If you’re a digital marketer, your social media marketing should be a high priority. There are many decisions to make, including which platforms to use, who’s responsible for the accounts, and your overall strategy. Keeping things working smoothly can be a serious challenge. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to set up your social media for success. Here are a few areas to focus on.

1. Preparation

If you already have social media accounts, do some kind of audit to determine where you currently stand. It’s crucial to determine whether your current strategy is contributing to your success. Tools such as Sprout Social can help you get started. If you’re starting from scratch (or after the audit), research your competitors and make notes on how you might employ a similar approach that’s unique to your business.

2. Planning

Set goals for your social media. Make them SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound). This is how you’ll measure your social media marketing success. Once your goals are set, you can build out an effective, actionable plan. Be sure that every step toward accomplishing each goal is aligned with your overall digital marketing strategy. Developing your plan can be a fun, creative part of the process.

3. Delegation

If you’re going to be managing your social media accounts, get on a couple of mailing lists of social media gurus who are relevant to your business, and get up to speed on current best practices. If you’re delegating the job, make sure that your social media manager is dependable, has excellent communication and people skills, and has the required knowledge and know-how — or is willing to learn quickly. It’s a good idea, at least at the outset, to have a supervisor be a co-administrator in case you need extra hands on deck.

4. Automation

From scheduling tools to behind-the-scenes analytics that help you determine what’s working and what’s not, there are many ways to streamline your workflow and fine-tune your strategy. Regarding scheduling of posts, your social media manager’s overall workload may help you come up with the best approach. Also, decide how often and under what circumstances you check the analytics of your platforms. You might be surprised what you find when you do a deep dive into your stats.

Getting your social media accounts up and running requires a focused, stepwise approach. Try these tips to get started.