom you follow give you the opportunity to clean house. 
Ask yourself:
  • Do all your bios and profile images still make sense? Are they consistent?
  • Are you taking advantage of any relevant updates that Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn has made that could help your business? Check out “best practices” articles for a refresher on which services (free and paid) are available on each network.
  • Do you follow the types of leaders and organizations that keep you informed, curious, and updated? Unfollow people or companies who aren’t offering you a quality experience and seek out new thought leaders to keep things interesting.

4) Document your digital ecosystem.

Map it all out to have a bird’s-eye view of where you’re doing what. It can help with on-boarding and making sure current employees know what’s happening on the social and marketing fronts. Also, it can be a great roadmap for tracking ideal customer flows.
  • Social media marketing: paid, earned, and owned. What are the networks where you are active? Where do you advertise?
  • Email marketing: what are you sending and when are you sending it?
  • Add any offline marketing that points to digital channels — this can help you see all the possible paths to and from your digital channels.     

5) Set specific goals for your website and social.

Get really specific. Even if they’re arbitrary, having some goals will help focus energy, decisions, and tasks. I recommend setting goals that fall somewhere between “Meh – that’s good enough” and “Holy smokes! That’s impossible!”
To get started:
  • Review and reevaluate any goals you set last year: Did you achieve them? If so, how can you build on that momentum? If not, what should you do differently?
  • Make sure your goals serve your bigger business objectives in a clear and defined way.
  • Document how you intend to measure your goals: What metrics will you use?
  • Set new conversions in Google Analytics to ensure that they align with your current goals.

Now, all you have to do is achieve those goals! No sweat, right!?

Have content strategy questions? Email me!