Recent statistics show that social media has now become the number 1 daily activity on the web. Social media isn’t going anywhere and continues to grow at a fast pace. If you’re not taking advantage of the opportunities it provides, your missing out on a huge potential market for your business.

It’s important to build your social campaigns with a focus on quality content, premium customer service, and eye-catching visuals. Once optimized for success,  your social channels will not only gain loyal brand promoters, but you will begin to capture leads and convert visitors into customers.

For those of you who may have let your social responsibilities slide, here are 10 tips to help take control of your campaigns and keep your social marketing on track:

1. Create A Plan

Create a social media marketing plan and stick with it. If you have no strategy, your content will likely fall through the cracks. Decide what social media sites you’re going to be active on, and how often you’re going to post, and stick with it. If you post on Facebook daily, your followers will come to expect it. This number can be adjusted as needed, perhaps weekly is more your style. Having a plan and target gives you a benchmark and a goal at the very least.

Take time regularly to investigate how often your competition is posting and do some industry research to see how often you should be posting. Generally, you want to be as active as you can within your own time restraints, without being too active.

2. Provide Top-Notch Customer Service

I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve sent an inquiry from a website or social channel and never heard anything back. Nothing! For me, that company just lost all credibility. Why go through all the trouble of inviting potential customers to engage if your just going to ignore them?

If someone sends an inquiry from your website, tweets to you , or posts on your Facebook page and never receives a response, trust is lost. Your lack of communication has created a dissatisfied potential lead that is now turning to your competition for answers to their questions. If you deliver an informed, thoughtful reply in a timely manner, that potential lead will be flattered and intrigued. Taking a few moments to respond to a personal inquiry builds authority for your brand.

3. Keep Your Cool

We’ve all heard the old adage ” You can’t please all the people all the time”.  Inevitably, you will need to deal with negative feedback  on social media channels. Although I could dedicate an entire article to dealing with upset Facebook fans, and probably will, for the purposes of this article, I’ll keep it simple. Keep Your Cool! Always respond to the original post and always contact the person in private. Be patient and understanding and always maintain your professionalism. Unless abusive or racist, a negative post shouldn’t be deleted. Responding to it in a positive way can go a long way to building customer confidence.

4. Play Up Your Blunders

Sometimes social media blunders happen. Nobody’s perfect. Honest mistakes like posting the wrong price, date, or other erroneous missives will happen. If this happens to you, call out the elephant in the room with bravery and, perhaps a little humour, and your customers will take notice in a good way.

5. Treat Each Social Media Site Individually

Each social media channel needs to be treated separately. For example, LinkedIn has a more business-focused audience looking for in-depth, educational information, compared to YouTube or Instagram, which are more  likely to have an audience looking for engaging visual content. Pay attention to your followers  on each channel and publish content that appeals to them.

Sometimes it is appropriate to post content across all channels – an important announcement about a major change in your company, for example, is news you want to share with all followers across all social platforms. But your strategy should be adjusted for the audience on each channel.

6. Content Is King

Firing off a dozen or so tweets a day that lack anything of  interest, or are self-serving, is not a tactic that will win over your audience. No one really cares what your cat had for breakfast. Instead, provide relevant, premium content that is unique, interesting, current, and provides something of value to your followers. Be focused not on quantity, but on high quality content, in everything you post, and your numbers will reflect this commitment.

7. Connect Events To Your Campaigns

Social media campaigns that directly reference popular events or hot topics are growing in effectiveness. If your town or city is hosting an event that is relative to your business, or that you may even be involved in, connecting your social media campaigns to the event can be an effective tool to draw more awareness to your company or brand. Some large companies will go so far as to create campaigns centered around world news and events.

8. Add Real-Time Social Apps To Your Site

Social media marketing isn’t something you just you do on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Adding real-time social feeds and stats to your website brings many benefits. It keeps your website visitors and customers up to date on your latest news, it entices them to join the conversation, and it’s good for search engines by providing fresh, dynamic content.

9. Be Creative

The best social media campaigns weren’t created by playing it safe. Internet marketing provides real-time opportunities to test new ideas and assess successes and failures. Marketers can respond immediately to the effectiveness of campaigns and make changes as necessary.

Never get comfortable and play it safe. What worked for you just a few weeks ago may not continue to produce the same results for very long. You need to spend some time being creative and explore multiple opportunities on a regular basis in order to see results.

Remember, Content Is king! This should be your guide for your social marketing activities. Produce premium content in the form of blogs, videos, audio content, etc. and use it to guide your social updates and tweets. Statistics continue to prove that social posts with images, links, videos, and audio links have much higher response rates. Make sure you always create stellar content and use it to your highest advantage in your social media campaigns.

10. You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure

You need to be tracking your social media metrics obsessively. Otherwise you’re missing the truth about your campaigns. Modern tracking solutions are incredibly detailed and can analyze and summarize complex data and present it in an easy to digest fashion. These numbers are your social media marketing friends, no matter what they are telling you. You need to spend some time each month, more often if possible, to view the reports, digest the data, and respond accordingly. If you’re not doing this with diligence you risk repeating mistakes and missing the signs of a big win or an epic fail.