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Social Media IconsHave you ever gone to Facebook or Pinterest, gotten involved in a conversation or started pinning left and right, then looked up at the time and discovered hours had gone by? I’m definitely guilty!

Social media can be a great tool to promote your business if your efforts are organized and you have a deliberate strategy laid out and ready to execute.

Short term, haphazard approaches just use up valuable time. Design long-term campaigns with concrete goals to make social media a specific part of your marketing plan.

Here are a few ideas for running a social media campaign that will impact the success of your business.

Tip #1: Create short and long term goals

What is it that you want to accomplish? Each social network can help you achieve different goals, so it’s important to identify these before you go a step further. You should have separate goals for the short term and long term.

When you set your goals, make sure they are measurable. Think about your return on your investment (ROI). Your social media campaign shouldn’t be about gaining a certain number of followers on Facebook. It should involve metrics around building your business, such as the number of people who visit your site from your Facebook page and then go on to buy something.

Tip #2: Choose the right network for your needs

Just because everyone else is focusing on building a Facebook page doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best venue for achieving your business goals. Look at the strengths and weaknesses of each one and decide which to concentrate on. Your customers may not even be hanging out on Facebook!

Use dedicated social media management tools for tracking the results you get from each network. Then you’ll be able to make an informed decision on which is giving you the best bang for your buck. Be sure to measure the time you are spending on each one as part of your tracking efforts.

Tip #3: Create a blueprint of your strategy

An effective social media campaign requires a clear map that details every step. Lay out your goals and strategy first. Determine the key measures you will use along with the different phases of the campaign. What are the exact steps that need to be implemented? What content will you need? Set up your timeline and share the entire blueprint with everyone involved.

Social media may have started out as a fun way to share with friends, but it is now a powerful marketing tool. While it may still be confusing, using social media to promote your business doesn’t have to be complicated. Use the same structured approach you would use for any marketing campaign.

With an organized and deliberate social media strategy, your social media campaign is sure to have a positive impact on your business.