Social media creates countless opportunities to catapult your business to success, but with it comes just as many ways to screw up. The average company with 1000 or more employees has about 178 social media assets (pages, handles, etc . . . ), yet a mere 25 percent of them provide any type of social media business training, according to Marketingeasy.com. This disconnect has cost major brands and budding entrepreneurs countless millions in potential sales. green computer

Too many businesses make the mistake of treating their social media marketing assets as a strategy themselves instead of just channels to connect. Think of your businesses social media channels as a empty field on a farm. If you scatter handfuls of seeds around and hope for rain, you might grow some gnarled bramble, but the odds aren’t in your favor. If you plant too many seeds and over-water them, you’ll destroy them with rot. To maintain a farm that flourishes, you must plan accordingly, organize the seeds and tend to them consistently. Crops don’t grow in straight rows by themselves, just like social media success isn’t an accident.

Plan Your Crops

When you’re planning your social media marketing campaign, you’ll need the tools of the trade. In addition to your primary PC or Mac, you’ll need an a portable way to stay connected. Although iPads and other tablets are becoming more popular for business people on the go, smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 can handle almost anything a tablet can. This will allow you to jot down and test strategies anytime, anywhere.

Once you have your tools, you can begin planning. In a Forbes article, reputation expert Davia Temin, highlights the importance of knowing your audience. She reminds us that the digital economy thrives on ideas, and social media is the place where you, your insights and your audience can become cohesive.

Sow Your Seeds, Tend Consistently

Many new businesses hit the ground running. They try out all kinds of social media strategies and then quickly burn out when they don’t work. Businesses and brands that succeed know that social media campaigns seldom catch like a wildfire, and there’s a lot of work behind going viral.

AdvertisingPittsburgh.com reminds us that social media and SEO campaigns don’t have many shortcuts. Even the best campaigns can take up to a year or more to generate results or even be evaluated. Like planting a garden, you can’t force your social media to grow instantaneously, but you can take good care of it? tailor it as you learn, and fertilize with creativity and interaction. If you put forth hard work and consistent effort, your social media campaign can add visibility, loyalty and revenue to your company. If you cross your fingers and haphazardly toss seeds, you’ll be lucky if anything grows at all.