1. Do: Share links pointing to content on your website!
It's concerning how many businesses share links over social networks that direct potential visitors to other sites instead of their own! Your primary social media objective should always be to engage with your target audience, lure them back to your website using great content, and then convert to leads or sales.
2. Do: Finally get around to setting up your business blog
Speaking of great content - a blog is one of the most effective pages to drive traffic to your site! Companies which blog have 434% more indexed pages and 97% more inbound links. For non-SEO nerds, in English this means that investing time and money into a business blog will:
- Establish your brand as a market leader and influencer
- Impact positively on your optimisation efforts and increase your search rankings
4. Do: Post blogs regularly
Commit to generating 1 to 2 articles a month at minimum. There is nothing worse than visiting a business blog page only to find that their latest article dates back to the time when Nokia's 3310 was still the most widely used mobile phone device!
5. Do: Analyse what content engages best with your audience
Take notice of what is working. Assess your most popular blogs by views per month; your social media updates that garner the most 'likes', 'comments' or 'shares' etc. Use this data as a guide for future posts. It seems like common sense but you'd be surprised at how many businesses fail to identify what makes their audience tick.
6: Do: Set measurable Social Media goals
A big trend for 2012 embraces higher levels of social media monitoring and metrics - but how can you measure your digital marketing success unless you first set goals that are realistic and achievable? Here are a few simple ones to start with:
- I want to increase my Facebook Fan base to x amount of followers by x date
- I want to increase my Twitter followers to x amount of followers by x date etc.
- I want to post x amount of blog articles a month
7: Don't: Ignore Google+
A huge development in 2011 was the emergence of Google's answer to Facebook: Google+. Early membership numbers broke every record in the book, and in late November the search heavyweight announced the provision of Business Pages for brands. While Google was quick to deny any relational effects to SEO and PPC, early data suggests otherwise. Don't be left behind, build your business presence on this network now.
8. Don't: Be tempted to cut costs by attempting DIY pay-per-click
While DIY PPC management may provide initial budget relief in an economic downturn, it often ends up costing much more than you save. The keyword selection process is far more involved than just knowing what your customers are searching for. Targeting the wrong keywords drains advertising spend without providing any ROI. It's a no brainer: Employ an expert to make sure that you're getting the best keywords at the lowest possible price point.
9. Don't: Forget the power of customer testimonials
It is estimated that by 2014, 53% of total retail sales (online and offline) will be affected by consumers who use the Internet to research products before purchasing. Social Media is the new 'word of mouth'. Populate your product/services LinkedIn page so happy customers can endorse you, and encourage influencers to write online reviews or recommend your brand on Facebook.
10. Don't: Be oblivious to what is being said about your business online
Use free web services such as socialmention.com and wotnews.com or even by conducting a simple name search on Twitter to find out how your brand is perceived by the public. Appease customers with complaints and nurture brand ambassadors. Social media is not just for promotions, it is also an invaluable market research tool.
11. Don't: Lose potential business by having an outdated, user un-friendly website
Your website is often the first experience a potential customer has with your company brand. Just like in a job interview, you need to make those first impressions count! Does your homepage load up quickly? Is your content optimized for search? Do you provide eCommerce facilities for users to buy your products online? Or is 'Lets do the time warp again' ringing in your visitors ears when they view your page design?!
12. Don't: Optimise your website for mobile and tablet devices at your own peril!
Sales of iPhones, Androids, iPads and other tablet devices are on the rise and expected to outstrip laptops and traditional computers as the home hardware of choice by 2015. Don't give potential customers an excuse to buy from your competitors - make sure your website can be viewed and utilized in any format.
What are your digital marketing resolutions for 2012?