It is no secret that social media is key when building ones brand. However, despite the obvious importance of this median, many people are still hesitant about extending into the social media realm. Whether it’s a lack of understanding of social media, a resistance to adapt to new strategies in marketing or just being overwhelmed with all the options, the excuses go on and on. An article in the most recent issue of Forbes explains three elements of creating an effective social media strategy.

The fact is that to expand your brand and develop stronger consumer relationships you must use social media. The idea is simple, with billions of Google searches every day it is inevitable that potential clients and contacts will be using it to find what need. If you don’t have a developed web-based presence then these people won’t be able to see what you can offer them and thus you loose that opportunity to expand. In order to build a well-developed social media strategy, it is important to integrate these three elements:

1. “Be Real.”
Incorporate authenticity. When using the web it is harder to build an emotional connection with your audience. In order do compensate, you need to what you are trying to communicate as clear as possible. This means putting your “personality, values, and passions” into what your trying to communicate. Displaying your point-of-view and style through videos and pictures is what will create authenticity.

2. “Be Focused.”
Understand where on the web you should develop a social media presence. You need to understand who your target audience is and where they are most likely to go on the web. A good way to do this is to identify the top blogs that apply to your brand and connect with their readers by posting comments. Figuring out where your “ideal community” tends to go on the web allows for more efficiency when creating contacts.

3. Be Consistent.”
Finally, after choosing where you need to focus it is crucial to be consistent. There needs to be a routine in your social media branding in order to build recognition. A simple way of creating a routine is by simply updating your status on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook and letting people know what is currently going on with your brand.

To get a better understanding of how to create an effective social media marketing strategy read the full Forbes article here.