Every day new online and mobile sites are born through social media, and every day, organizations are springing to be the first to reach across these channels to gain one more new follower, believer or donator. Undoubtedly, this new media has given tangible meaning to the words ‘brand ambassador’ and ‘audience interaction.’

In fact, in today’s world the pressure to stay afloat online and off (you can’t forego direct mail, media and print), makes just keeping up a full-time job. Unwary organizations can get caught up in the whirlwind of Likes, GoogleAds, Tweets, QRs, and +1’s. The danger is losing sight of one’s overall strategy and brand (the reason you got online in the first place)—and never realizing it.

Before You Sign On…

Don’t launch your organization into another social media endeavor (or even update your next Facebook post), before reading the tips below. If your brand is not being strengthened through its presence online, re-think your strategy or shift gears.

1. Know your brand voice before you talk (or tweet).

Brands that succeed are always, always defined by their messages. Make sure that your fans and followers have a clear sense of your brand’s promise and know what they can expect from it. If you lose sight of your brand’s personality, you lose your brand.

2. Choose meaningful content. Social media is not about making a buck or selling a product.

Chances are, your followers and subscribers are being bombarded with sales and promotions. Don’t become a part of the masses. It’s your content that earns attention, so try to offer resources and content as well as generate links that provide some kind of information or news that your audience can use and appreciate.

 3. Social media is meant to be social (so use it that way!).

Every post, from a status update, email, blog post or tweet, is a potential conversation starter with someone who can be convinced to believe in you and your product or service. Engage your audience; ask open ended questions, and welcome feedback. If it’s negative, fix it. If it’s positive, share it. Before you know it, your brand won’t be the only thing telling your story… others will be telling it, too.