THE BLOG
12/19/2013 05:32 pm ET Updated Feb 18, 2014

14 Social Media Habits to Start in 2014

A new year is the perfect time to start fresh, revamp and clean out. Social media managers have probably read a ton of articles on what their team is doing wrong here or how to avoid traps there, but I want to provide some practical tips that will make a difference. Things you can control.

These habits will help businesses' social media efforts stay organized, relevant and engaged in 2014:

  1. Create a content schedule and share it with your team. Plan posts in advance using free online tools.
  2. Pose one question just for fun each week.
  3. Ask yourself, "would I share this post if I saw it in MY newsfeed?"
  4. Make "what's in it for me?" clear to your followers when launching a new campaign, offer or "click this" post.
  5. Make it a priority to answer customer complaints and questions in under two hours. It's expected now.
  6. Be your own competition: Don't compare your performance to other brands.
  7. Try new and different content every week -- don't get stuck in a rut. Your fans will let you know if they don't like something. Believe me.
  8. Research one hour each week for the latest social media trends and data. You will be able to make better decisions moving forward knowing the big picture info.
  9. Be different. Don't do what everyone else is doing. Make a statement by zigging when everyone else is zagging.
  10. Learn best practices and make them your own. Some great examples here.
  11. Be responsive, say something. It doesn't have to be a question or a complaint for you to respond to a follower's comment. It's all part of being approachable and real.
  12. Target content to the demographic you have instead of the demographic you wish you had.
  13. Look at monthly analytics and learn from them. Form strategies and to-do's. Don't report em' and forget em'.
  14. Give back to followers. Do something nice just because. You wouldn't be where you are without them.

What other social media habits would you add to this list?