Ask any social media professional and they will tell you that developing an authentic following on social media is no cakewalk. There is no “quick fix” or magic hashtag that makes you an instant success on social media. While our news feeds move quickly, it doesn’t mean that social media for your business should be a scramble. It’s about owning your social media process.

It is critical to be strategic to build brand awareness, community, and yes, sales. But if you approach social media solely as an injection to your bottom line, you won’t see ROI on your social media.

So what should your social media process look like?

  1. It starts with knowing your brand inside and out. Create a brand book or style guide that outlines the look and feel of your brand online. Be sure to include language guidelines for phrases to be used and words not to be used.
  2. Know your audience. Knowing who you are speaking to will help drive your content creation. Dig into your customer avatar and go beyond the standard demographics of income, family size, location, etc. Ask “what websites do they visiting?” “Which social media platforms are they most active on?” “What products do they buy?” “What they do on their weekends?” The more information you can gather, the better you can serve your community.
  3. Have a strategy. No business should be on social media without a strategy. Social media should support your overall marketing objectives and business goals. Create annual, quarterly and monthly goals.
  4. Create monthly content calendars to stay consistent and anticipate which content you need to create. Knowing what you need ahead of time will allow time for a photo shoot or writing that next blog post.
  5. Execution and Community Management. Once the posts are planned, don’t post and run. Stay and respond to comments, engage with influencers and answer questions as it relates to your area of expertise.
  6. Measuring results. The last key to having a strong social media process is to measure results. When creating your strategy be sure to set some KPIs (key performance indicators), to assess which content is most successful and which isn’t performing as strongly.

By taking charge of your social media process, you own the conversation being had with your customers. Now, that does that mean you can’t outsource some elements of the process, such as content creation, but by taking charge of your social media strategy, you will be happy to eat cake to celebrate each milestone of success.