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2015 is well underway, and you’ve probably made (and perhaps broken) a few personal new year’s resolutions. Have you thought about your resolutions for your company’s social media marketing efforts?

It may not be New Year’s Day, but you can still make a resolution or two. Here are five new rules for 2015 to help your company market socially this year.

1. Don’t Overdo it with Auto-Scheduling

All social media marketers worth their salt have auto-scheduled at least some tweets and posts; it’s the only way to stay sane in the business. An ill-timed update, however, can be distasteful and make your company a laughing stock (or worse), as the Boston Red Sox found out in 2014 with an innocent tweet.

This year, resolve to avoid an incident like this by showing caution with your auto-scheduling. Take a few minutes each day to review your scheduled updates and make sure they don’t correspond with events that could color your content in the wrong way or make it look less innocent than it is.

2. Know Your Hashtags

What did #WhyIStayed really mean? If you join conversations or use hashtags without doing your research, you could be using them for the wrong reasons. Do your research. Know the context of the hashtags your brand uses or you could look at best ignorant and at worst blatantly offensive. If you don’t and you make a mistake, quickly apologize and admit that they didn’t know what the hashtag or converstaion meant.

dinosaurs chatting - comic

3. Know Your Pictures

Resolve to vet any pictures included in posts. If you aren’t sure of a picture’s origin or source, don’t post it. Take a moment to research any media before sharing. American Apparel learned this lesson the hard way on July 4th this year. Althought it was an honest mistake, it can be avoided with some due diligence.

4. Don’t Coin Hashtags

Over the past year, numerous companies and organizations have tried to create and coin their own hashtags. Some were successful, some less so. Social media was created as a way for people to react organically to current events and to the thoughts of other people. When brands attempt to influence that conversation by imposing their own agenda, that’s when things go wrong.

How do you learn from hashtag mistakes? In 2015, don’t try to coin them. Instead, monitor the conversation and join when it’s appropriate to do so.

5. Use the Products You Market

Do you actually use the products you promote? Believing in what you sell can make marketing more fulfilling — and easier. Promise yourself that you will start using the products you promote on social media. If you don’t, you risk looking (at best) ignorant of your brand and (at worst) a brand traitor. Neither is acceptable for a social media marketer.

Keep your social media marketing campaigns successful in 2015 by learning from mistakes and taking smart risks.

Get more social media tips with the free WinGreen Marketing + RIngLead ebook, The Guide to Networking at Conferences.

The author:

RingLead offers a complete end-to-end suite of products to clean, protect and enhance company and contact information, leading to improved organizational efficiency, reliable business intelligence, and maximized ROI on CRM and marketing automation investments.Since 2003 RingLead has helped solve the dirty data problems of large enterprises, Fortune 500 companies and small businesses across the globe.