The crucial factor to a successful, profitable social strategy is producing high-quality content.

Content that your audience wants to see, and not something that’s a glorified ad.

The major four platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+) might have specific differences. However on the surface, they all operate under the same guiding principle: Sharing is caring.

No, not the kindergarten cliché used to help curb fights on the playground. In the social media schoolyard, sharing literally means caring.

Every time a friend or follower hits like on Facebook, favorite (or retweet) on Twitter, share on LinkedIn, and +1 on Google+, they are giving your content their vote of confidence.

More likes and shares boosts your reach – and your website traffic (if done correctly).

So, people care about your content. And then, they share your content. As you become more shareable, your influence will grow. It starts to become a snowball effect as you gain momentum.

That’s why it’s so important to clearly define your goals in the beginning (and it’s never too late to start if you haven’t).

There are several goals relevant to everyone: increasing brand awareness, retaining customers and increasing interaction. You might also have location-specific or campaign-related goals.

Because company pages are free, anyone can create one. Depending on how much you decide to spend on social advertising, you can create a budget friendly plan that reaps massive rewards.

But again, content is the key that unlocks the treasure.

Producing material that is engaging and appealing at a consistent and frequent level is a major challenge.

It requires you to research what’s already being done. Then, you need to think on what you bring to the table that isn’t being published by anyone else.

Planning your content out in advance is a requirement. It will help you stay consistent, but more importantly, it will make sure your content meets a certain level of standard.

As breaking events in the world and your field happen, you also have to be flexible and creative enough to go with the flow. Those that understand social media use those moments to their advantage.

This blog will cover a more practical how-to go about producing different type of content in a future post.

But for now, focus on defining your goals and planning out your content. From there, make adjustments to the types of content your audience responds to.

And if they don’t revisit, what will make them care?