While most New Year's resolutions fall by the wayside within a few weeks, vowing to make the most of your social media marketing efforts isn't one you'll want to turn your back on. In-between college bowl games and putting away holiday decorations, take a few minutes on New Year's Day to review your social media accounts. The following simple tweaks can make a world of difference in 2013:
1. Hardcode Your Social Media Share Buttons
Rather than relying on third-party plugins or modules, use the official social network provided code for sharing buttons. Here are links to the proprietary social sharing codes we use on our blog:
- LinkedIn: http://developer.linkedin.com/plugins/share-plugin-generator
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/about/resources/buttons#tweet
- Facebook: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like/
- Google+: https://developers.google.com/+/plugins/+1button/
2. Add a "via @account" to Twitter Shares
No matter what mechanism you use for a Twitter share button, make sure the code includes data-via="username" - this adds your Twitter handle to the end of every tweet, attributing the source of the tweeted article back to your brand name.
3. Add a Buffer App Button
Buffer allows users to schedule Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts. Adding a Buffer button to your blog will allow visitors to schedule a share of your article rather than immediately sharing. Having this option available may increase the overall shares your blog posts get! Here is the custom code for a Buffer App share button:
Be sure to replace "SlingshotSEO" with your own Twitter handle.
4. Apply for a Verified Google+ Page
If you have a corporate page for your business or organization, consider requesting page verification. The process is relatively simple - just visit http://support.google.com/plus/bin/request.py?hl=en&contact_type=page_verification&rd=1 and complete the form.
Google+ requires you to meet several conditions, the vaguest of which is "a meaningful number of followers." Some time ago, this request form specifically stated that at least 1,000 followers were required for verification status, so don't bother applying until you reach that number.
With a verified page, a small checkmark will appear next to your brand name. Some evidence suggests that a verified page will carry more authority than a standard page.
5. Switch to an Official Pinterest Business Page
In November of 2012, Pinterest rolled out the ability for marketers to transfer their existing corporate accounts to a business account. Prior to this, human users and brands shared the same features. Now, business pages come with a suite of additional features. If you have an existing Pinterest page for your brand, take a few minutes to transfer it to a business account. Here is a quick how-to guide.
6. Add a Twitter Cover Photo
In September of 2012, Twitter unveiled Cover Photos for profiles. These header images are a nice way to further personalize your profile page. Simply select "Settings" from the top-right menu (the little gear icon), then "Design" and scroll down until you see "Change Header." Here, you can upload any image you'd like to appear on your profile page.
7. Review Your Facebook Page "About" Section
When was the last time you updated the text in the "About" section of your brand Facebook page? Check your LinkedIn company page while you're at it.
8. Add Social Content URL Prefixes to Google Analytics
Are you tracking your social media accounts via Google Analytics? It's simple and easy to set up. Just visit your GA account and click "Admin" and then "Social Settings" and fill in the URLs for your social media accounts. Make sure you also enter your primary domain. Otherwise, Activities data for your primary web property will be filtered out.
9. Review Your YouTube Channel Layout
YouTube frequently changes their channel layout settings for users. It's possible that your custom background image now looks a little wonky. Take a few minutes to review your channel, experiment with the available Tab settings, fill out any newly available sidebar features, and be sure to set a Featured Video if you haven't already done so.
There you have it! Just a few quick updates to get your 2013 off to a great start. While you're at it, be sure to bug your primary web developer to update any instances of "Copyright 2012" site-wide.
For more information about how to use social media in your marketing efforts, download our Increasing Conversions with Social Media guide.