Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat. The list goes on for today’s popular social media platforms. For brands, a successful social media strategy takes more than just being present on a channel. You need to establish a social media branding strategy.

Developing a plan to successfully deliver campaigns and messages on social media takes a lot of time and effort. You need to create stand-out content, target key audiences, build relationships with potential (and existing) customers and get influencers on board. All that time and effort will be worth it if you do it right. Positive and negative interactions with your organization on social media can change customers’ attitudes about your brand and, consequently, influence their behavior and buying decisions.

So, how do you make your brand a trending topic? Here are four strategies to help amplify your social media branding:

1. Create

To best introduce social media users to your brand and interact with existing customers, you need to create content that will stand out. People are more likely to find and engage with content that’s unique, emotional or entertaining. So, create campaigns that show off your brand’s expertise and personality. For example, does your company have a volunteer program? Promote posts that capture your organization’s social responsibility efforts and demonstrate how you give back to the community.

In addition, tailor your social media posts to each channel, keeping the audience and different platform features in mind. You can post fun, visual content on Twitter and Instagram, taking advantage of hashtags to tie your content into relevant trending topics. LinkedIn is great for more professional posts, so consider publishing articles to initiate conversations and give your brand authority on a topic. Developing a content strategy is crucial to enhancing your social media branding.

2. Connect

Social media channels are perfect for building relationships with customers, and a strong emotional connection with your audience is key to social media branding. Remember to be authentic and sincere – your engagements with customers should reflect the values and personality of your brand.

Your goal is to establish positive interactions with your customers on social media, so focus on two-way communication. Like, comment and respond to posts about your brand. It’s a red flag when a company strictly uses their social media channels as blow horns, promoting their products and messages without engaging with others. Plus, you would be surprised how impactful a quick response to a customer’s tweet can be. Continuously monitor your social media channels and respond accordingly.

3. Influence

You should connect with more than just customers on social media. A great way to amplify your social media branding efforts is to build relationships with influencers. Influencers are social media users who have a large and loyal following and credibility in a specific subject area. For instance, there are likely plenty of influencers and bloggers in your industry, or that can champion your brand, located all over the U.S. These influencers have already gained the trust and respect of their audience, and getting a mention from them gives your brand credibility.

Find influencers who align well with your brand and inquire if they are willing to partner on a social media campaign. Even just tagging you in an Instagram post or retweeting one of your posts on Twitter could do the trick. Your goal is to gain more exposure and followers for your brand, and authority on a topic, a product or even just for your company overall.

4. Target

Not that long ago, the idea of a brand paying for ads on a social network seemed desperate. Now, paid social media is one of the only reliable means of building a targeted and effective audience. Paid social media traffic allows you to target a specific audience and increase your brand’s reach.

When considering which social networks to put money behind, don’t just focus on the big three – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Instagram remains one of the fastest growing social media networks. Who’s engaging with brands on Instagram? Millennials: the next generation of big spenders. Determine who your target audience is and which social media platforms they use most. Paid promotion on social media could be key to enhancing your social media branding.

Social is no longer just about conversation; it’s now an established channel for building relationships with target audiences and customer acquisition. Do you have a social media professional on your marketing team? If not, it may be time to add one (or more) to strengthen your social media branding.