There are many essential elements that need to be embraced before you can succeed with social media. Of course, this list does not include all the elements, but only the important social media E 鈥檚 to get you started. 1. Education Educating your prospects and customers is important to the success of your business. Not only are college and universities providing online education, but millions of people are going online to watch how-to videos, listen to podcasts, read informative blogs, etc. 2. Effective A big part of social media success is creating clear, consistent, timely, and captivating content to effectively communicate with your community. The more strategic your content is, the more effective your social media efforts will be. 3. Efficient Due to the amount of information, tools, and sites on the web, being efficient with social media is certainly not easy, but it is also not impossible. If you have a plan, a schedule, and an editorial calendar in place, you will be extremely efficient when integrating social media. 4. Effort If you want to succeed in social media, you must put in some effort. Social media is about being proactive and making a real effort to research, learn, converse, test, and measure. 5. Embrace Embracing social media means accepting the good, the bad, and the ugly. Although the social web has provided us with endless possibilities, it also opened doors to things that are not so great (spam, fraud, hackers, and privacy, concerns). Control the bad and embrace the good! 6. Empower Using social media to empower your community (prospects, customers, employees, etc.) is extremely powerful. It is essential to create a vision for your audience and empower them to take action on what they love, trust, and believe in order to fulfill a dream or a goal. 7. Encompass A successful social media strategy should encompass all departments of a business: sales & marketing, PR, advertising, customer service, communications, business development, research, etc. Remember, it does not stop at marketing. 8. Encourage Encouragement allows your customers to feel comfortable enough to start dialogue with you. It is vital to encourage or support feedback, comments, and sharing of information from your community. 9. Engage Social media allows you to engage with your prospects, customers, employees, and other stakeholders. Engaging is about helping, giving, sharing interesting exchanges, and building community. 10. Enjoy Social media is about being creative and having fun. To succeed, you must not only enjoy the work you do, but also enjoy the social media process. People can tell if you are posting things because you think you have to or because you are truly enjoying it. 11. Enlighten By sharing your thoughts, ideas, stories, knowledge and expertise, you will enlighten and inspire your community. If you are a business with many employees, it is also essential to enlighten your employees on social media. 12. Entertainment A very large of your social media engagement strategy should include entertainment. The very first step in entertaining your audience is to be a person not a business. Your message should also be interesting and amusing enough to generate reaction, which increases chances of your message going viral. 13. Enthusiasm It is crucial to create enthusiasm for adoption of social media within your organization. Also, generating enthusiasm (or excitement) will inspire your audience to be enthusiasts who spread your message for you. The goal is to find those influencers! 14. Escalate You may run into situations where you deal with negative feedback and brand haters on social media sites. How you choose to deal with the negative comments is very critical to how you are perceived on social media sites. If you don 鈥檛 handle it properly with a strategic repsonse, you will escalate the problem. Yikes! 15. Etiquette Practicing proper etiquette is essential when networking on social platforms. The same etiquette rules that are used in the offline world should be applied online as well. For some basic reminders, this may be a good time to revisit 鈥? Rules of Social Media Netiquette.鈥? 16. Evaluate You may be doing a fantastic job with integrating social media into your plans. However, you are missing the point of using social media if you are neglecting to evaluate or measure your efforts. Measuring social media can help you quantify the performance of your social media efforts, help you understand prospects and customers, tighten up the efficiency of your strategy, and use the information to adjust and optimize your plan. 17. Experiment If you truly want to embrace social media, you must be willing to experiment. Once you have your strategy in place, it will take trial and error of different tactics to determine what is right for your business. Don 鈥檛 give up on social media if a particular tactic is not working. You must experiment until something sticks! 18. Expertise Social media has given many of us an opportunity to showcase our expertise faster than anything else out there. Sharing knowledge and expertise helps set you apart from competition and increases business results. 19. Exposure If there is anything that can get you immediate exposure for your business, it 鈥檚 social media. If you are consistent with your plan, you will be able achieve instant visibility. This could mean a lot more opportunity. 20. Express Like showcasing your expertise, you can freely express your thoughts, opinions, and ideas through social media platforms. Also, by creating two-way dialogue, you are giving a chance to your prospects and customers to express their ideas and opinions. 21. Extend Whether it is answering a question, sharing a link to something informative, or pointing someone in the right direction, extending a helping hand goes a long way online because people will remember you when they need products or services you offer. Also remember to extend an offer on your website so you can convert prospects. 22. Eye-Catching Due to the amount of content shared on social media platforms, you only have a few seconds to capture a person 鈥檚 attention. It is important to create eye-catching headlines for videos, articles, and blog posts. Also, you will engage more eyeballs if tweets and updates are interesting. Named as one of the 鈥渟 martest people in social media,鈥?Mirna Bard is a social media consultant who inspires organizations and entrepreneurs to leverage the Internet. You can find more information on Mirna and get practical, hype-free social media tips and business advice on her blog. You can also connect with Mirna on Facebook at http://facebook.com/socialwebstrategyconsultant where she gives great advice and fun giveaways.