This was written for a social media blog, but much of what is written here can be applied to authors seeking to use social media to sell books. Enjoy!

With 2011 behind us, now is the time to think about marketing strategies for the new year. By now, you likely have your Twitter account and Facebook page for your business set up, connected to each other, and updating followers regularly with news of your business and products/services. Perhaps you don’t have as many followers as you would like, but a new year brings the promise for increased interest. It’s also a good time to take into consideration a number of social media resolutions.

What should you plan for 2012? This largely depends on what you have intended for your business. Your marketing strategy will differ from those of other companies, but if you are looking for ideas here are some to adapt.

1) Cut away the dead weight.
Do you have social profiles set up that you do not use anymore? Maybe in a fit to cover all the bases you set up a Flickr or MySpace page and let it fall to the wayside. You might want to consider deleting profiles that haven’t been updated in several months – it looks rather unprofessional for a social profile to lie stagnant. Either that, or find a way to revive it by feeding an active RSS into it. At the very least, remove any icons of neglected profiles from your site.

2) Re-Evaluate design. This could be a good time to change your Twitter background or your Facebook page profile photo. As social networks have changed interfaces over the last year, your current designs may no longer suit. Take the time for a few makeovers.

3) Check Facebook tabs. Are you still using FBML for custom tabs on your Facebook page? Better fix that quick, for FBML support will eventually go away. You need to make sure you are familiar with Facebook’s development site for making tabs, and that you have a server with https support to host the pages.

4) Engage more in social media with people. Once a day, commit yourself to the following:

  • Re-tweet one update on Twitter
  • Respond to another person’s Twitter status
  • Use Facebook as your page’s persona and comment on another Facebook page (without spamming your business)
  • Share one status update from another person on your Google Plus page
  • Comment on a relevant Youtube video
  • Comment on a relevant blog post

Social media entails more than shot-gunning information. Put the social back in your social campaigns.

5) Lastly, don’t be afraid to show your sense of humor. One doesn’t always plan to go viral with a tweet, video, or blog post, but when it happens it’s because the item is worth sharing. You don’t have to be the clown prince of social media, but if you let your hair down once in a while you can show people a new side to your business that they will want to know.

Good luck with your social marketing in 2012!

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and Facebook marketing. Clients include Fairfax personal injury lawyers, self-publishing services, Virginia health care services, Norfolk Realtors, global trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.