Has your brand lost its social media mojo? Is the thrill gone? Has it become stale, monotonous and, well, boring? If you answered "yes," don't feel bad. Social media, at the end of the day, is just another part — albeit a very important part — of your inbound marketing strategy. And when other pressing matters emerge, your social media marketing strategy gets pushed aside, rarely visited, much less optimized.
The good news is that keeping your social media marketing strategy fresh doesn't need to be a chore. Here are just a few tips:
* Set up a Google Alert. Select keywords like "social media trends," "social media demographics," "social media data," etc. It will provide helpful insight around what other companies are doing, where customers are spending their time and what networks best reach your target demographics. We also suggest creating a stream on Twitter with popular social media hashtags.
* Revisit your editorial calendar. Your editorial calendar is your social media content roadmap, but sometimes maps become outdated. Take another look at it and ask yourself: "Are we hitting the right social networks?" "Is our publishing calendar too ambitious? Too infrequent?" "Are we focusing on the right kinds of content?"
* Bookmark sites. There's no shortage of great sites to help you navigate the ever-changing world of social media marketing. These include Social Media Examiner, Fast Company, Forbes, Pew Research (who publish valuable reports on user demographics) and, of course, our friends over at HubSpot.
* Measure results. If your social media marketing efforts aren't generating leads, engaging users and growing your brand, then odds are some tweaking is in order. Make sure you check key blog metrics regularly, monitor the new Facebook Insights tool and check with your sales team to see what types of content is resonating most with prospects.
* Tweak your inbound marketing deliverables. Your social media marketing strategy and subsequent output should map to parts of the customer purchasing funnel. For example, "how-to" blog posts and FAQs will appeal to customers at the top of the funnel. These customers need to be educated about your brand; as such, you need to exude expertise and trust. So ask yourself: are our blog posts and inbound marketing deliverables achieving this goal? Or are we talking to the wrong audiences? Modify your message and deliverables accordingly.
* Install cool widgets. Widgets will save you time, spruce up your blog and help you reach new customers. And better yet, you don't have to be a technical expert to install them. Check out some cool widget here.
* Embrace new forms of content and advertising. Is the written word feeling a bit stale? Then supplement your written blogs with things like short videos to grow your brand. Similarly, explore your mobile marketing options. Research suggests that moving forward, a majority of internet users will most frequently interact with brands through video and mobile advertising.
* Need help? Ask for it. Give your writers a break by soliciting guest blog posts from partners, friends of your business and influencers. It will broaden your blog's reach and diversity the tone of your messaging. After all, variety is the spice of life.
Now it's your turn. What do you do to keep your social media marketing fresh? What works? What's particularly hard about keeping up to date with social media trend and developments?