Social media remains on the uprise and continues to gain popularity. However, a large portion of business owners remain hesitant to social media from a marketing and business perspective. The constant worry of engagement, monitoring, reputation management, and strategy seem to pose a giant dilemma. Naturally, concerns with social media will remain realistic and continue to be areas of concentration. The unrealistic part regarding social media is the lack of involvement. Consequences of no participation can be detrimental to a brand that could escalate to serious outcomes jeopardizing a brand existence as a whole.

Conversations occur on social media whether we like it or not. That’s simply the reality of social media where consumers discuss their experience and perception of individual brands. An advantageous part of social media for a consumer is that they have a voice that echoes into the depths of social sphere. Brands that lack in social media involvement will most likely suffer in the long term simply due the fact that their customer base is talking about them behind their back. According to the latest round of statistics, nearly three out of four adults participate in one or more social networks.

Getting started with social media requires a  strategic approach to ensure maximum results from all the initiatives. A proper social media strategy will adhere to your brand’s goals and objectives, communication standards, and of course reputation management in case the sh*t hits the fan. When it comes to social strategy development there’s a few things to keep in mind to build solid cornerstones for future success:

  • A dedicated resource – an important aspect to successful social media management is utilizing a brand advocate. Someone that knows the ins and outs of your brand. A person that complies with customer relations. Scattered chatter can be interpreted negatively on social media therefore it’s important to allocate a resource in full comfort with your brand.
  • Policies – setting specific parameters for engagement and interaction will ensure a strategic approach to social management without any potential legal complications. It’s not uncommon for companies to forget about a social media policy that clearly helps outline necessary communication objectives. Employee education of the newly established policies is also critical for quality assurance and future compliance.
  • Privacy  – in the social world it’s imperative to exercise caution. Considering the heavy amount of audio and video on social networks, you should always be careful about where you’re clicking and the information you’re engaging with. The grey area of online privacy is the unusual amount of transparency.
  • A strategy – one of the most common areas that most brands fail in is the lack of a social media strategy. It’s as basic of a requirement as the basics of social media engagement in itself. Development of a social media strategy will assist with communication objectives, messaging, tone of voice, promos, and maybe even incentives depending upon your business model. An intelligent approach to social media will include a strategic plan of action.
  • Tools – management of social media channels is no easy task. Contingent upon an expertise and comfort level with social media, monitoring and management can turn into a time consuming initiative. Therefore, in order to management all social entities efficiently, considering usage of social media management tools. Some of the most popular ones include HootSuite, SproutSocial, and Gremlin.