Social Media Checklist: Planning for a Very Social New YearBy Eleanor Pierce

It’s that time again!

Time to start thinking about what kind of pies to make for Thanksgiving!

(You don’t do this? Well I do. I’m very serious about pie.)

But it’s also that time of year when we all start to panic about the end of the year and all we have to get done before next year.

I, for one, feel this end-of-the-year panic particularly keenly this year, considering that I have some big—and I mean BIG—life changes coming early in 2015.

If you missed it the news, well, I gave away the surprise toward the end of my latest Spin Sucks video.

The end of year panic isn’t fun.

Fortunately, there is a fun part.

The fun part is doing the planning for the next year.

We still have plenty of time to come up with some fabulous ideas for improving what we do in our communications, especially in social.

This social media checklist isn’t designed to tell you everything you need to do in the new year. I can’t tell you that.

What it is designed to do is get the new year ball rolling and help you make sure you’ve thought through the major considerations as you plan out your social media strategy for 2015.

Social Media Checklist for the New Year

Check: Did I dig deep into my 2014 analytics?

You should know more than just how many likes your Facebook page grew this year.

Go deeper.

Start with knowing what kind of social media traffic you’re referring to your website, to which pages, and whether any of that social traffic is converting.

While you’re digging: When was the last time you took a look at your competition?

Check: Have I outlined clear objectives?

If your social media strategy is a list of tactics that aren’t tied to clear (and measurable) business objectives, you may be in trouble.

Think about your objectives for 2015.

Maybe you want to play with advertising on Facebook.

Sounds great!

But why?

What are your goals?

Are you going to use your social spend to get page likes so that you can demonstrate more social proof?

Or do you want to use it to increase the number of subscribers to your newsletter?

To increase visits to your website?

Again, you should be able to tie all the fun social media tactics you’re going to employ in the new year to objectives.

Check: Is my social media plan integrated with my owned, earned, and paid strategies (AKA “how’s your PESO?”)?

You may have a standalone editorial calendar for shared media.

But, if you’re smart, your shared media plan relies heavily on what you’re doing on channels you actually own, such as your blog.

How are you supporting new owned media initiatives with social?

What about earned media?

Are there big outlets you’ll be targeting in the coming year that you should start connecting with socially?

You’ll want to get out in front of those efforts and plan for them now.

Same with any paid plans, whether it’s email newsletter signups or white papers you’ll be setting up behind landing pages.

What will you do to support those plans?

Check: Have I audited my current social channels?

No social media checklist is complete without a good old fashioned audit!

After all, it can help you decide whether or not to pull a Copyblogger and kill your Facebook page.

Ok. I’m joking. Sort of.

What I liked best about the conversation that Copyblogger started was that it involved taking a deep look at what was working and what wasn’t working.

As you do your audit, if you find that something isn’t working, take the time to think about whether it’s worth the investment it will take to improve your results.

(For inspiration, take a look at Jon Loomer’s suggestions for what Copyblogger could have done with Facebook).

If you’re not willing or able to put in the time and effort, what’s your plan B?

Check: Am I keeping an eye on what’s new?

Whether it’s Rooms, Pheed, or Ello, the new year is a great time to check in and make sure you’re abreast of what’s new in social media.

It may not be possible (or, honestly, advisable) to be everywhere, but now’s a good time to check in and see whether there isn’t anything you should be checking out, either for your brand or for your clients.

Maybe you’re all set, but one of your clients should really be thinking about one of the newer a niche social networks.

Check some of them out.

This is by no means a comprehensive list.

This social media checklist is just to get you started on your planning journey—or maybe you’re ahead of the game, it’s just something against which to double check your 2015 social media plan.

What other key considerations do you think social media pros need to ponder as they plan for 2015?

Eleanor Pierce

Eleanor Pierce is a recovering journalist who can't decide which part of the country to call home. She's happiest when she's reading, though she also really likes writing, baking, dogs, and sarcasm. No, seriously.

View all posts by Eleanor Pierce