A social media checklist for 2015

Don’t give in to year-end panic as you plan your 2015 social media strategy. Use this checklist as a guide to ensure you’ll start the new year on the right foot.

It’s that time again.

It’s time to think about what kind of pies to make for Thanksgiving. (You don’t do this? Well, I do. I’m serious about pie.)

It’s also the time of year when we panic about all we have to do before next year.

Year-end panic isn’t fun, but planning for the next year is. There’s still plenty of time to come up with some fabulous ideas to improve your communications—especially on social media.

This social media checklist won’t tell you everything you should do in the new year, but it will help you ensure you’ve thought through the major considerations as you plan your social media strategy for 2015.

Here’s a social media checklist for the new year:

Did I dig deep into my 2014 analytics?

You should know more than just how many “likes” your Facebook page got this year.

Go deeper.

Discover what kind of traffic social media refers to your website, to which pages and whether any of that traffic is converting.

While you’re digging: When was the last time you looked at your competition?

Did I outline clear objectives ?

If your social media strategy doesn’t tie to clear (and measurable) business objectives, you could be in trouble.

Think about your objectives for 2015. Maybe you want to play with advertising on Facebook. That sounds great, but why do you want to do that? What are your goals?

Are you going to use your social media budget to get page “likes” so you can demonstrate more social proof? Do you want to use it to increase your newsletter subscribers or visits to your website?

You should identify objectives for all the social media tactics you’ll employ next year.

Is the social media plan integrated with owned, earned and paid strategies?

You may have an editorial calendar for shared media, but if you’re smart, your shared-media plan relies heavily on what you’re doing on the channels you own, such as your blog.

How are you supporting owned-media initiatives with social media? What about earned media? Are there big outlets you’ll target in the coming year that you should start connecting with?

Plan for these efforts now.

Do the same with any paid plans, whether they’re email newsletter signups or white papers you’ll set up behind landing pages.

What will you do to support those plans?

Did I audit my social media channels?

No social media checklist is complete without a good, old-fashioned audit.

After all, it can help you decide whether to kill your Facebook page, as Copyblogger did.

OK, I’m joking—sort of.

What I liked best about the conversation Copyblogger started was that it highlighted the importance of taking a deep look at what is and isn’t working.

If you find something isn’t working, consider whether it’s worth the investment necessary 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 Plan B?

Am I watching what’s new?

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

It might not be possible (or advisable) to be on every social network, but now’s a good time to see whether you should check out a new network for your brand or clients. Maybe one of your clients should consider one of the new niche social networks.

This is by no means a comprehensive list.

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

What other considerations should social media pros ponder as they plan for 2015?

A version of this article originally appeared on Spin Sucks.

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