It is easy to lose yourself in the ever-raging social media storm. Should you ever feel lost, conduct a rigorous self-assessment: how is your business doing? Do you need help?

ThinkstockPhotos-475294806First, examine on which channels your company has a presence. All businesses using social media ought to be on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn—these are the core social networks and therefore the greatest areas for outreach. And, although a declining network, you should be on Google+ as well, simply because it boosts your company’s SEO. There are other great social networks out there—Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.—but only use these if you can manage them well. In fact, think of that as the golden rule of social media outreach: only use as many networks as you can manage.

Once you have established a presence on a network, now how often do you you post? Experts recommend this general strategy:

  •   5-6 posts a week on Facebook
  •   12 tweets a day
  •   5 LinkedIn posts a week.

Every network is different; you must know the specific rhythms of each one to avoid posting either too little or too much.

Now take a look at the posts themselves. Are they clear and concise? Are they free of spelling errors? Once you have covered these basic areas of quality control, start getting creative. Social media is an ever-expanding medium, so creative posts—involving pictures, videos, infographics, links to other sites—always get more attention than those that do not. An excellent social media post will call your followers into action and involve them in your business.

Quality posts lead to engagement, and engagement is where social media starts to benefit your business. Only when you have created posts that garner shares, retweets, and the like can you grow online. Then, once you have created the conversation, you must keep it going. Keep your followers invested in your business—engagement paves the way for social media interactions to become business transactions.

To be certain that social media is benefiting you, keep track of your posts. What is most successful? What spiked interest? What can you work on? This is where you may need help. Creating successful social media strategies is often time consuming and requires extra resources. On your own, it is a challenge, but a worthy one.

Can you handle the challenge on your own?

See Social Media Today for more as well as our Insights to help you stay ahead of the social media game.