Many businesses today still view social media as a side line marketing activity that they “do” because everyone else is doing it. But successful companies realize it’s more than just putting your big toe in the digital water, it’s about maximizing your efforts with a social media strategy that links to your overall company’s goals.

If you don’t have a strategic digital plan, it’s never too late to start formulating the where, when and how you will participate online. Maybe, it’s simply getting organized, building a content map or editorial calendar integrated with this year’s promotions. Or you might just now be contemplating whether or not you want to launch social media for the first time.

Social is all about generating awareness, engagement and building community with your prospects and customers. First, determine which social media platform(s) your target audience/customers participate in, then which of those venues support your overall goals. For example; if you want to have a direct line between your customers and their positive and negative experience(s) of your company, make sure to involve all members of customer service in your top down goals.

If you believe in fostering a quality client relationship, social media is an excellent tool to create a steady, consistent communication channel between you and your customer. Many companies want to push the easy button and when results don’t start pouring in, give up long before their online efforts gain any traction. Social Media is here to stay and smart companies who yield success are committed to consistent, daily strategic participation online. Successful businesses use Social Media to complement and support their overall goals.

If you don’t have the time, in-house expertise or knowledge of how social media can contribute to your business, start by hiring an outside digital consulting firm to help you Connect the Dots.