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Today’s digital age requires that businesses and individuals, regardless of their industry, be social. Yet, the push to be active on a plethora of channels is understandably a risky step for many. With the instantaneous click of a button, you are reaching your customers, potential customers, investors, and anyone else watching your brand. What if you sneeze, click that dreaded  “share” button by accident and there is a typo? What if a rogue intern gets a hold of your log-in and shares content not approved by legal? Oye, the possibilities! The thought of being placed on one of Fast Company’s Worst Corporate Tweets of 2014 list is just too much pressure, right?

Here’s the thing: social media is not something to run from given that the benefits far outweigh the cons.  Like all external communications, all you need is a clear, concise and well-circulated social strategy to use these channels effectively and ultimately benefit your brand. Below are five tips and tricks to consider on your road to social execution:

  1. Contain, Contain, Contain. You know that rogue intern I mentioned earlier? Swap the intern for marketing manager, financial analyst, or CFO. The title is irrelevant – what’s important is that your company has a limited number of employees that push out your social content. Assign two to three social experts that know your social strategy and goals inside and out. Request that your company funnel suggested social content through them. They can easily push out the content immediately if it’s important enough or add to their content calendar for posting at a later date.
  2. Competitive Audits Don’t Hurt. To be stronger, better, and faster, you always have to know what your competition is up to, right? Social media is no different. Ensure that you have an understanding for your competitor’s followers, their frequency of posts, and most importantly, how they are engaging with their audience. Study their patterns and strive to do better.
  3. Goals Are Your Friends. Set goals that are quantifiable and achievable for your company’s social squad. This should include frequency of posting, diversification of the type of content you’re sharing, engagement with your audience, and ideal number of followers you’d like to accrue. Start small if needed, but refer to your goals quarterly and adjust accordingly.
  4. Measure Your Impact. Spending precious resources (read: your time) on your company’s social media execution without clearly defined impact is just, well, silly. Find the tool that fits your budget (free tools exist as well!) and ensure that you’re achieving success that aligns back to your goals.
  5. Be Selective. Don’t join Twitter just because everyone else has. Think through the channels you are putting your time and resources into. Is your target audience using that channel? Where are your customers getting their social fix? Be selective about what channels make sense for your brand and the content you’re sharing.

Back to the 10,000 foot view for a moment: In the scheme of the Internet and the digital ecosystem, social media is in its infancy. As such, keep your social strategy fluid and be flexible enough to pivot with new technologies that present themselves. Good luck and safe tweeting!

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