As an increasing number of companies switch considerable chunks of their marketing budgets towards social media strategies, there remain some businesses struggling to come to terms with how to take their first steps into the channel. Here are 10 things you may need to consider when developing your strategies.1. Social media is not Facebook. Nor is it Twitter, LinkedIn nor YouTube. These are merely a selection of the most popular tools that can be used to deliver a social media strategy and wanting to be on them without considering ‘why’ is often the easiest way to fail. Your strategy needs to be tied to objectives that have been well thought out.2. You also need to think about where your customers are. If it’s social networks, which social networks? There’s no point having a beautiful Facebook page if your target audience aren’t there. By identifying how they spend their time online, you can start to think about how you can reach them effectively.3. Remember to listen before you speak. Firms that use social channels to broadcast their company news, rather than listening to what their target audience is saying are missing a trick. By focusing your social strategies on what you can learn, rather than what you can say, you will gain valuable insights that help you become a more successful business.4. It’s also worth noting that social is not just a marketing tool. Many successful social strategies have involved businesses using tools such as Twitter and Facebook for customer service, after-sales care and recruitment. When thinking about how you intend to use social media, think about how individual departments and roles could use the channel to perform their roles more efficiently.5. You need to think about how you intend to monitor conversations and how you will then engage with your audience. Social media tools, such as third-party monitoring software, can provide in-depth coverage of what is being said, allowing you to keep tabs on sentiment and feedback. You then require a procedure for how you can respond and engage with them.6. Once you know how the company is going to be using social media, you can start to assign the important roles and responsibilities of specific staff members. You may wish to use outside help – in the form social media consultants – but for day-to-day engagement, the most success social strategies require brands to take ownership of their own activity.7. When it comes to sharing content through your social channels, think about how you add value. People are looking for content that is interesting, helpful or funny, so it’s important to spend time developing a plan for how you intend to populate each tool you intend to use.8. Measurement is essential, so you need to consider how the success of your strategy will be judged. This may be in the form of its impact on sales or website visitors – particularly if you use social media tracking software – or it could be in the value of the insights you gain and the uplift your brand receives.9. Another consideration you may want to make is to introduce social media guidelines or a policy that helps you to encourage all staff – not just marketers – to make a positive contribution to your online presence. This has proven to be a much more successful approach than trying to police their social behaviour.10. Once it launches, you need to be ready to adapt. The social landscape is changing at an alarming rate, so you need to be flexible enough to evolve your strategies in order to ensure you get the most from your investment.