As an entrepreneur, one of the single most important things you can do this year to help you reach your business goals is to ensure that you are keeping up with the various changes taking place on social media platforms. From creating brand awareness to fostering community engagement and ultimately, generating leads, your social media program must be optimized if you want to continue to grow your business.

Recently, SocialMediaToday.com shared their, "5 Simple Tips to Improve Your Social Media Management Program in 2014." Now, we're sharing them with you:

1.) Collaboration and Co-Creation

Find ways to collaborate with other businesses, influencers, and communities to reach your intended audience. If you have a solid base of core brand advocates, make an article or video series with them highlighting how the brand has helped them improve their lives. This gives the brand an extended reach through real stories and real people.

2.) Customer Service Team

Opening up social media as a channel for customer service has to be done with correct planning. Improve your social media customer service team and install workflows to handle customer concerns. There's no turning back once you get started so make sure you're ready.

3.) Training for In-House Marketing Team

Transitioning a social media program from outsourced to in-house might take some planning for a company or brand. The challenge is to make sure that you actually have staff with the expertise (and the time!) to handle the program. Consider leveraging the expertise of a social media consultant so your team does not grope in the dark making strategies and workflows that don't work at all.

4.) Storytelling

Content that matters is still the core of social media management. Strategize, implement, review and adjust constantly to improve your content plan. It's not enough to continually promote your products, services, and offers. People are on social media for a reason. And it doesn't involve being bombarded with marketing messages from brands. Stories will make you relevant.

5.) Brand Advocacy and Generosity

Give to get. Generosity brings you very far when you start to transform into a social business. The more you give, the more people (and advocates) will remember you. Consider relevance during crisis and disaster response for example: Brands that show compassion are remembered for their generosity.

We hope that helps give you some ideas of how to make your social strategy work harder for your business this year. Want to read more? Click here to access the original article.