Ugh – the phrase 2011 social media resolutions returns more than 12 million search results on Google and I find most of them totally insufferable. Let me guess – in 2011, you resolve to “blog more often,” “double the number of Twitter followers you have,” “stop spending so much time on Facebook,” and “engage more with your customers/readers?” Two years ago, I even did one of these posts myself.
So why do I have such an aversion to these posts now? To start, most of them are cliche (blog more often!), totally ambiguous (engage more!), or common sense (listen to other people!). For most people, the social media resolutions post has become blog filler that doesn’t really offer any value, to the author or to the reader. Now, if you really want to make some social media resolutions, here are the ones that I wish I’d see more of among those 12 million.
- I will stop using the terms “guru,” “ninja,” “evangelist,” “rockstar,” and “czar” to refer to people who know how to use social media.
- I will blog less. I will stop filling the Interwebs with my self-important crap and instead blog only when I have something valuable to share, not so that I can maintain some search engine ranking or social media web ranking.
- I will do at least a cursory Google search before I write a new post to see what other people are saying about the topic about which I’m going to write.
- I will not copy and paste other people’s entire blog posts onto my blog with two lines of “analysis” and claim it’s a post that I wrote.
- I will write about someone other than myself or my company at least once in a while.
- I will read every blog comment I write at least once to myself before clicking submit to make sure I don’t sound like an idiot.
- I will check the facts of the content that I post before I upload it.
- When I make a mistake, I will apologize and correct it as soon as possible.
- I will attribute all content to the original author if it’s not my own.
- I will stop getting frustrated with people who don’t understand social media and instead will empathize with them.
- I will finally come to the realization that for all the hype I help spread about Twitter, it’s still only used by less than 10% of the U.S. population.
- I will stop telling my clients that they have to have a Facebook page, Twitter account, Second Life presence, or blog. I will instead help them integrate these tools into their strategies where it makes sense.
What about you – what social media new year’s resolutions would you like to see more of?
The Internet is filled with end of year reviews, highlight articles, and wrap-ups. Predictions for what will and won’t happen in 2009 are also a popular topic for bloggers this time of year. There’s plenty of nostalgia and speculation out there already – I don’t know how much I would add that hasn’t already been said. Instead, I’ll focus this post on something that I can control – my social media resolutions for 2009.
The parameters of these resolutions are simple – I have to be in total control of whether they happen or do not happen, they are realistic, and they’re somehow related to the work I do with social media.
- Blog more often – I know, I know, this is always on everyone’s social media “to-do” list. However, I actually mean it (and yes, I know everyone says that too). When I started this blog back in October, I had one goal – to give me an external “home base” from which I could become a part of the social media and government conversation. My goal for 2009 is to build on this humble base and collaborate with all of you in bringing social media to our government.
- Focus attention on things other than social media – As Andrea Baker and I have discussed before, I suffer from the fear of missing out. There are SO many things I want to read, so many blogs I want to comment on, so many initiatives that I want to take on – I have to realize that I can’t (and shouldn’t) try to do it all. I need to do a better job at doing what I can when I can, while still taking some time to go spend time with my family, go to the gym, and do things outside of work.
- Re-read the ClueTrain Manifesto – Whenever I feel overwhelmed or discouraged, I find myself going back to the 95 theses at the start of this book to get new inspiration for what it is that we do. Business and government are changing before our very eyes – despite the social media world that I find myself caught up in, I realize that I’m still an early adopter. I’m riding the wave of something entirely new that is fundamentally changing the way our government operates.
- Spend at least one hour each day reading about social media – I’m not sure when it happened, but reading, whether it’s blogs, books, newspapers, etc., became the first thing that got dropped when we all got too busy. In 2009, I’m going to move reading back up my priority list and start dedicating time each day to my Google Reader, my stack of unread books, magazines, and Twitter stream.
- Turn more of my virtual connections into real-life ones – Om Malik had it right – Twitter followers aren’t really friends. Following someone on Twitter or commenting on their blog doesn’t make you friends with someone. I think we lose sight of that sometimes and forget that actually meeting people in person really helps develop and maintain that relationship. In 2008, I’ve worked to develop “virtual” relationships with plenty of people from both the social media and government worlds, but in 2009, I hope to turn these connections from simple @’s, retweets, and comments to lunches, meetings, and phone calls.
- Use email less (internally) – One thing I’ve realized is that if I keep answering people’s emails, people will continue to send them to me, even if I explicitly tell them that they’re more likely to get a hold of me by posting their question/comment to my internal blog, contact me on Yammer, use my internal wiki page, etc. I want to be the leader within my organization in getting folks to use email less and our internal collaboration platforms more.
- Proactively reach out to more senior leaders in my organization to teach them about social media – One of the biggest challenges that I’ve had in gaining buy-in for our internal social media efforts is that senior leaders often don’t understand how a blog will help them in their day to day life. In 2009, I want to do more to illustrate the “What’s in it for me” to our everyone at my company, especially our managers.
I’m curious to hear what your social media resolutions are. Remember that you have to be in control of making them happen, they’re realistic, and that they’re related to the work you do with social media. Good luck!
*Image courtesy of Flickr user xmascarol