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With the Christmas shopping season officially starting this weekend the new year is not far off. Are you now or have you already prepared your budget for 2014. What is on your social marketing wish list? Or to be a bit broader in scope, your Digital marketing wish list.

Are there things that you feel would improve the overall performance of your online initiatives? Does upper management understand the importance of digital marketing in today’s marketplace or are you still in an uphill battle in trying to convince them to allocate more resources?


Your Social Marketing Holiday Wish List

By Elisabeth Michaud

The new year is right around the corner, and it’s time to pull together your plan. You’ve been very, very good (at social marketing) in 2013, so now’s your chance to ask your boss for the things you need in order to make 2014 even better. Here, we’ve outlined the 5 things you absolutely MUST include on your social marketing wish list, and how to explain them to your boss so she’ll know exactly what value they’ll bring to your brand over the next 12 months.

1. Budget (or, more budget) for promoted social media posts

You may be spending to promote organic content already (especially given that organic posts for brand pages reach only about 10% of the page’s audience), or you may be planning to start, but either way, you’ll need a bigger budget for it over the next 12 months. With promoted content options now available on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest and Instagram, a social media manager needs access to some of her brand’s ad budget. Ask your boss to help you work with your ad agency or in-house team to get control over some of those marketing dollars! You’re in a great position to know where to spend; you know what posts perform well, what type of content your fans tend to enjoy, and where putting money behind your day-to-day content efforts can really pay off. So ask your boss for a chance to put your money where your social is!

2. Some Santa’s Helpers

Is your brand getting bigger and bigger in social thanks to your hard work? Are you becoming overwhelmed with trying to be everywhere all the time, and maximizing return on time (and money) invested in social? Maybe it’s time to ask for some additional help! Argue your case with metrics that show your achievements in 2013 and how they’ve benefited the brand (think: fan/follower growth leading to increased awareness, a higher number of average pageviews on your site from your social audience in Google Analytics, growth in impressions, increased engagement metrics, and more), then share a plan for adding more hands to your social marketing team and what you can expect to achieve with that extra help. A potential bonus? A promotion may be in the cards for you in early 2014 when new team members come aboard.

3. Design essentials: stock photography credits, your own Photoshop license, or maybe even a graphic designer

We’ve cited the importance of images and video in social media many times, and these will only continue to grow in significance in the coming year. You probably already have the makings of some great visual content, whether your brand is mostly B2C or B2B, but you may not yet be using those resources to the fullest. A lot of social media marketers are great writers—words are how we communicate with our audience!—but not all of us are great with imagery and graphics. To play in 2014’s social media world, you need photos and videos to fully take advantage of platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine and to produce the best-performing content on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll need access to graphic resources like stock photography, Photoshop, or a graphic designer with time dedicated to helping the social team. Show your boss why it’s important by sharing stats on the social networks your audience is most active on, and point to the effectiveness of images and video on some of the biggest platforms: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

4. The ability to act in real (or near-real) time

Does your boss need to approve every tweet before you send or schedule it? Does every piece of content need to be vetted by multiple departments? This item is a big ask, but you need your boss or your coworkers’ trust—trust we know you’ve earned this year—to post more freely, in a more timely manner. The bonus for your brand? You’ll be able to produce content more quickly, meaning you can keep up with social in real time. While not every post will be created on the spot, there’s space for both planned and spontaneous content in your social strategy. Talk to your boss or PR department about what the advantages of each type are, and try to use the opportunity to set up a more real-time friendly environment in social. If brands like Oreo can do it, why not yours?

5. A really great social media marketing tool

Have you been cobbling together a bunch of different free and paid social media tools in order to get the information you need about ROI, engagement, fan growth, and more? Is it really working for you? If your annual contract(s) for your paid tools are about to run out, this is a great time to reevaluate and hunt for something new—a better tool or set of tools than what you’re currently using. Depending on your marketing goals, this could be a real-time social media marketing tool like uberVU, a better CRM system, an upgraded website analytics tool, or a combination of these things. Does your top pick have a bigger price tag than what you’re currently using? Show your boss how it’ll make you more productive and allow you to complete daily tasks faster, leaving you additional time to grow the business.