Lose 20 pounds. Eat more vegetables. Get more sleep. New Year’s resolutions can get old fast. This year, instead of slaving away at the gym, try focusing on how to improve your marketing plan for 2011. Last year’s economic slump may have caused a set back in your good intentions to market successfully. But the following resolutions will guide you in budget-conscious ways start your 2011 marketing plan off on the right foot.

  1. Socialize: The holiday parties may have died down, but your New Year marketing plan still calls for building new relationships and tending to old ones. According to Dawn Berryman, successful marketing blogger, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are free and fast ways to expand your network in order to reach potential business partners, customers and employees. In 2011, social media is your number one way to jumpstart your marketing plan.
  2. Stay in Touch: After establishing your relationships, it is crucial to stay in touch. E-news is a great way to maintain consistent contact with your site visitors and potential customers. By offering a sign-up box on your web site, visitors can easily subscribe to a monthly newsletter email. You can thank subscribers by sending them coupons or updated promotion. This strategy is sure to build loyalty between your business and its clients.
  3. Link up: When trying to increase your Search Engine Optimization, it’s all about links. By adding links to your site, you will improve your search engine results. Some sites are even willing to share links at no cost, according to Berryman, who also suggests taking advantage of free online directories. Adding links to your social media sites can also benefit your SEO.
  4. Get Real: The ease of digital communication often leaves us feeling detached. Before we know it, the relationships we’ve built online are only a part of a pseudo network lacking human contact and verbal communication, criteria that are vital to a successful marketing plan. In 2011, pick up the phone, attend local meetings and networking events, visit your local Chamber of Commerce, shake hands, get face-to-face. There is nothing old-fashioned about introducing yourself. By getting real with your community, you’re more likely to leave a lasting impression.