For the first time in your life you have literally followed all of the rules. You’ve set up your business’s facebook page, you’re building a twitter following, you’re posting on a regular schedule, and you have even verified your Google+, but one question lingers… What is this really doing for my business? Well the answer to that is, it depends.

There are many positives to your business’s social media presence including brand recognition, conversion opportunities, and market expansion. The bottom line: measurable growth at a relatively low cost to your business. All good things if you’re doing social media right.  If not, then it can seem like an abyss, a black hole of time and energy with little or no ROI.  If this has been your experience so far, two things for you: You’re not alone and it’s not too late.

Starting Today

1. Create a plan. Keep your social media efforts simple, focused, and defined. Figure out which channel(s) your customers are on and commit to delivering quality content that aligns with your company’s message. Do this by implementing a schedule that engages the audience with weekly posts they come to expect. A few minutes reviewing your social media marketing plan will save you time in the end!

2. Be consistent.  If your business is utilizing multiple channels to communicate, make sure that your content is appropriate and that your style is consistent. Social media platforms provide your business with the opportunity to regularly tell the world about your brand! Some simple places to start: make sure your profiles and icon badges are uniform and that your brand’s message and personality is voiced consistently throughout each platform; this contributes to the development of a strong brand identity and provides the opportunity to grow a loyal following.

3. Make your analytics tell a story. Analytic tools are your friends and powerful friends at that. When analyzing your data make sure that you’re extracting numbers that are relevant and specific. Page views and visitor stats are important but what you really want is a story complete with plot twists and character development. Intelligence events, demographic layers, and custom goal setting are all metrics that deliver valuable information and behavioral insight in regards to your audience, your social media campaigns, and the efficacy of your digital marketing efforts.

4. Connect social media goals to company goals. End the debate. With over one billion users on social media, the reach of this powerful platform is undeniable; so prove it!  Your company’s marketing investments need to make financial sense and the best way to demonstrate this is through defined and determined goal setting.  By linking your social media campaigns to a specific initiative (i.e. ecommerce landing page) you then begin to trace the lead conversions that these campaigns generate and therefore hold your social media efforts accountable to reaching measurable goals.

5. Keep it fresh. “Everything is a remix! So steal like an artist.” – Austin Kleon. Social media success is an art and not everyone gets to be Pablo, however this is where the old adage ‘quality over quantity’ comes into play. Companies like Warby Parker, Airbnb, and Inc. Magazine have their strategy down pat: it’s geared towards their audience, it’s fresh, it’s relevant….  Follow suit! It’s okay to snag an artistic move or two as long as you personalize it and make it your own. Stay true to your brand and commit to creating forward-thinking content that is authoritative and overall entertaining.

The Summary

Social media has a lot of moving parts and keeping up with best practice for your business can be overwhelming, but it’s not exactly rocket surgery either. The easiest thing to remember is that if you are creating quality content that resonates with your audience, you are probably doing better than you think. Conversions are not always instant and progress can seem slow, so be patient, and if you run out of patience know that there are local, high-quality, solutions-based digital agencies ready to get your social media marketing strategy back on track…