The new year is a great opportunity to make sure you are using social media in the best way possible. By following these simple resolutions, you can help ensure your marketing strategy is more effective in 2017.

Refine your platforms
It seems that there’s an almost constant surge of new social media channels popping up and, with the right intentions, many brands jump on them. Although it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends when it comes to social, there are simply too many of them for brands to do this. Not only is it time-consuming to have people keeping multiple platforms active, but it can be expensive if you are trying to design an effective strategy for each of them.

Instead, it’s a much better idea to focus your efforts on one or two platforms. Identify which are best suited to your brand identity and make these your priority for the next 12 months. As the world’s most popular social network, Facebook is usually a safe place to start for most brands but there are also plenty of others to pick from. If your business has strong visuals, Instagram or Pinterest might be better suited to your needs.

Focus on your brand’s story
Social media is a fantastic way to tell the story of your brand and the expected rise of live streaming and video marketing are likely to make this even more of a priority for businesses and consumers alike. People are far more selective about the ethics, values and ethos behind the brands they give their money to. This where social can be an invaluable tool for businesses who want to build themselves a good reputation.

If you don’t already, discuss with your partners about what the story of your brand is and what you want your consumers to see you as. This should reflect the core values behind your business, what you want the people who work for you to feel, and how you want your services to be seen. Once you have this, your marketing and social strategy can be designed to help reflect these principles and tell your story.

Brush up your mobile
The number of people using mobile devices to access content has been steadily rising and in 2016 we saw it overtake desktop traffic. It’s estimated that there will be around two billion smartphone users at the start of 2017 and Google has even changed its algorithms to prioritise mobile-friendly websites. All of this means that no business can afford to ignore or neglect mobile devices anymore.

Take the new year as an opportunity to make sure your social media channels and website work effectively on smartphones and tablets, and that you are making the most of it. Often companies choose to have a slightly different approach on mobile-optimised websites, with less content and a more simpler interface, and the same goes for social. You want to make sure your pages on social media look just as good on mobile devices as they do on desktops.

For more help on brushing up your social media or making your site more mobile friendly, check all the free tools on Google’s Digital Garage platform.