It’s that time of year…New Year resolutions! If you’re like most small business owners, you were so busy you never found time to complete everything you planned last year. Or, maybe you did them, but not as well as you hoped. Stop! Don’t beat yourself up, a fresh year is here.

We’ve compiled the easiest-ever list of 10 things to do for improving your social media in 2013. I mean easy, really easy. Some of these you’ve probably already completed so take that pen and check them off as ‘done’ (sign up for our free UpCity Daily Tips newsletter to get more social media wins).

  1. Sign-up for at least three major social networks.
    Go for the ones that are most relevant. If you’re not sure:
    • Create a Business Page on Facebook (because everyone is already there)
    • Develop a profile on Twitter for Business (because the messages are short and easy to manage)
    • Create your page on Google+ Business (because it’s Google and the search giant matters)
    • Build out your LinkedIn Company Page (because you can never go wrong, just talking about business)
  2. Complete your profile on each.
    Each of your profiles should include a picture, what service/product you prove, and business address…at a minimum. This tells search engines and people who you are, what you represent, and where to find you. Just like the real world, it’s nice to know something about the people you interact with. A picture also improves your chance for engagement with others. It doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact, it’s probably better if it’s not!
  3. Follow five business colleagues or industry leaders.

    Look for those you admire on each social network, then ‘follow’ or ‘like’ them. It really is about connections and networking. Letting them know you’re there by commenting is a big plus but requires a bit more of a time investment. Simply learning from them is a great start and better than not following at all.

  4. Post your social media icons on your site.

    Many businesses overlook this obvious fact — small and big companies alike. Place your social media icons so they’re easy for web visitors to find. The code for these icons is easy to find in the support section of each social media site.

  5. Make a personal commitment.

    Commit to one Tweet, one Facebook post, one content posting on each of your social networks at LEAST every two weeks. If you can’t be bothered to show up for the party, no one else will want to go there either. The more often you can post your messages, the better off you’ll be. Save yourself a ton of time by signing up for a social media posting and monitoring service like Hootsuite. This allows you to do it in one fell swoop.

  6. Create an editorial calendar.

    Create a 3-month schedule and list the social media topics or titles in your calendar. This may require a little more effort than some of the other resolutions on our list but the extra work up front will make life so, so much easier in the long run. Avoid planning one month at-a-time—this means 12 times you have stop your busy life to do this. Once you’re in the groove, it’s not to hard to knock it out.

  7. Reward social media fans.

    Pay attention to customers that become ‘fans’ on social media. Provide a special offer (i.e. 10% off the next visit, a free dessert, etc) for ‘Facebook’ or other social media followers. Don’t make it complicated, just tell them to mention they follow you on Twitter the next time they are in to receive their discount. Of course, as part of social media etiquette, be sure to always thank them, like them back, follow and retweet their tweets as well.

  8. Manage your reputation.

    Reputation management is the PR of days gone by. It sounds a little scary but it’s more important that ever to take control of how your business is represented online. Build out customer review sites and encourage people to give feedback whenever you can. It’s yours reputation, take care of it.

  9. Follow one social media blog.

    Pick at least one social media blog to follow and read it once a week. Organizations/blogs like Social Media Examiner provide a wealth of interesting information. Or, you can just look at their picks for the top social media blogs and take their suggestions.

  10. Make connections and have fun!

    So here’s the the 2013 MUST do resolution. Enjoy yourself. It’s great to connect with others sharing the same interests or generate quality leads because people have a relationship with you. Post pictures, share company news or items of interest, embrace employees use (on your behalf) during company time. They’ll feel like they are contributing, your business will grow, your customers will learn more about you. Everybody wins!

From the entire UpCity team, best wishes for a prosperous and rewarding 2013!